Dominoes are small, flat, rectangular blocks used as gaming objects. They are sometimes called bones, pieces, tiles, men, or cards. The individual dominoes are part of a set and may have varying numbers of spots or blank sides. The term domino is also used to refer to a system of rules or game in which the outcome depends on the sequence of play of all the pieces.
Some people enjoy arranging them into intricate shapes and then knocking them down. Other people prefer to simply line them up and watch the chain reaction happen. Whatever the motivation, dominoes have a lot to teach us about the power of chain reactions and how they can influence our lives.
A good domino is one that helps you move forward toward a goal, whether it is to accomplish a project or achieve personal growth. Ideally, each step in the process will build upon the previous steps and create a positive impact on your life. For example, creating a financial plan or developing a new career strategy can be broken down into several good dominoes that include outlining the plan, writing a budget, and creating an action plan to implement the strategy. Each of these is a good domino that will help you reach your final goal of getting financially secure.
The word domino comes from the Italian domanda, meaning “fate” or “luck.” Interestingly enough, the word also has a French origin, with a sense that resembles the modern-day word destiny. Its French meaning is probably linked to the fact that domino pieces once resembled the black and white domino cape worn by priests over their surplices during carnival season and masquerade parties.
In most domino games, only the ends of a double are considered open for playing. However, some games allow additional dominoes to be placed on the cross-ways ends of a double when they do not have any other tile attached to them. These additional dominoes are often referred to as wild, or they may be used for any value as needed.
A traditional European domino set consists of 28 tiles. These are usually made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips. Some sets are also made of more unusual materials such as stone, marble, or soapstone; metals like brass and pewter; and even ceramic clay.
There are many different types of dominoes, and the number of pieces in a set can vary from a minimum of seven to as high as double-nine (253 tiles). The larger sets increase the maximum number of pips on each end, increasing the total number of possible combinations. The largest domino sets are used for competitions in which builders create impressive chains of dominoes to impress the audience with their skill and creativity.