Domino (also dominoes) is a game played with a set of twenty-eight flat, oblong pieces of ivory, bone, or wood, each with a rectangular front, plain on one side and bearing an arrangement of dots, like those on dice, on the other. Each domino is identified by its own number of pips, but the pips on each domino vary in pattern between different sets of dominoes. A player may only play a domino that matches the number of pips on one end with the number on the other. If the player does not have a matching domino, they must “pass” and wait until someone else plays.
Each time a domino is laid, it triggers the dominoes in its immediate vicinity to tip over. The chain continues until all of the dominoes have fallen, revealing a series of numbers, words, or other patterns. Dominos can be arranged in a line, a grid, or other shapes, and are also used to create more complex designs, such as sculptures. The game is a popular pastime, with many children playing it as well as adults. Domino is often referred to as “the arithmetic game,” since it requires a certain amount of skill, concentration, and attention.
Domino has been used in many forms of literature and art. It is the basis for the phrase “domino effect,” which refers to a situation in which one event, such as a terrorist attack, leads to other events that have similar effects. The phrase also appears in several popular movies, including The Godfather, and is the name of a board game.
Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes when she was nine years old. Her grandparents had the classic 28-piece set, and she loved setting them up in straight or curved lines, flicking the first domino, and watching the entire line fall. She continued to collect them, and eventually began creating her own domino creations. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, now has more than 2 million subscribers, and she’s created spectacular domino setups for movies and TV shows.
A domino can be used to teach basic arithmetic, as in counting the number of pips on each end of a domino. It can also be used to build basic skills of visual observation, such as the ability to match up the pips on the two ends of a domino in order to determine its number.
Some games of domino require players to take turns placing tiles on the table. The game ends when one player cannot place a tile, or is forced to pass due to an opponent’s play. The winners are the partners whose combined total of all the spots on their remaining dominoes is the lowest. Other games, such as the Block game, require the player to lay a domino that has a number matching that of a tile on the other side of the table.
Dominoes are also used to play other types of games, such as solitaire and trick-taking games. These adaptations of card games were once popular in areas where religious proscriptions prohibited the use of cards. The most common games of domino are blocking and scoring, although many other variations exist. Some of these games are variants of other games such as solitaire or bridge, and others are designed to circumvent religious proscriptions against the playing of cards.