The Basics of Dominoes


A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block marked with dots resembling those on dice. The dots are usually colored black or white, but the color of a domino may depend on its material or the rules of a specific game. There are many different types of domino games, including positional and scoring games. A domino can also serve as a tool for teaching kids number recognition and math skills.

Dominoes are a common party favor, and children love playing with them. They are easy to carry and can be used to make patterns or shapes on the floor. In addition, some domino sets have special shapes such as hearts, stars, and circles that can be arranged to form pictures when the dominoes fall.

In a game of domino, one player draws a domino from the stock and places it on the table face up, and then plays a tile that is either touching or adjacent to it. This begins a chain reaction that causes all of the other tiles to fall. Some games require that the first player place a tile in exactly the right spot, while others allow players to block their opponents’ play and score points by counting the number of pips on the losing players’ remaining tiles.

The speed at which a domino falls depends on its size and how close it is to the starting point of the chain reaction. When a domino is close to the starting point, its movement is quick and it loses little energy as it falls. However, a domino that is far away from the starting point moves more slowly because it has less potential energy. The force of gravity also affects how fast a domino falls.

Physicists have studied how dominoes move, and they agree that it is all about energy transfer. A domino has potential energy when it is standing upright because of the pull of gravity, but as the domino topples, much of that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, which causes the next domino to fall. As each domino falls, the energy of the kinetic energy increases, so that by the last domino in the line, the energy is enough to propel it forward at nearly the same speed as the original triggering domino.

If you are not familiar with the rules of a particular game, it is helpful to have a set of dominoes nearby. A basic set includes twenty-four double-sided dominoes with a total of fifty-four pips (spots). Some sets feature the numbers inlaid or painted onto the tiles, and other sets use a more readable Arabic numeral system on the dominoes.

The domino effect can turn a company around, accelerate growth for a leader, or fuel the explosion of a startup. It is an incredibly powerful concept, and it can be applied to all aspects of life. For example, the leadership at Domino’s emphasized listening to customers and making changes in response to feedback. This helped the pizza delivery company reclaim its status as a great workplace.