In the game of domino, the aim is to reach a set number of points, usually 61. Each player is given a hand of dominoes and must match at least three of the open ends to score a point. The point is the total of pips on the open ends. If the total is less than three or five, a player scores one point. Usually, there is no limit to how many people can play at any one time.
To play dominoes, the player must play a tile onto the table, position it so it touches one end of the chain, and then play another tile. In the game, the player may only play a tile if it has a corresponding number on one end of the chain. Those players who have a domino with the same number on both ends are said to have “stitched up” ends. The first domino played must match two adjacent end tiles.
The game of dominoes can be played in pairs or as a series of “ends”. Each player will attach their domino to a pair or end tile. A five or three scores in the sum of the two tiles. A five-and-three scores three points. If no player wins a hand, then the game ends. In team play, the player with the lowest individual hand score wins the game. A team that has played dominoes for five years is considered a “seasoned” player.
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The word domino has an interesting history. The earliest recorded usage of the word is from the Song dynasty in China. It originally meant a cloak, mask, or cape worn by priests. The pieces of dominoes had ivory faces and ebony blacks, which reminded some people of the cape of a priest. As time passed, the game developed into the game we know today.
The most basic version of domino involves two players and a double-six set of dominoes. The tiles are shuffled face-down to form a boneyard, and each player draws seven tiles from the stock. Most players place the tiles on their edges in front of them, so they can see which tiles they have and how many are in the opponent’s hands. Five-Up is another variation of domino that uses a variety of colored tiles and a double. The doubles act as spinners, allowing players to branch out and make a combination.
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There are many different variations of domino, but the simplest version is the Block game, played with two players. Each player is given a double-six set of dominoes, and they must draw seven tiles to play the game. They then alternately extend their line of play to their opponents’ hands. The winner’s score is equal to the total pip count of the losers’ hand. This is one of the most popular versions of domino.
A traditional domino set contains unique pieces for each possible combination of two ends with pips ranging from zero to six. This is known as a double-six set, as the highest-value piece has six pips on each end. Chinese sets introduce duplicates of some throws, as well as dividing the tiles into two suits. In addition, Chinese dominoes are much longer than their European counterparts. Domino has a long game history and has been used for centuries.
Chinese dominoes were known as pupai before the English word was used. During the Yuan Dynasty, a popular game of dominoes was played with ivory dominoes. In rural England, these dominoes were commonly called “bonesticks”. Hartley’s Land Law in West Lancashire, published in the mid-19th century, described a game of dominoes as a means to settle disputes over traditional grazing boundaries.