What is Domino?

Domino is a game played with dominoes, a type of tile that is marked with an arrangement of dots, called pips, on both sides. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easier to stack and re-stack after use. The pips on the domino identify it and determine its value or rank, which is the number of spots it has. The value of a domino increases as the number of pips on it increases, and the smallest value domino is called a zero. In most games, a player wins by accumulating the least number of points when all opponents have chips left to play. Depending on the game, dominoes are normally played in a line that runs lengthwise down the table.

Those who love to create domino art can make a variety of geometric shapes and structures using the tiles. They can design curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall or 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Domino designers can be as simple or as elaborate as they choose, and they are often encouraged to experiment with different layouts before creating their final designs.

A person can also enjoy a domino show, where domino builders compete in building the most complex and imaginative domino effects or reactions before an audience. These people set up hundreds or even thousands of dominoes in a very careful sequence, and each one has inertia that keeps it from moving until someone gently nudges it. The nudge causes the first domino to fall, and then all of the potential energy becomes available to push on the next domino.

Dominoes can be made from a variety of materials, including metals (such as brass or pewter); clay, resin or other polymers; and glass and crystal. There are also many natural materials that can be used for the pieces, including stone (such as marble, granite or soapstone); other types of woods; and a wide range of minerals. Natural materials can have a more unique look, but are typically much more expensive than polymer or clay sets.

In the past, dominoes were usually made of bone or ivory with a contrasting black surface, such as ebony. Some sets still are made of these traditional materials, but the most common modern dominoes are made of plastic. There are also several new, synthetic materials that can be used for dominoes, which are less likely to chip or break than wooden or metal versions.

The word domino derives from the Latin dominica, which means “little emperor.” The original tiles were painted in different colors, and each color had a specific meaning. A domino that was painted black was known as a “black domino,” while white ones were called “whites.” These colored dominoes were meant to distinguish them from each other in the event of a collision between two. Over time, the colors were eliminated and the dominoes became more uniform in shape. The word domino is also used to describe an effect in a story that happens as a result of the actions of a character, and it may help readers understand why the hero is acting the way they are.