Domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, marked on both sides with dots that resemble those on dice. The number of dots on a domino is significant because it defines the value of a single piece in a set and determines what other pieces can be played with it.
Dominos are often used to play games that involve knocking down a series of pieces in a row. The pieces are normally arranged on a flat surface such as a table, and each player takes turn placing one domino over another, positioning it so that its matching ends are adjacent (unless the tile is a double). The end of a domino to which a new tile is played must also match. The resulting chain is called a domino chain or a Domino effect.
The most common set of dominoes contains 28 tiles, although larger sets are sometimes available that contain up to 91 tiles. In addition to traditional dominoes, some people use the pieces in a variety of other ways. For example, they may be used to build structures such as houses or bridges. Others create mind-blowing domino setups that are designed to impress friends or spectators.
When a domino falls, most of its potential energy converts to kinetic energy. This energy passes from the falling domino to the next domino in the chain, giving it a push. The process continues until all of the dominoes have fallen.
Dominoes are generally twice as long as they are wide, which makes them easier to stack and re-stack after use. Each domino has a line in the middle that divides it visually into two squares, called ends. The value of each end is defined by the number of dots, or pips, on that side. A domino with more pips has a higher value than a domino with fewer pips. A double has six pips on both ends and thus is the most valuable domino.
Besides the obvious, the way that a domino is positioned on the board is important for its value. A domino with a blank side is not useful because it cannot be matched to any other tile with a value, so it is called a wild domino. In some games, players make blanks “wild” and ascribe them any value they wish.
When Hevesh designs a domino setup, she follows a version of the engineering-design process that she calls “The Domino Method.” This involves testing each section of the installation in slow motion to ensure that it works. She then moves on to the final arrangement. The process allows her to work on each element without risking damage to the whole structure. Hevesh uses a variety of tools, including a drill press, radial arm saw, belt sander, and welder, to create her elaborate installations. Using these tools requires skill and precision, but it doesn’t require expensive computer controlled equipment.