Dominoes: The Game of Kings

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 15th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Games>Family

Dominoes is a popular board game which has its roots in ancient times. It is known as the game of kings

Basra, Iraq

Matt and I are a very quiet couple, we do enjoy a nice meal together in or out, we go to the synagogue and we take in an art show now and then. Matt is an accountant and he is a painter as well. While I am a writer and researcher, our talents to blend together well and enhance our time together. However we do have slightly different tastes when it comes to games, I am crazy over scrabble. I used to play it all weekend with a friend years back when I was able to get around easier, and he loves asnef, (sorry I don't know how to spell it). Basically it is a game of dominoes played in his homeland of Iraq.

Dominoes is an ancient game

Matt tells me when he was growing up you would see all the men playing this game in the cafes and the strategy and the stakes could be quite high. I can just imagine the men in their Arabic headdress smoking the long pipe, (Hookah, ghelyan, or narghile,) and intensely playing this game. With me it is rather fast and he always wins. Even when his son comes over to play he may also win but I am totally a loser at the game.

Perhaps it is a game that must be played from childhood to master. Dominoes have been a popular game of Kings for centuries. The oldest known set was found in the ruins of Thebes, in Egypt and was found in Tutankhamen's tomb dating back to 1355 B.C. It is now displayed in the King Tutankhamen's Museum, Cairo, Egypt.

A 32-piece set was also dated back to China in around 1100 AD. It was quite popular in the East before it made its way to the Western world. The game of dominoes was in France and Italy in the 18th century moving on to England and eventually becoming popular in America. President Lyndon B. Johnson was a domino player. He enjoyed the game with his Texan friends. However, not much is really known about the origins of this game of princes and kings. Historians believe that the games name was derived from 'dominus', Latin for "master or lord."

Dominoes a family game

Dominoes were originally made from wood and bone carvings. Today they are black tiles with dots resembling dice but more rectangular and flatter. There are several varieties of dominoes played all over the world, like Matt's Asnef, and Chinese dominoes, but in Western countries, we tend to have smaller sets with just 28 tiles but we do have variations of games to choose from.

Dominoes is a mathematical game and math has never been my forte. I wish I could explain the game of Asnef to you or any domino game for that matter but I am such a lousy player I do not want to turn you into one as well. Get the game read the rules and have fun, is the best advice that I can offer.

As for Matt, he may not be a king, or even a president, but he is certainly the king of dominoes in our house.

All photos are taken from the public domain

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Basra, Dominoes, Hookah, Iraq, Iraqi Cafe, Narghile, Water Pipe

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Retired
16th May 2015 (#)

Oscar Wilds once said that it was not true that he had never played outdoor games - he loved playing dominoes in pavement cafes in Paris!

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
17th May 2015 (#)

Carol, great article as always. Thanks for the lesson on Dominoes.

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