The Basics of Dominoes


A domino is a tile marked with a number of dots or spots. When it is triggered by another domino, the dots or “pips” spread out to form a chain reaction and then fall over one after the other. A domino that does not have any pips is blank or “zero.” A domino that has more pips has higher value, and the number of pips on a domino is often used to determine its rank or weight, as in the game of 42.

While the process of setting up a domino may seem simple, the real power of these small tiles is their ability to cause an explosion that is much larger than the original one. Physicists have found that, when a domino is pushed by another, it generates an energy pulse that travels down the line and can knock over objects more than a million times its own size. This domino effect is similar to the way a nerve impulse travels through a nerve cell, except that it is much more powerful and can occur in a shorter time frame.

Dominoes are used in many ways, from playing games to creating works of art. Some examples of domino art include straight lines that form shapes, grids that create pictures when the pieces fall, and stacked walls that look like pyramids or castles. You can also use dominoes to make a track for cars and race them, or use the tiles to build 3D structures.

In the game of domino, players take turns picking a domino from the stock to play. The first domino played is called an opening double, and each player then extends the line with a matching domino. The first player to play all of their bones wins the game.

The most basic domino game is Block. This game requires a set of dominoes with double-six tiles, from which each player draws seven. The players alternate placing a bone on the table and then extending it with a domino having a matching end. A player who cannot play passes, and the winner is the first to reach a certain amount of points in a round, usually 61.

A skilled player can win many games of domino by predicting which domino will be played next. This is often referred to as reading the board, and it requires a keen understanding of the order in which the dominoes were laid out, the pattern of their numbers, and the possible combinations of values on each end. The simplest way to understand this is to draw a chart of the possible combinations of pips on both ends of each domino, which is also known as a pegboard or domino map.

The domino effect is important in fiction as well, because it helps readers to follow the logic of a story. A successful plot must logically connect from scene to scene, and each scene should progress or shift according to how the character feels in that scene.