Dominoes have been a source of entertainment for generations. A domino is a rectangular tile with an arrangement of spots on one face and blank or identically patterned on the other. Each spot is a number, and the total number of spots on an end determines the value of the piece (for example, a domino with two zeros has no value). Each domino is matched to another domino that has all matching numbers on its ends. The resulting arrangement is called a domino chain, and it can be used to play many different games.
In some cases, dominoes can be set up to look like structures such as houses, bridges, or cities. They can also be made to look like animals, people, or objects. Several games can be played with dominoes, but the most popular are blocking and scoring games.
The word domino comes from the Italian word for “flip,” and it is thought that the game was invented in France around 1750. It may have been inspired by the similarity between a domino and a cape that was worn over a priest’s surplice. The most common type of domino set contains 28 tiles; larger sets are available for games involving more than four players or for players who want to play long domino games.
There are many ways to play domino, and each has its own rules. One rule is that a single domino can only be matched to a domino with the same number of pips on its ends. A domino that has more than six pips is considered to be a double-six, and it can only be matched with other double-sixes or sevens.
A man who can’t do arithmetic recalls that he couldn’t pass his college math course until he learned to visualize adding dominoes on the roof of his mouth and tap them out with his tongue. His method became known as the Domino Effect, and he went on to become a successful businessman.
Dominoes are often made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. They can be carved, painted, or inlaid with black or white pips. Some sets are also made of natural materials such as marble, granite, or soapstone; metals such as brass or pewter; ceramic clay; or glass. These sets are often more expensive than those made of polymer.
Lily Hevesh, 20, began playing with dominoes as a child. Her grandparents owned a classic 28-pack, and she loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking the first domino to start the chain reaction. She began posting her domino setups on YouTube, and she now has over 2 million subscribers. She also creates spectacular domino arrangements for movies, TV shows, and events such as the Katy Perry album launch. She makes test versions of each section before putting them all together, and she films the tests in slow motion to make sure everything works as it should.