Originally, dominos were a kind of mask, or masquerade hood, worn by Christian priests. This word was later translated into English as dominie, which eventually became the term used for the game.
It is not known exactly when the game was first created. However, its popularity grew in France in the mid-18th century. In the late 18th century, it spread to England and other countries, and by the 1860s it appeared in the US and Latin America. Throughout the 20th century, dominos were adapted into many different forms and a wide variety of games were created. Most are adaptations of card games, but others include solitaire and trick-taking games. There are even some popular party games designed specifically for larger sets.
The basic rule of playing the game is to take turns placing tiles on a platform. The players must agree on a target score before the game begins. Once a player has reached that target, they win the game. For example, in the Concentration variant, the goal is to obtain a total of 12 pips. Whenever a player receives a tile that has multiple pips, it counts toward the total of the hand. When a player’s turn comes, they must play that tile and they cannot hold back any playable dominos. If a player’s turn doesn’t come, they must draw from their unused tiles and put them on the table.
Most dominos are a rectangular block with two groups of spots on each side, a face and a back. They are typically twice as long as they are wide. They are also marked with an arrangement of pips on one side. The back can be blank, or painted. There are also some types of dominos that are molded with the backs of the pieces decorated. The most common type of domino has six pips.
A player’s first turn is usually determined by drawing lots. The player who draws the heaviest hand determines who plays first. Once the first player lays down a tile, the next player has to match one end of the domino to part of the first tile. If the second player matches the first tile to one of the ends of the chain, the player is said to have “stitched up” the ends.
In some versions of the game, each player takes a turn and chips out all of their playable dominos. Other variations require both players to chip out. If both players chip out, they are said to have a “six count.”
If a player has a double, that player must lay down that tile perpendicular to the line. Then, he or she must lay down the next tile. If the double is a double-blank, that tile can be either a 0 or 14. The third tile is a 6-5, and the fourth is 5-5. When a player has played all of the tiles that can be played, that player wins the game.
The game can also be played by four people paired in teams. In this case, the teams take turns adding tiles to any of the lines. If the next player does not add any, the team wins the game.