Originally, dominos were a type of mask, but soon became a card game. This game was introduced to Britain in the late 18th century, presumably by French prisoners of war who had brought it with them. They are played by two to four players who take turns placing and linking pieces on the playing board. The player who has the least spots on the board wins.

To play, a player draws seven tiles from a deck. The tiles are arranged on a table, facing the table. The first tile is a double-six. This is the standard starting piece, and it has a line in the middle. The other seven tiles are drawn at random. The next player is tasked with placing a tile so that it fits one of the ends of the domino chain. It may be the right of 6-6, to the left of 6-6, or in between.

Each tile has a mark, which identifies it as belonging to a suit. The pips are used for matching purposes, and all tiles in a set with the same number of pips on one end are called doubles. The value of each piece is the sum of the points on both squares.

In most domino games, players take less than seven tiles at a time. Before the game begins, each player must agree on a target score. If a player does not reach the target, the other players must draw from the remaining tiles. They are not allowed to force moves.

The goal of a game is to make the tower as stable as possible. In order to do this, the muggins must link the tiles so that they form a line that is a multiple of five. If the tiles in a line are all right angles, they can form an “L.” This is called the Concentration variant. To play this version, the total pip count must be twelve. The second player is tasked with adding a tile to any line. If the muggins have not reached their target score, they must chip out. If a muggins has reached their target, they win.

The game was also popular in certain regions in order to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards. In these places, dominos were used to teach children counting and colours. They were also used as a way to teach fine motor skill and spatial awareness. They are often found in clubs around the world.

In the modern day, the game is most popular in Latin America. It is also widely played in the Caribbean. Many countries have domino tournaments that are held annually. They are considered to be the national game of many Caribbean countries.

The number of tiles in a domino set will vary according to the country, but most versions have 253 pieces. These tiles are usually dark hardwood such as ebony or ivory. The faces of these dominos are marked with an arrangement of pips.