Dominoes are a type of playing cards that are used to play games. Dominoes are usually made of a rigid material, such as wood, or plastic. The pieces are usually marked with an arrangement of pips or spots on one side. There are also domino sets that are blank on the other side. These can be used for a variety of different games.
Most dominoes are a rectangular shape with a line in the middle. They are generally twice as wide and long as they are tall. However, there are variations that use Arabic numerals instead of pips. A typical domino set can have a total of 55 tiles. In addition, there are some larger sets that feature a total of 136 tiles.
When playing a game of dominoes, the goal is to push the pieces forward and make them fall. To do this, you flick the dominoes down with a brisk motion, or you can place them in a row on the table. Once a domino falls, it will begin to cascade downward. This action creates a chain reaction, which can be very fun.
Many types of domino games are designed to allow the player to score points. Some of these games are played with two players, while others are played with more than three. For example, 5s-and-3s is a game that has two players score by dividing five or three into two tiles.
Other domino games include trick-taking. Players compete to be the first to remove a certain number of pips from the board. If they are successful, they win the game.
Another popular domino game is the Chinese domino. Chinese dominoes are different from Western dominoes in that each tile has a face, with the exception of one which is blank. Traditional Chinese domino games include Pai Gow and Che Deng.
European style dominoes are traditionally made of dark hardwood such as ebony. Earlier, they were made of ivory or the shell of a silver lip ocean pearl oyster. By the mid-18th century, they were being introduced to France and England.
Eventually, the domino game spread to Europe and Austria, and eventually to the United States in the 1890s. The name “domino” first appeared in a 1771 dictionary. It is believed that the word originally meant a masquerade mask worn by priests.
One version of the game was used as a political tool by the Eisenhower administration in the 1960s, when the President was talking about the aggressive nature of communism in Spain and Indonesia. As a result, he referenced the domino theory repeatedly.
A common variant of the domino game is Concentration. The player who draws the lead piece in this version plays it first. If the lead piece is tipped, the domino will fall. Depending on the total number of pips in the lead piece, the game will end.
Dominoes have been used to study nerve cells. The pulse of a domino is similar to that of a neuron. Since nerve impulses can only travel in one direction, the effect of a domino falling is similar to the effects of a spinal cord injury.