Domino is a family of games in which players lay tiles in line to form a sequence, and then try to match pips to those on the opponent’s tile. The first player to reach a set number of points wins the game. In most cases, each domino has a single pips on one end, and a double on the other. If a domino has both a double and a blank side, its value is determined by the rules of the game, which differ in many ways.
Historically, domino was made from bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), ivory, and dark hardwoods such as ebony. Modern domino sets are often made from polystyrene, wood, and plastic. They are designed to be durable and can be cleaned with a damp cloth or towel. The pips are either inlaid or painted onto the surface. Some sets feature a top layer in mother-of-pearl or ivory with the pips in the bottom layer in black or white. Others are composed of a composite material such as pressed clay.
For example, in the ace of spades domino game, each player has two aces and five hearts and must place them in order to form a straight line that connects the center of the circle with the corners of the square. Players then match their cards by adding up the pips on each card and counting the aces and hearts. The player who scores the highest by matching pairs of aces and hearts in this way wins the round and becomes the winner of the game.
This simple activity is useful for helping students understand the commutative property of addition. It also helps bridge the gap between using moveable manipulatives and using only symbols to represent numbers and equations.
The word “domino” was apparently borrowed from French around 1750, and it may have originally denoted a long hooded cape worn together with a mask at carnival time or at a masquerade. It was later used to refer to a priest’s black domino contrasting with his white surplice.
Dominos have a long history of being a popular pastime for families and friends. While some people prefer to play alone, most enjoy the social aspect of the game as well as the strategy involved in laying down a chain of tiles. For a more competitive edge, players can compete against other people in positional games, where each player in turn places a domino edge-to-edge against another so that the adjacent faces are either identical or form some specified total. These are the most common type of domino game.