Dominoes are small rectangular blocks used in a game to line up end to end in long rows and then knock over. When the first domino is tipped over, it triggers a chain reaction that causes all the others to tip as well, and so on. This type of game is very popular among children, and the resulting lines of falling dominoes can be used to create elaborate designs. In business, the term domino effect is a metaphor for something that has a large influence on a larger system or organization. It’s commonly used in business to describe a series of events that begin with one small action and have much larger—and often unexpected—consequences.
The word domino itself traces back to Latin and is related to a game in which players try to outwit their opponents by placing pieces edge to edge so that their total value forms some specified number. The game, like the word itself, has become widely accepted in Western culture and is still played today.
A domino is a small rectangular piece of wood or plastic, about twice as long as it is wide. One face of each domino is numbered, while the other is blank or patterned with an arrangement of dots that resemble those on a die. Dominoes are sometimes also called bones, cards, men, tiles or spinners, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are even three-dimensional, and they can be used to build towers and pyramids.
There are many types of domino games, which can be grouped into two broad categories: blocking games and scoring games. In blocking games, such as Matador and Mexican Train, each player attempts to empty his or her hand while preventing opponents from doing the same. In scoring games, such as Bergen and Muggins, the value of a given domino is determined by counting its pips (or spots).
Some dominoes feature special markings that give them an added advantage in a particular game, while other pieces are designed for use in building structures or as art. Dominoes are also a useful teaching tool for learning basic math and counting skills, as they can be used to demonstrate simple addition and subtraction.
Dominoes can be stacked in straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. The possibilities are endless, as is the fun.
Creating an amazing domino art requires careful planning and an understanding of the physical principles that govern how the pieces will behave when they are set in motion. Hevesh, who has worked on projects involving 300,000 dominoes and helped to establish the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes in a circular arrangement, explains that her process is not unlike an engineering design project. She starts with a general idea of what she wants to accomplish and then brainstorms ideas for how the dominoes will interact and how they will eventually fall.