The basic idea behind the game of domino is simple: play a tile on the playing surface so that the number on it touches an adjacent end. However, you can play any number of tiles as long as one of them touches the end of a chain. This is called “stitching up” the ends of a domino chain. Unlike other games in which the first tile is played by the winning team, domino players cannot move their tiles.
The domino is traditionally made of ivory, bone, or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, and has contrasting black or white pips. There are also sets that have contrasting ebony and marble tops and bottom halves. Other types of domino sets have been made of stone, soapstone, and granite. The game can be played with as many as four players. Once the game begins, players take turns drawing more dominoes, adding to the towers. When all the dominoes are used, the tower becomes unstable and falls. The giggling and surprise among all players is infectious!
The most basic domino game for two players is called the “block game.” The two players use a double-six set. In this game, players alternately extend their line of play, with the winner winning when their opponent reaches all of his pip counts. There are no ties, so domino is a great game for parties and family gatherings alike. This game is the most widely-played type of domino.
Dominoes are laid face down on the table before the game begins. Each player can see his own tiles, but not the tiles of their opponents. However, they can also see the number of tiles that the other players hold. The first player is determined either by drawing lots or by the player with the heaviest hand. The first player is usually the player with a double-six. If there are no double-sixes, he must draw from the unused tiles.
Different varieties of dominoes have different values. The 3-5 domino, for example, has three pips on one half of the face and five on the other. The doubles are the ones that have the same number on both ends. These are the simplest versions of the game. When the game is played with the correct strategy, dominoes will be in your favor. When you win, you can claim the game as yours!
The word domino has an obscure origin. However, dominoes as a game came about in France sometime after the 17th century. It originally meant “long cloak” or a priest’s cape. Historically, these pieces had ivory faces and ebony blacks. Perhaps this was the reason that people were drawn to this game. The game became popular throughout Europe. It has been attributed to Italian missionaries in China.
The idea of a domino-like chain started gaining momentum when U.S. foreign policymakers realized that a fall of Indochina would mean the collapse of other Southeast Asian nations. In a 1952 report on the country, the National Security Council included the theory. President Eisenhower himself cited the “falling domino” principle during the battle for Dien Bien Phu. The phrase “domino theory” has since become a catchphrase for the strategic importance of South Vietnam and a need to contain the spread of communism throughout the world.