The Game of Domino


Domino is a game of skill and chance. The tiles, called dominoes, are marked with an arrangement of dots or pips, like those on a die, but some of them are blank. Each player takes turns placing one tile on the table edge to edge against another, such that the exposed ends of the two matching dominoes match up (i.e., a domino with a 5 on one end and a 6 on the other is played to a domino with a 6 on one end and a 5 on the other). When this is done, a chain of overlapping dominoes develops, with each new tile added causing the previous ones to fall in a chain that grows snake-like over time.

A domino chain can be used to score points, although there are also other rules for scoring. For example, the first domino to be played in a row must be a double. A subsequent domino played to a double must be placed so that the open ends match the exposed sides of the first domino, or the total of all the dots on the open ends must equal a multiple of five. Usually, a domino played to a double is placed perpendicular to that domino, but occasionally a player will place it at an angle to that domino because of space constraints or a whim.

In addition to playing domino games, dominoes are a popular decoration for homes and restaurants, often placed in a grouping known as a “domino table.” They can be displayed in an array of different configurations, such as a cross, a ring, or a florette. They can be made of wood, porcelain, or metal. In some cases, the pieces are painted or glazed to increase their beauty.

The game of domino is an excellent way to build fine motor skills and dexterity. It is also a great social activity to be enjoyed with friends or family. It can be as simple or complex as the players want it to be.

Physicist Stephen Morris, at the University of Toronto, notes that when a domino is stood upright, it stores potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. When the domino falls, however, much of this energy is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion, which then moves from the falling domino to the next, knocking it over and creating a chain reaction that continues until all the pieces are set in motion.

In fiction, a well-plotted story is akin to a domino rally. Whether the author composes her manuscript off-the-cuff or carefully follows an outline, a plotting process that is similar to that of a domino rally can be useful in making sure all the pieces fit together properly. Using this approach to plot your own novel can help you create a strong and compelling story. This is especially important if you’re writing an action-adventure or thriller, where you want to keep your readers guessing at what happens next.