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Western Dominoes

Photo by 90412460@N00 / CC BY

Chinese Dominoes called Pai Gow

Photo by rantingfan / CC BY

Playing Dominoes

Photo by debschultz / CC BY





OTHER NAMES: Tien Gow, Pai Gow (in Chinese)


Dominoes is a tile game played with two or more people. Traditional Domino set consists of 28 rectangular tiles, each tile with a line dividing the face of the tile into two squares, and each square is marked with number of spots or blank.



Dominoes first appeared in Chinese writings dated back to the Song Dynasty in the 12th century, and it was first designed to represent all the possible roll with a pair of dice. (1) Taditional dominoes are generally made out of bone or ivory with ebony pips. (2) A set of tiles is divided into two categories of military and civilian, where civilian tiles have duplicates while the military tiles are unique. (3)


Western Dominoes appeared in recorded history around the mid-18th century in Italy and France. Through war, the game was carried into England as well. (4) The Western Dominoes has few differences in terms of design variation, and thus lead many to question a separate origin from the East Asian Dominoes.



The most basic Western games are the block-and-draw games for two to four players. The Dominoes are shuffled face down on the table. Players draw for the lead, which is won by the “heaviest” piece (the one with the highest total pip count); each player then draws at random the number of pieces required for the game, usually seven. The pieces left behind are called the stock or, in the United States, the bone yard. (4)



Domino games are one of the most popular games around the world, and it is very popular in Latin America where the game is upheld as the national game of many Caribbean countries. (1)


Game box for playing Senet

Photo by ddenisen / CC BY

The origin of games is one of the oldest human civilization lineage, spanning over millenniums of development to date. From archaeological evidence traditional games is one of the fundamental aspect of life in the ancient world, and is paramount to the development of social culture and military strategies. Many of these games became modern day family fun for holidays and occasions to enjoy.

Family Playing Boardgame Together

Photo by krisnfred / CC BY




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