Dominoes are a type of game that is played with a set of tiles. These are typically twice as long as they are wide and have a line in the middle to divide them into two squares, each of which is marked with an arrangement of spots, or pips, like those used on a die. The values of the pips can range from six pips to none or blank.

The most common domino variants are positional games, in which each player places a domino edge to edge against another. These can be played in a variety of different ways and are often classified into blocking games and scoring games.

In a typical game, each player begins with a hand of 28 tiles. The tiles are then shuffled face down and formed into a stock or boneyard. Each player then draws seven tiles from the stock, and the stock is discarded once all the tiles are drawn.

Unlike playing cards, which can have either blank or identically patterned faces, dominoes must be able to represent the 21 possible outcomes of throwing two six-sided dice. This is why Chinese dominoes have no blank faces, but Western ones are patterned with a range of pips and often contain the number six as the value on each side.

Most European domino sets are made from a variety of materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory, and dark hardwood such as ebony. Some have contrasting pips painted on them or inlaid into the wood.

There are many different types of domino games, ranging from simple positional play to trick-taking and solitaire games. Some of them are adaptations of card games, while others feature a different character or theme.

Some people even make their own dominoes! They can be a great way to pass the time, and a good way to keep your kids occupied.

While the majority of domino games involve positioning dominos edge to edge, there are also several tiling and tying domino variants that are popular. These are often played with a double-six set and feature tiles with an array of colors.

In the tiling game Concentration, for example, players must create a safe partial tiling of the tree by laying down a single tile from each suit, starting with the fours and working downwards. To do this, each tile must be able to appear exactly once in the tree and have no empty spaces.

The game can also be played with multiple players using a large number of tiles. In a game with multiple players, each player draws seven tiles from a separate stock and forms a new hand of tiles every time the draw process is completed.

This can be a fun way to spend time with friends and family, but it can also lead to serious consequences if the tiles are not placed carefully. This is why safety distances for domino installation and maintenance are so important.