Dominoes are small rectangular blocks used for various games. They are usually made of rigid material like wood, plastic, or bone. Traditionally, European style dominoes are crafted from dark hardwoods such as ebony or ivory.

Dominoes have a complex history. They first appeared in Italy in the 18th century, and later spread to Europe and France. It is unclear when the word domino originated, though it may have been a variant of a masquerade mask or a cape worn by a priest. The first known use of the word was in 1771, when it appeared in Dictionnaire de Trevoux.

Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide. Each domino is divided into two squares, called ends, and is marked with a group of spots on one side and an arrangement of pips on the other.

Some large sets also have Arabic numerals instead of pips. In some domino games, the number of pips on a single tile is referred to as weight. However, the pips on dominoes become more difficult to read as the set grows.

Most dominoes are used for scoring and positional games. Two to four players can participate in these types of games. To play, a player draws the number of dominoes needed for the game.

Dominoes are commonly made up of 28 pieces. This number is often referred to as the “boneyard.” Pieces are then arranged on the table and played. When the first domino in a line is knocked over, the next domino in the row will fall. As a result, a chain reaction begins and each domino in turn will tip over until the whole row has fallen.

Dominoes can be played with family, friends, or even against a computer. They can be placed in a variety of shapes, and are often lined up to form interesting designs.

Dominoes are similar to dice. A player plays the highest domino in the pile. However, the game can be very complicated. Many dominoes can be stacked on end in long rows. If a domino is knocked over, it starts a chain reaction that causes the other dominoes to fall.

During the late 1700s, dominoes were introduced to England. The first documented Western dominoes were imported to England by French prisoners of war. These days, the most common type of domino set is double six with 28 tiles. Other sets include double nine, double twelve, and double fifteen.

Dominoes are popular toys, and children often prefer to play with them as a toy rather than a game. Several different kinds of domino games exist, including trick taking, solitaire, and concentration.

If you are looking for a fun and challenging game for your family or group of friends, dominoes can help you get the party started. You can buy a domino set, or try playing with a few of the many online games available.

Dominoes can also be used to study the way nerve cells work. Their small size makes them ideal for this kind of study.