Dominoes is the name of a class of games played with special cards or tiles that are placed to form some pattern on a table. The domino tiles themselves are tiles divided into two sections with some number of spots on each side. Originally these spots represented the throw of a pair of dice and had the values one through six on each side giving 21 tiles. European sets (and those derived from them such as the American set) include the blank (no spots) for 28 tiles (a double six set). The double nine set (zero to nine spots) has 55 tiles and is seen in England and North America. Double twelve (91 tiles) and double fifteen (136 tiles) sets are also found in North America.

Chinese dominoes differ slightly from western dominoes (and are closer to the original - dominoes originated in China). Chinese domino sets have the following properties:

  • No blanks
  • Spots on the 1s, 4s, and half the spots on the double six are red (reflecting the Chinese dice having red dots for ones and fours)
  • Eleven of the tiles are duplicated in a set (for a total of 32): 6:6, 1:1, 4:4, 3:1, 5:5, 3:3, 2:2, 6:5, 6:4, 6:1, 5:1

Played with European tiles

The Chinese domino games do not match that of the western games - no layout is built. Instead, the tiles serve the same purposes as cards and are more similar to card games such as:

Though not directly played with domino tiles, there are a number of games similar to these played with cards:

There are a few games played with western dominoes that do not involve placement as part of a layout, most notably Texas 42 and Moon.