History of Dominoes: origin, popularization in the world and interesting facts

History of dominoes

In the article “History of Dominoes” we will tell a brief history of the origin and development of the logical game of dominoes. You will learn the features of the game and interesting facts.

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Very many people in the world are familiar with such a game as dominoes. Perhaps you are interested in the question: How did this wonderful game appear? We will try to answer this question.

The history of dominoes has its roots in the distant past. The earliest known mention of dominoes dates back to the Yuan Dynasty in China in the 1200s AD. But, some historians believe that the first dominoes were created in China in the III century BC.

Chinese cards are ancestors of dominoes
Chinese cards are ancestors of dominoes

Originally, dominoes were used in China to make astrological calculations and predict the future. However, over time, the game became a pastime. People enjoyed spending time making different combinations, trying to win against their opponents.

The traditional Chinese domino set consists of 32 chips and was designed to represent all possible combinations of two dice (dice), so there are no chips with empty sides.

In China, dominoes originally carried the name “Tools for Entertainment”. The game was based on the principle of combining the numbers on the chips, which could be applied to a variety of game scenarios. Over time, this variety of scenarios led to the emergence of many variations of dominoes, each with its own rules and specifics. For example, the game Mahjong, which became very popular in the 20th century.

Dominican monks
Dominican monks

Dominoes appeared in Europe in the 18th century thanks to Marco Polo, a traveler from Venice, and the first to appreciate the game were Dominican monks. Historians believe that the game was named “Dominoes” after the color of the winter clothes worn by Catholic priests. From French, Dominoes translates to “black and white.”

Naturally, the traditional Chinese game was modified in Italy to better fit Western culture. The European game set consisted of 28 chips, and each half of the chip had a number of points from 0 to 6 printed on it, and seven of them had a blank value.

From Italy, the game migrated to France, where it also became quite popular. At the end of the 18th century, with the help of French prisoners of war, dominoes appeared in Great Britain. The popularity of dominoes in Europe was so great that it was used even in casino card rooms as an additional entertainment for visitors.

In XIX-XX century in Russia dominoes became a folk game without exaggeration. People entertained themselves with it at leisure, spending long game sessions in the circle of friends or family. We especially remember this game thanks to backyard battles on cardboard or metal tables.

Yard domino in the USSR
Yard domino in the USSR

The game had its own peculiarities and principles, often accompanied by various traditions and rules. Over the years dominoes in Russia became not only a fun game, but also a sports game. Since 2003 dominoes in our country is considered to be a recognized sport.

Since 2003 the World Dominoes Championship has been held. The first such tournament was held in Cuba, and the honorary president was Juan Antonio Samaranch (former IOC president).

Today, there are more than 50 types of dominoes in Eastern countries. Both black and white and multicolored chips are used in the games, and each shade has its own meaning. And in the eastern variant adhere to the rules of traditional dominoes, where there are no chips with empty fields.

The most famous game in our country is “Goat”. From two to four players participate in this game battle. Each participant of the game gets 7 chips, well, and the one who is the first to score 101 points and is declared the “goat”, that is, the loser.

Amber dominoes
Amber dominoes

The classic goat has its more advanced modifications: “sea goat” and “general’s goat”. But these games are not just played, the “goat” is known to be slaughtered. Don’t like the domino goat, then you can choose the donkey. There is also “sausage” and English version of dominoes “marines”. The last variant is very intelligent, and it can’t be scored in any way wpml smile

In Holland every year since 1986 there was “Dominoes Day” with obligatory erection of fantastic constructions from chips. This day fell on different dates, but in recent years mainly in the middle of November. On dominoes days they organize competitions to build the longest possible chain of chips.

The last world record was set in 2009, when 4 million 491 863 chips (knuckles) fell in a chain reaction. For today the holiday “Dominoes Day” is suspended because of financial and organizational problems.

The domino game continues to evolve and attract new fans. With the development of technology, it became available in online format, offering players the opportunity to fight with opponents from all over the world.

Thus, the game of dominoes is an important part of humanity’s cultural heritage. For centuries, this game has not only entertained but also united people, helping them to develop tactical skills and logical thinking.

Brief history of Dominoes

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