hist-games: Dominos

Christian Joachim Hartmann lukian at Null.net
Tue Oct 28 00:52:14 PST 1997

At 10:11 27.10.1997 -0800, MCKAY_MICHAEL at tandem.com wrote:

>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

Why 36?
The "symmetrical" combinations of e.g. 3-1 vs. 1-3 are 
represented only once on a domino-set.

Of course, it's necessary to point out that dominoes were known in China
way before they appeared in Europe.
But he supposed "basic" form of all combinations of two 6-sided dice
would be of 21 dominoes. Today's Chinese dominoes have
those 21 combinations with doublets of 11 of them, adding up to 32
European dominoes have had since their fist appearance in
the 18th century "nils" as well as ones to sixes.
Thus, the European dominoes are showing all the combinations
of two hypothetical seven-sided dice with 0 to 6, being 28 in number.

If there'll be an FAQ-description of dominoes, I think one should
include that the Chinese dominoes - though basically the same as ours -
do not include that nil-combination and are therefore closer to their
origin: the die.

Q.: Has anybody seen a set of Chinese domino-pieces (not domino-
cards!) without the doublets of those 11 stones?
Q.: Has there ever been a European domino-set without the "nils"?

**       Christian Joachim Hartmann 
**       lukian at Null.net
**       christian.hartmann at uni-duesseldorf.de

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