Dominoes are a type of dice-like game where players lay down pieces of plastic or metal on a table to try to match their ends with other tiles. They can be played by two or more people and can be played in a single round, where the player who reaches a certain number of points wins the game.

The rules of dominoes are relatively simple and are similar to those of other block-and-draw games, such as chess or go. Each player draws seven dominoes for his hand and then plays from those. The player who drew the highest double or domino plays first, playing any domino he wishes from his hand. Then each player draws seven more for their hands, and a “boneyard” of the remaining dominoes is left behind to be drawn later if a player cannot play from his hand.

A domino is a rectangular tile, generally twice as long as wide. It has a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares, called ends, each of which has an arrangement of spots or pips. The number of pips on each end determines the piece’s value; for example, a tile with six pips on each end is called a “double” and can be matched with any other tile that has at least six pips on both ends.

Many domino sets include a wide range of different sizes. Most are double-six, where the pips on each end range from six to none, but larger sets are also common. Larger sets, such as the double-21 (253 pips) set, have a greater number of unique combinations of ends than traditional double-six sets.

One of the most interesting things about dominoes is that they can be used to teach young children about numbers and addition. For example, a six-sided domino has nine spots on each side. Turning the domino around and showing the spots to a child gives them an informal introduction to the commutative property of addition, which says that the order in which numbers are added does not alter the total number.

Another way dominoes can help children learn about numbers is by introducing them to the concept of doubles and blanks. When a double is paired with a blank, it can only be matched with other tiles that have either a double or blank on their ends. This makes it easier to learn the difference between the values of doubles and blanks, as a double is always more valuable than a blank.

Besides teaching kids about numbers, dominoes can be used to teach other concepts, such as probability and statistics. For example, dominoes can be used to predict the results of a dice roll.

They can also be used to teach about the law of conservation of momentum. The more dominoes there are in a circle, the more force is required to move them.

This is because each domino has a certain amount of inertia, or the tendency to resist motion when there is no outside force on it. However, a tiny nudge is enough to push the first domino past its tipping point and set off a chain reaction.