A domino is a small, rectangular block displaying either a single, double or triple row of dots called pips. A domino has two ends with different values: one end is marked with a number from six to zero, the other with a blank or no pips. The total value of both sides is a domino’s rank or weight.
A player may only play a tile onto the board that shows a matching value on its other end. Each subsequent tile placed must touch that matching end in a way that does not leave an open space between the tiles. The result is a chain of dominoes that gradually increases in length. A player may also place a domino diagonally, or in an “L” shape to increase the number of connecting sides.
Domino is a popular game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and abilities. The goal is to score points by laying down pieces of the domino set side-by-side. Each domino has a value, or rank, indicated by the number of pips on its ends. A piece with a total of five pips on both ends is considered a spinner, which may be used to add additional points to a line of play.
As a rule, each domino is twice as long as it is wide and features a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares. Each of the two squares may be marked with a value ranging from six to zero pips, or blank, while the total value of both sides is a domino’s ranking or weight. The higher the ranking, the more valuable the domino is.
Domino has many variants, and is played with a variety of rules and scoring systems. Some games allow players to score points by placing their dominoes in a line and then touching each other, forming a “chain” of pieces with matching values on their exposed ends. Other games are based on blocking or scoring the total number of dominoes left in a player’s hand.
In addition to the fun and entertainment that can be gained from domino, the game is also useful as a teaching tool to teach basic mathematics and logic. Students can also use it to practice sequencing and pattern recognition skills, as well as fine motor skills.
For many, the most impressive aspect of a domino setup is its ability to generate a chain reaction that causes the entire arrangement to topple with a simple nudge. Some domino artists, like the aforementioned Hevesh, have created incredible displays that take several nail-biting minutes to fall. Hevesh credits a particular physical phenomenon for this effect: gravity.
When a domino is set up and standing upright, it stores energy as potential energy by lifting against the force of gravity. When a domino is then knocked over, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy and transferred to the next domino. This transformation is what creates the “domino effect,” as it’s known in science.