Dominoes are small flat tiles, bearing an arrangement of spots or pips on one side and either blank or identically patterned on the other. They are arranged in long lines, and when one is tipped over, it causes the others to fall in sequence until all are stacked or collapsed. Dominoes are used in a number of games and can also be stacked to create works of art.
Dominos have been around for centuries and are a popular way to pass the time in a variety of social settings. Their popularity is due in part to their ease of use and the wide range of games that can be played with them. They can be simple, such as placing a single tile in front of another to make it a “double” or they can be intricately designed to form geometric shapes and 3D structures.
While dominoes are usually used for game play, they can also be set up as a work of art that can be enjoyed by many people. Artists use them to create a number of different styles of domino art, including straight or curved lines that form pictures when they are arranged, grids that can be manipulated to make shapes, and even stacked walls. Stacking dominoes in this way is not only fun, but can help develop motor skills.
The word domino is derived from the Latin domini, meaning “he who has the most.” As such, it is an all-or-nothing event that can be easily understood by examining how a domino falls. Dominoes have a built-in inertia that means they resist moving until the potential energy is expended on them. When this happens, a domino has toppled and the potential energy is released as heat and sound. This is the same concept that is used to explain how nerve impulses travel through the body, but the speed of a domino pulse is much faster and can only go in one direction.
In a game of domino, each player takes turns playing a domino from their hand onto the table. This configuration of a line of dominoes is called the layout, string, or line of play. Once a domino has been placed on the line of play, it may be bought by other players who wish to do so according to the rules of the particular game being played.
In some games, all dominoes in the stock may be bought, while in others, a specific number of tiles must remain in the stock and cannot be bought. In addition, some games have rules that dictate whether or not doubles can be bought. If a double is purchased, it must be added to the player’s dominoes that are currently in their hands. A player may also buy a single tile from the boneyard, depending on the rules of the particular game being played.