Dominoes are small rectangular pieces used in games and puzzles. They are made of a number of different materials, but typically are made from dark hardwood such as ebony or ivory.

The term “domino” comes from the Latin word dominus, which means “mask”. It was initially used to refer to a hooded masquerade costume, but eventually became a name for a type of mask. In later centuries, it came to mean a type of playing card or a game.

To play a domino game, players draw a number of tiles from a set and place them on a table. Typically, the first player will decide which tile to play and lay it face-up in the middle of the table. Depending on the version of the game, other players may see the value of the tile.

The next player is given a tile that will match one of the ends of the domino that the first player chose. The player must then place the tile so that it will contact one of the two ends of the domino. If a domino has the same number on both ends, the player has “stitched up” the end of the domino. This is said to be a winning move.

There are several different types of domino games, but the main objective of most is to score the most points. Some versions of the game require that both players chip out, while other versions let the first player to put down all of the tiles win.

Dominoes were first played in France shortly after 1750. By the mid-18th century, they had been brought to England by French prisoners of war. Eventually, American literature began to adopt domino variants.

Most domino sets come in sets of double or single nine. These sets contain 55 or 91 tiles, respectively. Other sets have two or three dozen tiles. A single tile in these sets will belong to either the suit of zero or the suit of threes. While most dominos are about 2 inches wide, they can also be about 3/8 of an inch.

Some types of dominoes have a line running down the middle. When a tile is placed on the table, it is usually marked with the numbers on each side. Traditionally, European dominoes are made from dark hardwoods such as ebony or ivory. However, some more contemporary versions are manufactured from plastic or wood.

Most dominos are shuffled before the game begins. Before a game begins, the number of players is determined. Typically, the player with the heaviest hand will be the first to pick out a domino. Players then take turns placing tiles on the table, starting with the first player.

The first player to play a domino is the winner, though the outcome is often determined by luck. Sometimes, a domino will tip over and fall, which can result in the next domino falling. Finally, when the tower falls, the game is over.