Domino (plural: dominoes) is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block used as a gaming object. It is marked on both ends with dots resembling those on dice. The dots are normally arranged in two sets of five, with one set to the left of the other and the other to the right, but variations in the number of dots are common. The game can be played in several ways including as a scoring game, a blocking game or in a trick-taking fashion. It is a common activity among children and adults.
A player begins by placing one domino on the table, positioning it so that its exposed ends match (one’s touch two’s, two’s touch ones, etc.). A domino must have a value on both its ends in order to be added to the end of an existing chain, and any domino that is not played at this point is said to be “stitched up” and cannot be used in a future turn.
As a scoring game, players try to build a sequence of tiles in which each successive tile has an increasing value. The first tile to reach a value of six or more is called a “spinner”. Each subsequent piece must be placed at right angles to the previous one, and its end points must match the preceding piece (one’s touching two’s, two’s touching ones, etc.). When a sequence of six or more dominoes is completed, the player scores the sum of the values on all exposed ends of the chains.
When the sequence is complete, each player must then declare a winner by declaring his or her own total score as the highest value on any one of the exposed ends of the chains. The first player to declare a score of six or more is declared the winner.
Although domino is often associated with gambling and luck, it is also a popular educational tool and a method of stress relief. In addition, Domino can be used to create works of art. These projects can be as simple or elaborate as the user desires, and can include straight lines or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.
During the 1700s, domino was introduced to England, and it became extremely popular in cafés. By the 1860s, domino had spread throughout Europe and America. The popularity of the game continued to grow, and by the early 1900s it was considered the most popular family pastime in both the United States and Canada.