hist-games: Dominos

MCKAY_MICHAEL at tandem.com MCKAY_MICHAEL at tandem.com
Mon Oct 27 10:11:00 PST 1997

   The history of Dominos leads to some interesting questions of definition.
Generaly, what I think of as Dominos is a set of 36 tiles which has all the
possible results of rolling two six-sided dice (1-1, 1-2, ... 6-6).  In this
form, they were known in China approx 1000 AD (exact dates and cites are at
home).  I'm not aware of any dominos in Europe prior to the 18th century.
   Of course playing-cards and dominos share a close history in China (even to
this day most Chinnese domino games are more like playing card games than like
Western style positional domino games).  And we do know of European playing
cards that were "tile like" (thinking of the Welsh playing-card constructed out
of slate).  But I'm not aware of any evidence to say that Dominos were used in
   For purposes of the FAQ, it would probably be best to find the earliest
solid Chinnese and European references/dates for Dominos.  I'm pretty sure I
have some solid dates for the Chinnese occurances (either in Dummett's "Game of
Tarot" or the Piatnik companion book for the "Cloisters" deck).  Anyone care to
tackle the Eurpoean one?

Michael McKay  (known in the SCA as Seaan McAy)

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