Unlike playing cards, dominoes can be played by more than one player, and they are used for a variety of games. They are typically played in pairs. The player who reaches a target score wins the game. The goal is to reach a certain number of points, and to play the most dominoes in their hand. Players take turns drawing dominoes from a stock of stock, and then playing them.

The game was first played in China around the 1300s, but was only introduced in Europe in the early 18th century. Traditionally, dominoes were made of dark hardwood such as ebony, ivory, or mother of pearl oyster shell. In the late 18th century, the game spread to France and Britain. French prisoners of war used cattle and sheep bone to make dominoes. These pieces were then adorned with ivory faces and white pips.

The game began to spread in Europe, and by the 1860s they were popular in the United States and Latin America. In addition to being played by two players, dominoes could be played by three, four, or six players. The simplest variant is a Block game, which is played by two players with a double-six set. The first tile played is usually a double-six. The second is a 6-3, the third is a 5-6, and the fourth is a 5-5.

Dominoes can be played with any number of pips. In games that allow all four sides of a double to be open, the total of all pips on the face of the double is used to determine if the player scores. In games that allow the two ends of a double to be perpendicular to the line, the double is counted as one or two pips. The player who plays a domino with the same number on both ends is said to have “stitched up” the ends.

There are also European dominoes that are blank-blank (0-0) and a double-nine set. They differ from the Chinese dominoes in that the Europeans don’t use suit distinctions. They are also usually made of dark hardwood such as ebony, as opposed to ivory.

When playing the game, the player must place a domino so that one end of the domino is touching one of the edges of the domino chain. If the player doesn’t have any dominoes in their hand, they must draw from the remaining tiles in their hand. If they are missing a domino, they must play the one with the number on one of the ends.

Before the game begins, each player decides on a target score. For example, in the Western game, 42, the target is usually 35 points, with the additional seven tricks adding another 7 points to the score. Players take turns drawing dominoes, and the winner is the player who reaches their target score first. In some versions, both players have to chip out their dominoes to win.

Western dominoes were traditionally made of ivory or bone for the rich, while European dominoes were made of dark hardwood or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell. In the early 19th century, craftsmen used animal bones to make dominoes, but abandoned them in favor of bone material. By the late 19th century, craftsmen turned to tinplate domino needs. These dominos were often tagged with other businesses’ advertising.