Often played with two dice, dominoes are small rectangular blocks that are used to play various games. They are also cousins of playing cards, and can be used for tests of skill and patience. They come in many different colors and sizes, and can be made of bone, wood, or plastic.

Dominoes are usually marked with a pattern of spots on one side. The dots represent the results of throwing two dice. In some cases, the dots are blank. In other cases, the dots represent a combination of blank and blank (also called blank-blank or 0-0). In other cases, the dots represent a number or number pattern. For example, a number 1 on the right end of a domino means that it has one or more pips. The number on the left end of a domino means that it is a double.

A domino is often made of ivory, bone, or ebony. It can also be made of plastic or other rigid material. They are traditionally two inches long and three quarters of an inch wide. They come in sets of seven, eight, or twelve tiles. The set is usually double-six. However, it can also be double-12. A double-12 set contains 91 tiles, and a double-18 set contains 190 tiles.

Dominoes are usually played in pairs, and each player has a hand of dominoes. Players take turns selecting dominoes from stock. The winner of the hand draws the first domino. Each player then draws seven tiles from the double-six set. The remaining tiles are left out for the next player to draw.

Players can place dominoes in any direction, although most games require them to be laid edge-to-edge. They are also used in other games, such as Mexican train and chicken foot. In some versions, the tiles are joined to all four sides. In other versions, the tiles are joined only to the long side of a double. Depending on the rules of the game, the open ends of a double may be considered open, or they may be considered closed.

The double-six set is the most commonly used set. It contains seven tiles, each of which is two inches long and one inch wide. It is often used in long games, or in games with many players. Several new and popular party games are designed to be played with a larger set of dominoes. These include the Block game, Matador, and Mexican train. The winner’s score is equal to the total number of pips remaining in the losing player’s hand.

Some games require players to match the numbers on two different ends of the domino. If a player plays a domino that has the same number on both ends, it is said to be “stitched up.” Some domino games also require that both players chip out the pieces.

The European style of dominoes is traditionally made of dark hardwood, such as ebony. They lack Chinese suit distinctions. They are also traditionally made of ivory, bone, and mother of pearl oyster shell.