Dominoes are rectangular tiles that are often played with two players. The game of dominoes is based on the principle that each piece of the game is placed face-down on a table, with the objective being to move the dominoes from one side of the table to the other. Unlike regular playing cards, which are physically identical, dominoes feature identifying marks on one side. A domino’s value is determined by the number of spots on either side.

Traditionally, European-style dominoes were made of bone, ivory, and dark hardwood such as ebony. However, these pieces have been replaced with plastic and ceramic tiles, as well as metal dominoes. Some dominoes are blank on one or both sides.

Most sets of dominoes include a total of 28 tiles. Two sets of dominoes are most common: a double six and a double nine. Each set contains a number of different tile sizes. There are also larger sets that are commonly used for games with more than three players.

Typically, a domino is divided into two squares, with the top edge of each square marking the spot for the lead player. This is because the lead player is responsible for drawing the first piece in the game. The lead piece must have the highest total pip count.

When the first domino is tipped, it starts a chain reaction that causes the next domino to fall. When all the dominoes in the row have been tipped, the game is over.

Another variation of the game is called “spinners.” These are tiles that are pushed through a string of other tiles with an increasing force. As the dominoes fall, they may tip over or get knocked over. It is not uncommon for a domino to fall in a long row.

Dominoes can be played with friends or against a computer. They can be arranged in various shapes, such as squares, triangles, and rectangles. Lined up, they can form interesting designs. Many children prefer to use dominoes as toys.

In Chinese culture, dominoes are often referred to as dotted cards. They were designed to represent the many possible throws of two dice. Traditional Chinese domino games include Pai Gow and Che Deng.

There are a number of variations of the game, such as Solitaire, Trick-taking, and Concentration. The Concentration variant requires that the total pip count is 12. For example, if you have five pips and you place a six-pip tile, you win. But if you only have three pips and you play a five-pip tile, you lose.

Dominoes are also known as bones, tickets, or spinners. The name is derived from the French word domino, which originally meant a masquerade mask. Earlier, the word was used to refer to crude woodcuts on paper that were popular among French peasants.

Some of the most popular types of domino games are positional, blocking, and scoring. Playing a domino game can be a fun and relaxing way to spend time with family and friends.