The simplest version of dominoes is called the Block game. To play this game, each player takes seven tiles from a set of double six dominoes. Each player then alternately extends a line of play. If a player wins a game with a higher number of spots than the other, he wins the game. In some versions, a player must have a total pip count of twelve.
The domino is a rectangular black and white block that represents one of 21 possible outcomes of throwing two six-sided dice. The black and white dominoes are divided into two squares containing one-third of the pips from one die and the other-third of the pips from the other. Unlike European dominoes, Chinese dominoes have duplicates of some throws. The Chinese dominoes are also longer than their European counterparts.
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The European style of dominoes was first played in the early eighteenth century in Italy. The translation of the Chinese game into European culture changed the game a little. European domino sets do not have duplicates or class distinctions, but instead have seven additional dominoes to represent the six values of a single die and a blank-blank (0-0) combination. Despite the changes in the game, it remains one of the oldest games worldwide.
Falling dominoes mimic the behavior of neurons and nerve cells. The dominoes are pushed forward with increasing force, and then collapse by flicking them. The domino’s action mimics the effects of severe nerve and spinal cord injuries, as the nerve impulse cannot propagate past the area of injury. That’s why dominoes are used in a variety of experiments, from studying nerves to observing amputations.
In addition to scoring, dominoes are played in pairs or fours. The goal is to reach a specific number of points, usually 61. A player begins the game with the first tile. If the player has no dominoes that match, the game ends with a double tile. Generally, the double tile is used in matching and scoring games. The first player to score a domino with all of their tiles wins.
While the word domino is of Chinese origin, the game did not originate in China. In fact, the game was first recorded in Italy in the early eighteenth century, and was probably brought over by French prisoners. The game’s name evolved into the modern game that we know today. For instance, the word domino has been attributed to the long hooded cape worn by priests. In Chinese, dominoes are called “dotted cards” because they contain no blank faces.