What is Domino?

Domino — a flat, thumbsized, rectangular block, the face of which is divided into two parts, each bearing from one to six pips or dots: 28 such pieces form a complete set. Dominoes (also dominoe, and sometimes dominoes) — any of various games played with such pieces, usually by matching the ends of adjacent ones and laying them down in lines and angular patterns.

The word is believed to have been derived from the Latin for “little dice” (domino), because of the way they can be arranged and played to create game sequences. The first domino was probably made in the 18th century, though it is not certain who invented the game. The game became widely popular in Europe during the 19th century, when it was adapted to a variety of cultural and social environments. Several different games are played with dominoes, ranging from simple blocking games to complex scoring systems that involve more than two players. Some domino games were adapted from card games, and others were created to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.

Most domino games are played with a set of double-six shaped tiles, although there are many variations using other shapes and numbers of pieces. The tiles are usually curved to help them stand upright and they may be printed with identifying markings on both sides, or they may be blank or identically patterned. The identifying markings on the side of a domino are called pips; when the tiles are used in a game, their pips are counted to determine the value of each piece. If a domino has more than six pips, it is considered to be “heavier” than a tile with fewer pips.

To begin a game, all the dominoes are placed on the table in front of the players. A player draws for the right to lead, then plays a domino from his or her hand until all the pieces are used, or until the player cannot continue and “chips out” by placing the last of his or her dominoes on the table. Then the play passes to the other player.

Domino Art

Artists can use dominoes to create beautiful works of art, from straight lines and curved ones that form pictures, to grids that look like walls, and even 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. You can find a lot of examples on the Internet, including many videos of domino art in action.

If you want to try your hand at domino art, the best place to start is with a large set of dominoes and a ruler or tape measure. You can then plan out your design – it’s a good idea to draw arrows that show the direction in which you want the dominoes to fall. Stand each domino up, and as it begins to move against gravity, some of its potential energy will be converted into kinetic energy, and it will start a chain reaction that causes domino after domino to topple.