Domino is a game where players try to place tiles edge to edge in such a way that the adjacent faces match, or form a specific total. It is a variant of the positional game of poker and is played by two people.
A domino (/dno/; also spelled “dominos” or “dominion”) is a rectangular tile bearing an identifying mark on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. The identity-bearing side is divided by a line into two squares, each of which has spots or “pips,” like those used on dice. The value of each side is either a number of pips, or nothing at all. The most common traditional sets of dominoes have one tile for each possible number of pips, from six to none or blank, but other sizes are available.
In games, players may choose to shuffle their dominoes before play, allowing them to avoid knowing the location of a particular tile. In addition, some dominoes have a blank or “wild” side that cannot be matched with another tile. The empty or “wild” side may be affixed with a different number of pips or a symbol or other marking, depending on the game.
Some traditional dominoes have a line down the middle, which divides them into two squares, called ends. Some also have a number of pips, like dice or playing cards. These are typically called “double-six” dominoes, which are also referred to as “heavy” or “light” dominoes.
Other traditional sets of dominoes, such as the ones commonly seen in casinos and bars, have a different set of rules and features. These games, such as the “cross” game or the “double-cross” game, differ in that a player’s first doublet must be played against all four of the opposing players’ doublets. This requires dominoes that have been sleeping for a while to be played, which adds some time to the game.
The domino effect, or the cascading effect that happens when a domino is knocked over, has inspired many creative uses in other cultures, including figurative uses, such as in fiction. This use of the domino effect is a key lesson for writers: If you want to create a story that’s compelling, you need to think about how the action in your story leads to other actions.
This idea is especially important for authors who want to create an emotionally involving story. For instance, if your story has a strong female protagonist, you need to make sure that she’s a powerful leader who has the ability to inspire other characters. The domino effect can help you get there by allowing you to use the cascading effect that happens when dominoes are knocked over to show off your character’s strengths.
You can even create an incredible domino display at home. The trick is to set up the dominoes correctly so that they all fall down in a row when you flick the first one over.
Lily Hevesh started tinkering with dominoes at age 9, and now she’s a professional domino artist who has created spectacular installations for movies, TV shows, and events. She also runs her own YouTube channel, Hevesh5, with more than 2 million subscribers.