Meaning of DOMINOES in English

game played with small, rectangular blocks of wood or other material, each identified by a number of dots, or pips, on its face. The blocks usually are called bones, dominoes, or pieces and sometimes men, stones, or even cards. The face of each piece is divided, by a line or ridge, into two squares, each of which is marked as would be a pair of dice, except that some squares are blank (indicated in the listing below by a zero). The usual set consists of 28 pieces, marked respectively: 6-6 (double six), 6-5, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1, 6-0, 5-5, 5-4, 5-3, 5-2, 5-1, 5-0, 4-4, 4-3, 4-2, 4-1, 4-0, 3-3, 3-2, 3-1, 3-0, 2-2, 2-1, 2-0, 1-1, 1-0, 0-0. Some sets run up to 9-9 and others as high as 12-12. Any group of pieces having a common end number constitutes a suit, doublets belonging to one suit each and all other pieces to two suits. Of two bones, the one bearing the greater number of dots is called the heavier, the other the lighter. Dominoes in China date perhaps to the 12th century AD. They apparently were designed to represent all possible throws with two dice, for Chinese dominoes (which they called dotted cards) have no blank faces. Western dominoes probably were not derived from the Chinese. There is no record of them before the mid-18th century in Italy and France. Apparently they were introduced into England by French prisoners toward the end of the 18th century. The North American Eskimos also play a domino-like game, using sets consisting of as many as 148 pieces. The principle in nearly all modern dominoes games is to match one end of a piece to another that is identically or reciprocally numbered. Most basic are the block and draw games for two to four players. The dominoes are shuffled face downward on the table. Players draw for the lead, which is won by the heaviest piece; each player then draws at random the number of pieces required for the game, usually seven. The bones left behind are called the boneyard (U.S.), or stock. The leader plays first, generally playing his highest domino (since at the end the player with the fewest pips wins). By some rules, a player, after playing a double, may play another bone that matches it; e.g., if a double six is played, another bone that has a six at one end may be played. The second player has to match the leader's pose, or play, by putting one of his bones in juxtaposition at one end. Doublets are placed cheval (crosswise). If a player cannot match, he says go and his opponent plays, unless the draw gamethe usual gameis being played, in which case the player who cannot match draws from the stock until he finds a bone that matches. If a player succeeds in posing all his bones, he calls Domino! and wins the hand, scoring as many points as there are pips on the bones still held by his opponent. If neither player can match, that player wins who has the fewest pips left in his hand, and he scores as many points as are left in the two hands combined (sometimes only the excess held by his opponent). Game may be set at 50 or 100 points. There are a number of variations on the game, including domino whist; matador, the object of which is not to match the end number but to pose a number that, when added to an end, will make seven; and muggins, in which the object is to make the sum of the open-end pips on the layout a multiple of five.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.