Domino (also dominoes) is a game played with twenty-eight flat, oblong pieces of ivory or bone each plain on the back but having the face divided into two parts and bearing either blanks or dots in the manner of dice. The game consists of scoring points by laying adjacent ends of a line of dominoes, the ends of which must match: a one’s touching a two’s, for example. The end of a domino that is open for play may be stacked to form a snake-like chain.
The first player to lay all his or her dominoes wins the game. Players then take turns adding more dominoes to the chain. Depending on the rules, more than one person can play at a time. If a player cannot add another domino to the chain, he or she “knocks” and play passes to the next player.
In addition to being fun, dominoes can also be used for art. Artists can create lines and curved patterns that fall when the dominoes are slid along them, or they can construct 3D structures like towers and pyramids. A well-known domino artist, Lily Hevesh, is known for creating elaborate sets that have been featured in movies, television shows, and events, including an album launch for Katy Perry.
Dominos have been around for a long time, and have been played by many different people from all walks of life. However, it was a German architect and engineer named Gottfried Wilhelm Lehmann who is credited with creating the first set of rules for the game in 1837. Since then, there have been many variations on the basic design.
Physicist Stephen Morris has described how energy is released in the process of falling dominoes: “When you stand a domino upright it stores potential energy in its position, but when you remove it from that position, much of that energy is converted to kinetic energy as the domino falls.”
A Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, the face of which is divided into parts and bears from one to six pips or dots; 28 such pieces constitute a complete set. The name is derived from the fact that when a domino is slid down a line, the other pieces will immediately fall into place, as though they have been pre-positioned and glued there.
The rules of domino vary between games, but in general the way in which a domino is played is simple. The goal is to score points by laying adjacent ends of a row of dominoes, the ends of whose matching sides touch: a one’s touching a second’s, for example. Alternatively, additional dominoes can be placed perpendicular to a double, straddling both of its ends. Usually, additional tiles can only be placed against the open end of a double; as the domino chain grows, it develops its own shape according to the rules of the game.