Dominoes are cousins of playing cards and a fascinating tool for games of skill and patience. Their earliest forms were Chinese, but the European domino sets that are now common use seven extra pieces to represent the results of rolling two six-sided dice and one blank (zero). Today’s Dominoes can be made of many different materials and are available in an almost infinite number of designs. Some are even made of crystal.

Stacking them up on their ends in long lines allows people to play a variety of domino games. Some, such as the classic game of jacks, involve simply knocking over all of the dominoes in the line before you. Others involve setting up elaborate patterns and then carefully tying them together in sequence that will result in the desired outcome. Dominoes can also be used in artistic displays. Professional domino builders create amazing scenes that can take several nail-biting minutes to complete.

When a player can no longer play a domino, he or she will usually “chip out” by putting it down edge-to-edge with another piece. The other player then takes the piece that was laying before it, or a new domino of the same type, and plays with that one. The game continues until a player cannot continue, or reaches some other limit set by the rules of the game.

In addition to blocking, scoring and patterning games, dominoes can be used for solitaire or trick-taking games. These adaptations of traditional card games often took advantage of religious prohibitions against the playing of cards, and they helped to popularize dominoes in areas where they could be played.

Many children like to play with dominoes as a simple toy, and they enjoy arranging them in interesting shapes and lines. The most complex domino designs, which may include entire lines of hundreds or thousands of dominoes that can be toppled with the nudge of just one, are often created for shows where builders compete to see who can create the most imaginative domino effect or reaction before a live audience.

Although dominoes are most commonly made of plastics, they can also be made of woods (e.g., ebony or black walnut), metals (e.g., brass or pewter), ceramic clay, and various types of stone. Traditionally, European dominoes were sometimes inlaid with ivory or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, but modern sets can be manufactured from a variety of synthetic materials.

In the 1960s, Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan turned the company into a successful franchise by placing pizza restaurants in locations that were convenient for his core customers. This strategy, combined with his emphasis on fast delivery, fueled the company’s rapid growth from its humble beginnings in Ypsilanti. In order to maintain this momentum, Domino’s has remained committed to its core values. This includes listening to its employees, and focusing on leadership rather than management. By keeping its leadership style close to that of the customers, Domino’s is able to quickly respond to customer complaints and issues.