Dominoes are small, rectangular blocks used in many games. The pieces are usually made from ebony or ivory. They are marked with a pattern of pips. Depending on the set of dominoes, the number of pips may vary. A single-tile domino can have between six and twelve pips. Similarly, a double-tile domino can have between one and two pips. Normally, the tile with the highest number has six spots on each side.
To play a domino game, players draw and mix up their domino tiles and then position them on the playing surface. Once the tiles are placed, they are marked with a line running down the middle and the pips on one side. The player whose turn it is must then play the first tile, which is typically a 6-6. Players can then follow up by adding other tiles to any line.
When the first player places a tile, the second player must place the tile so that it is perpendicular to the tile that has been played, touching the end of the domino. If the second player cannot place the tile, the next player must choose a sleeping domino and draw from the unused tiles.
Some domino sets are designed for use with a large number of players. This is most commonly done with a double-six set, which is a row of 190 tiles. Traditionally, these dominoes were made from bone or ivory. However, more modern sets are made from plastic or wood.
European-style dominoes are traditionally made from ebony or ivory. In some versions, the pieces can be connected on all four sides. These dominoes are also commonly used in Chinese domino games, such as Tien Gow.
Western dominoes are most often used in positional games. They are also known as “double six sets.” Each piece in a traditional set is unique. While most domino games require the double-six set, it can be played with larger or smaller sets.
Most domino games feature a number of different variations. Generally, the goal of the game is to make the tower as stable as possible. That is, the player who reaches the target score wins the game. Typically, players award pips on the opponent’s tiles to gain points.
Another variation is the Concentration variant. Using a double-six set, players must make a specific amount of points. For example, the goal of the game is to have the most pips on the last tile, resulting in a total of 12 pips.
Another version of the game is to divide a five or three into two tiles. In the case of a three-tile set, the fourth tile is the vertically-played one.
Several new party games have been developed for use with larger dominoes. Those games include chicken foot and matador. Many of these games are also similar to popular card games.
The Mexican Train is an example of a domino game with a twist. This one involves a sound, which is triggered by a button pushed on the domino. As the dominos are flipped back and forth, players must answer with the double. Alternatively, players can choose to turn the sound off by simply flipping the switch.