The History of Dominoes

Gambling Apr 12, 2024

A domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as a gaming object. Variously called bones, pieces, men, or cards, it is usually made of rigid material such as bone or wood. One side of the domino is blank, while the other bears from one to six pips or dots. A complete set consists of 28 such pieces. In the game of domino, players move the pieces around to create chains by matching their ends and laying them down in lines or angular patterns. Dominoes can also be stacked to form 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

Originally, domino was the Latin word for “master.” The name is now more often used in English as a noun to refer to a variety of games played with such pieces or with a set of rules that governs how they are laid down. There are many variations of these games, which may be as simple as placing a single tile in front of a stack so that it becomes the first to fall, or more complex. The game can even be used to make artistic designs by arranging the pieces into straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and stacked walls.

The earliest records of dominoes date from the fourteenth century, although they were probably invented much earlier. A chinese document of 1120 CE, the Chu sz yam (Investigations on the Traditions of All Things), stated that dominoes were invented by a statesman and presented to the Emperor Hui Tsung. Several scholars, however, have argued that the document refers to standardization of the game and is not evidence of its actual invention.

Most dominoes have a line in the center to divide them visually into two squares, each bearing an arrangement of spots or pips. The total value of the pips on each end determines its rank; the higher the rank, the more valuable the domino. The blank or “no pips” side of a domino is also sometimes given a rank, depending on the game being played.

Modern domino sets are normally made of polymer materials, such as plastics and resins, but have been manufactured from a wide range of natural materials: bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwoods such as ebony. The pips may be painted or inlaid, or they can be raised above the surface by a coating of metallic paint.

In addition to the obvious fun of constructing and playing with dominoes, they have become important tools for educational and therapeutic applications. For example, teachers use them to introduce basic arithmetic and counting skills; psychologists have found that dominoes can be helpful in treating depression and other psychological disorders.

Dominoes are also used to teach social skills and to help children learn how to cooperate and play as part of a group. They are also important in developing motor skills, particularly hand-eye coordination. In addition, dominoes can help children develop concentration and focus, a necessary skill in reading and learning.

By admin