Dominoes are small rectangular blocks made of wood or plastic with one face featuring a grid of dots similar to that found on dice, while its counterpart, called a double face or “double,” may either be blank or marked with an identical set of dots on both faces. Dominoes can be used in various games; most commonly by placing edge-to-edge against each other to form sequences of lines or shapes – when the last domino falls, that player wins.
Dominoes can be arranged in any number of ways, from straight or curved lines, tower shapes or stacking them on each other for structure-making purposes. Dominoes are sometimes used for artistic projects and many people enjoy arranging them decoratively.
Playing dominoes can be both entertaining and educationally useful for children. Not only can it develop motor skills while placing tiles carefully in rows, it can also foster color recognition and number sense as players lay them down systematically – not to mention teaching patience as players wait their turn!
Though its exact origin remains elusive, domino most likely originated simultaneously in Asia and Europe at approximately the same time. By mid-19th century it had spread to North America where its popularity remains undiminished today and remains one of the world’s most beloved table games.
Play is typically conducted between two or more players who sit around a table, drawing tiles from a domino bag, and taking turns laying out dominoes on it, generally starting with their left player. Each must match an existing domino by its value (also referred to as its “value”) touching an adjacent side completely – otherwise they “knock” or rap on the table and pass play to the next one.
A domino should generally be placed so that its matching side has the highest value in a line of dominoes, known as a snake-line configuration. A double can be played to a single, but not vice versa; chain length depends on player preference and playing surface limitations.
When a domino is knocked, its dominoes typically fall onto its remaining tiles in its row, potentially causing those tiles to tumble as well. Once the last domino in a snake-line has fallen, its winner is determined by calculating all of its spots’ value; for some games however, such as those using domino tiles without matching pieces forfeit their points while in others those who amass the most points after certain rounds have passed are considered winners.