The Basics of Dominoes
Dominoes are little rectangular pieces of wood or plastic marked with dots that resemble those on dice. They are used to play games like bachiclear, a form of musical chairs, and they can also be lined up together in long rows, ready to be knocked down. The word domino itself derives from the Latin for “flip” or “turn.” The individual pieces of a domino set are called tiles, bones, cards, men, or pieces and may be colored black or white. A person who is good at domino can quickly build up a huge stack of tiles and then knock them down in one fell swoop.
There are many different ways to play domino, but most involve emptying a player’s hand while blocking opponents’ play. Some games, such as bergen and muggins, count the number of pips (or spots) on a domino, while others, such as matador, chicken foot, and Mexican train, determine points by counting the remaining players’ dominoes. Some games even duplicate card games, such as jacks.
The earliest known use of the word domino was in 1750, but the word and the game are sometimes linked to an earlier sense of the word, which denoted a long hooded robe worn with an eye mask at a masquerade or carnival. A later meaning referred to a cape that a priest might wear over his surplice.
A typical domino set consists of 28 tiles, although sets can be larger or smaller depending on the needs of a particular group. Larger sets are often referred to as extended and are characterized by having more than the standard 28 tiles on each end. The most common extended sets contain double-nine, double-12, double-18, and double-six tiles.
When playing a domino game, each player takes turns placing a tile onto the table positioning it so that its matching end touches one of the exposed ends of the previous domino. This begins a chain reaction, or domino effect, in which the rest of the set falls over and becomes available for play. Once a player has played all their tiles, the game is over and the winning player earns the score that was previously awarded.
There are several different ways to play a domino game, including straight line, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Each way has its own unique rules and advantages.
One of the most popular ways to use a domino is for artistic display. Artists like Hevesh Kaplan create intricate designs using dominoes, which are arranged into straight lines or curved patterns. Her largest designs can take a few nail-biting minutes to complete and are made to look even more stunning when they are in motion.
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