The popular game of Dominoes originated in China in the 1300s. They allow for a variety of games while testing skill and patience. The markings on dominoes are called pips – these originally represented the results of throwing two six-sided dice. However, in the United States today, European dominos are usually played with. These differ from the Chinese versions because the European sets (with 28 pieces) incorporate seven extra dominos – six that represent the results from throwing a single six-sided die with the other half of the tile blank, and one representing the blank-blank (or 0-0) combination.

The European-style dominoes are traditionally made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips.

Generally, 2 to 4 people play at a time. It has been a popular family game. The objective of dominoes is generally to score the most points, by putting your tiles down in the most advantageous way, although some versions are won by the first player to put down all of their tiles.

There are many games that can be played using dominoes, such as bergen, domino whist, muggins, Texas 42, matador, Double Fives, and Chicken Foot. The popular activity of lining up dominos and then giving one a push is known as “toppling” or “domino shoe: – while we don’t know exactly when this practice began, it’s safe to assume that it dates back to the tiles’ early years.

Today, dominos remain a popular way to pass the time that offers versatile gameplay and plenty of fun! See if there is a set in your household or at a relatives.

Photo: Dominoes lined in matching number sets.

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