Dominoes are a popular game that can be played in many different ways. Some games are scoring games, such as bergen or muggins, where players compete to win by counting the number of pips (spots on a domino) in an opponent’s tiles. Other games are blocking games, such as matador, chicken foot or Mexican train, where players try to block the opponents’ play by placing their own dominoes. All of these games help children develop their math skills by learning to count the dots on a domino.
One of the more creative uses for domino is making art, using straight lines or curved lines to form pictures, grids that form shapes when they fall, stacked walls or 3D structures. This type of art can be very simple, with only a few dominoes arranged in a line, or extremely elaborate, with entire rooms of them built on a single sheet of paper.
Hevesh works to create her mind-blowing domino setups by following a sort of engineering-design process, starting with considering the theme or purpose of an installation. Then she brainstorms images or words that might relate to it. She makes test versions of each section, then films them in slow motion, making corrections as needed. Once a section works well, she adds it to the bigger arrangement. She usually begins with the biggest 3-D sections and works her way down to the smaller ones.
She also tries to keep her setups as clean as possible, so she can see the whole picture and not just the individual dominoes. This allows her to focus on the effect she wants to achieve, as opposed to worrying about how a particular domino will look from one angle or another.
The physical power of a domino is also fascinating. As University of Toronto physics professor Stephen Morris demonstrates in this video, the first tiny domino only needs to be slightly tipped forward for gravity to take over and knock it over. The resulting domino chain is about a half-billion times larger than the original input.
A player’s turn begins when he or she places the first domino in a row, positioning it so that only one of its ends is open for play. This is known as “setting the bone.” Once a domino has been set, additional tiles must be placed touching it in some way.
In most domino games, the winner is determined by the player who has the most total points in a given number of rounds. Points may be awarded for a single domino or for an entire domino chain, depending on the game. Often, doubles are counted as one or two, and double-blanks may be considered to be either one or two (if one, then a 6-6 counts as six; if two, then a 6-6 counts as 12). Sometimes a domino is also used in combination with other cards or other objects to determine the winner.