Dominos, also spelled "Dominoes" is a game in which players match up mathematical tiles to create shapes and rectangles on a tabletop. Many dominoes are made from ivory or bone, though dark hardwood is now used for a lot of dominoes sets since it is considered more humane. Some inexpensive sets are made from plastic or softer woods. Each domino is an oblong shape with a length that is twice its width, and has a certain number of dots on each end.
Dominoes are thought to have originated in China, and they came to Europe in the 1700's. Europeans changed the game slightly, adding more pieces to the game and adding pieces with zero dots. There is one domino in the European style of the game that has two blank sides. Between one and six dots are found on the ends of the other pieces.
In a basic game of dominoes, players place the dominoes face down and each of two players choose seven dominoes from the stack. They take turns laying down tiles one at a time. Each domino must lay touching a domino with the same number of dots on the touching end. If a player cannot lay down a domino, he or she takes one of the remaining dominoes from the pile and continues to draw from the pile he
or she draws a domino that matches one that is in play. The game is won by the player who lays down his or her last tile first. Alternatively, if one player is not able to lay down another domino, his or her opponent wins the game.
For those who have a true passion for the game, there are many professional and competitive amateur dominoes matches. The International Federation of Dominoes organizes international competitions around the world.