The domino game has been around for centuries. It originated in Italy and France, but it reached England in the mid-18th century. By the end of the 1700s, it spread to Germany and Austria, and it eventually became a fad in France.
The object of the game is to place the tiles on the table in such a way that the pips on the ends are divisible by five. This is accomplished by positioning the tile so that the two matching ends are adjacent to each other. However, there are a variety of variations of this basic strategy. Some have the players make matches to other tiles on the board, while others allow them to create lines of tiles across the board.
Before the game begins, each player must decide on a target score. These are usually 61 points or a similar number. Depending on the game, the pips on one side are counted as a single point, while the pips on the other are counted as three.
Once the numbers have been agreed upon, each player takes turns drawing the tiles from a stock. The player with the lowest hand scores a point.
The simplest version of the game is played with two players. Each player draws a hand of seven tiles from the double-six set. If the set is double-nine, nine tiles are drawn. In some versions, players must chip out the unused tiles from their hands before picking the ones they want.
When all the tiles have been drawn, the players begin playing in clockwise order. One of the players will start with a spinner, which is a circular disk of metal that holds a domino or set of dominoes in position. As the player begins to place the tile on the table, he or she may place it in any direction, except to the right of 6-6.
A spinner will have up to four dominoes on it. These dominoes are typically made of ebony, ivory, or mother of pearl. They are rounded to prevent scratching the tabletop.
The simplest variant of the game is called the “block”. Players draw seven tiles each from the double-six set. During the draw, the first player picks the tile that is the most logical choice for him or her. After the selection, the remaining players shuffle the tiles.
The winner of the previous hand will draw the next hand. The winning team will then pick the first domino in their new hand.
This is sometimes referred to as the “leading first bone” or the “smacking down the bone.” The next player will need to match up the left end of the domino with a part of the tile on the right. He or she will then play that tile, which is normally the one that has the most pips.
Other games include chicken foot, matador, and trick-taking. There are also variations on these classics that feature wind blowing cards. In addition, some games feature different characters.