What is Domino?

Domino is a game that can be as simple or complex as you choose. You can play it with just a few domino pieces or a large group of people, including the whole family. It is also an excellent team-building activity. In fact, many people compete to create the most impressive domino chain reaction and effect before an audience of spectators in a Domino show.

A domino is a square tile with a pattern of pips or dots on its surface. Each domino has a unique pattern of spots on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The spots are not random; they represent the numbers one to six on a standard six-sided dice.

There are more than 100 different kinds of domino games. Some are blocking and scoring games; others involve skill and strategy, such as trick-taking or solitaire. The rules of each game differ, but most require the first domino played to set off a chain reaction that causes more and more tiles to be laid. Then the players try to prevent these tiles from falling in a manner that wins them the game.

The word domino derives from the Latin for crown, and it is believed that the first dominoes were used as a kind of crowning achievement for winners of sporting events and other competitions. The term was eventually extended to refer to the entire sequence of a winning domino chain. The domino was originally made of ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on the face of each piece.

Dominoes are usually made of wood or polymers, but some are still available in natural materials. These sets are often more expensive, but they have a distinctive look and feel. Some are made of marble, granite or soapstone; other types of stones; metals such as brass or pewter; or ceramic clay.

When you’re playing domino, there are two ways to determine who will make the first play: draw lots or begin the game with the player with the heaviest domino in their hand. If there is a tie, it can be broken by drawing new dominoes from the stock and beginning the game with the player with the heaviest tile again.

In some games, the player must play a tile to a double before any other tile can be placed on that double. Then the next tile is played crosswise over that double, and so on, to form a snake-line of dominoes. If the next tile must be played to a domino with the same number of matching ends, it must be placed perpendicularly across that domino from the double.

A domino chain must be well spaced if it is to work properly. This is true of stories, too. A story needs dominoes that advance the story’s action, but it is also important that they not be too long (heavy on details or minutiae) or too short (the reader will lose interest before the next scene comes along). The right pace is essential to the success of any Domino effect.