Throughout history, the word domino has meant a variety of things. It originally meant a hooded cape worn by priests. It later referred to a wooden set of tiles that was used for games. However, it was not until the mid-18th century that the word domino took on a more specific meaning.
Traditionally, the pieces used in European-style dominoes were made of ivory, mother of pearl oyster shell, or dark hardwood such as ebony. These are usually lined up in a row, and can be knocked down by flicking or shoving them. The first domino in the line that falls down begins a chain reaction that continues until all dominoes in the line have fallen.
Most dominoes have four square ends, each marked with a number of spots. Generally, each domino represents one of the 21 results of throwing two six-sided dice. The player with the lowest domino in their hand scores one point. During the game, the points at the ends are added up to determine the total. In some games, the running total score is kept on a cribbage board.
There are many different variants of the game. Some of the most common are trick-taking games. A player is considered out of the game when they have played all of their tiles. Other types of domino games are layout games. Layout games are played with multicolored tiles. These games are usually played in teams.
The game was also played in China during the 17th century. However, these games used Arabic numerals instead of pips. In addition to the traditional Chinese games, dominoes were used for other games such as Pai Gow. There are also several games based on dominoes that are adapted from card games. These include Tien Gow, Che Deng, and Pai Gow.
The name domino was first recorded in the Dictionnaire de Trevoux in 1771. During the mid-18th century, the game started spreading worldwide. In France, it became popular as a fad. French prisoners of war brought the game to England.
The game was popular in southern Germany and Austria in the mid-18th century. It was later adapted in the United States during the 1860s. It is now played at professional levels. In Texas, the most popular domino game is 42. In this game, four players are paired into teams and compete against each other. The goal is to play all of the tiles on the board to win the game.
Many children prefer to use dominoes as toys. However, they are also useful for creating fun courses. In addition, they can be used for scientific research as a way to study nerve cells. These games are also popular in competitive leagues in the British Isles.
The most basic domino variant is played with a double-six set. Traditionally, the set is made of ivory, mother of pearl oyster shell, ebony, or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell. However, the set can also be made of other materials.