Game Tables Tile Racks Storage Boxes Score Sheets Cribbage Boards Score Keepers Chips Markers and Pucks Dice Doubling Cube Playing cards with Domino Markings Magnetic Domino Sets
The most popular type of play are layout games, which fall into two main categories, blocking games and scoring games. Most domino games are blocking games, i.e. the objective is to empty one's hand while blocking the opponent's. In the end, a score may be determined by counting the pips in the losing players' hands. In scoring games the scoring is different and happens mostly during game play, making it the principal objective.
Dominoes (or dominos) is a game played with rectangular "domino" tiles. The domino gaming pieces make up a domino set, sometimes called a deck or pack. The traditional Sino-European domino set consists of 28 dominoes, colloquially nicknamed bones, cards, tiles, tickets, stones, or spinners. Each domino is a rectangular tile with a line dividing its face into two square ends. Each end is marked with a number of spots (also called pips, nips, or dobs) or is blank. The backs of the dominoes in a set are indistinguishable, either blank or having some common design. A domino set is a generic gaming device, similar to playing cards or dice, in that a variety of games can be played with a set. The earliest mention of dominoes is from Song dynasty China, found in the text Former Events in Wulin. Dominoes first appeared in Italy during the 18th century, and although it is unknown how Chinese dominoes developed into the modern game, it is speculated that Italian missionaries in China may have brought the game to Europe. The name "domino" is from the resemblance to a kind of hood worn during the Venice carnival
The oldest confirmed written mention of dominoes in China comes from the Former Events in Wulin (i.e. the capital Hangzhou) written by the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) author Zhou Mi (1232–1298), who listed "pupai" (gambling plaques or dominoes) as well as dice as items sold by peddlers during the reign of Emperor Xiaozong of Song (r. 1162–1189). Andrew Lo asserts that Zhou Mi meant dominoes when referring to pupai, since the Ming author Lu Rong (1436–1494) explicitly defined pupai as dominoes (in regards to a story of a suitor who won a maiden's hand by drawing out four winning pupai from a set). The earliest known manual written about dominoes is the «????»(Manual of the Xuanhe Period) written by Qu You (1341–1437). But some Chinese scholars believe this manual is a forgery from a later time. In the Encyclopedia of a Myriad of Treasures, Zhang Pu (1602–1641) described the game of laying out dominoes as pupai, although the character for pu had changed, yet retained the same pronunciation. Traditional Chinese domino games include Tien Gow, Pai Gow, Che Deng, and others. The thirty-two-piece Chinese domino set, made to represent each possible face of two thrown dice and thus have no blank faces, differs from the twenty-eight-piece domino set found in the West during the mid 18th century. Many different domino sets have been used for centuries in various parts of the world to play a variety of domino games. Each domino originally represented one of the 21 results of throwing two 6-sided dice (2d6). One half of each domino is set with the pips from one die and the other half contains the pips from the second die. Chinese sets also introduce duplicates of some throws and divide the dominoes into two classes: military and civil. Chinese dominoes are also longer than typical European dominoes. The early 18th century witnessed dominoes making their way to Europe, making their first appearance in Italy. The game changed somewhat in the translation from Chinese to the European culture. European domino sets contain neither class distinctions nor the duplicates that went with them. Instead, European sets contain seven additional dominoes, with six of these representing the values that result from throwing a single die with the other half of the tile left blank, and the seventh domino representing the blank-blank (0–0) combination. Ivory Dominoes were routinely used in 19th century rural England in the settling of disputes over traditional grazing boundaries, and were commonly referred to as "bonesticks" (see Hartley, Land Law in West Lancashire in the mid- 19th Century, Farm Gazette, March 1984).