Dominoes are small, rectangular pieces of a rigid material such as wood or plastic that can be used to play games with. They can also be toppled over in various ways.
The word domino originally denoted a long hooded cloak worn at carnivals or masquerades, but the name came to mean the flat, rectangular pieces of wood that form a popular game of chance and skill. The earliest dominoes were made of paper, but the modern game was first played with wooden pieces.
Several types of dominoes are in use worldwide. They can be used to play different kinds of domino games, from the traditional block and draw games to solitaire and trick-taking variants.
Standard domino sets are double six (28 tiles) or double nine (55 tiles). Various larger sets are available, but they tend to be less common than their traditional counterparts.
One type of domino game, called “doubles” or “cross,” is played in the same way as a draw game except that the first double is played against four adjacent tiles, rather than two. This makes the game a little bit more complicated than a simple draw game.
Another popular domino game is “five-up,” in which players take turns drawing five tiles from a single pile of seven. This can be very exciting, but it requires some serious concentration to keep up.
Many domino games are based on rules derived from other popular board games, including chess, checkers, and backgammon. These rules are usually more complex than those found in the traditional rules of the game, but they are still easy enough to learn for most people.
In these variations of the game, the player who is able to play a tile with the highest number of pips wins. If the pips on a tile are not able to be matched, the player must knock that tile off of the table.
These games can be played with a single player or with more than one player. The most basic game is the standard or “block” game, which uses a double-six set of 28 tiles. Other versions of the game may be played with a double-nine or double-twelve set, and some versions of five-up involve the use of multicolored tiles.
There are many variations on these classic games, but they share one thing in common: a single player must lay down the last domino in order to win. The first domino that is laid down must be a domino with the largest number of pips, which means that the second domino must be smaller than the first.
The next domino that is laid down must also be a domino with the largest number, and so on. This process repeats until the first domino has been laid down, and the final domino has been knocked over.
A professor of physics at the University of British Columbia, Lorne Whitehead, demonstrated this phenomenon in 1983. His research revealed that the energy released by one domino can cause another to be knocked down by 50% more.