What is Domino?

Domino is a game in which players place dominoes on a rectangular table, forming a chain of spots or “pips” that gradually increases in length as more tiles are played. Each tile has an identifying number, usually in the form of an arrangement of dots or spots, on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The pips are arranged in rows of three, five or seven, depending on the type of domino being used. The game is typically played in pairs with each player scoring a point for each completed sequence of the numbers on both ends of the domino.

The term domino is also used as a metaphor, either literally (a series of physical events that lead to an event that cannot be prevented) or figuratively to describe causal linkages in large systems such as global finance or politics. It is also used in reference to the mechanical domino effect exploited in Rube Goldberg machines.

Dominos are made of a polymer material similar to that of playing cards and are available in a variety of colors and shapes. More traditional sets of dominoes are made from natural materials, including silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (“mother of pearl” or MOP), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony with black or white inlaid pips.

There are many different ways to play domino, ranging from simple blocking games to complex scoring and pattern-making. Some of the most popular games include fives-and-threes and double-nine. In fives-and-threes, players take turns placing a domino from their hand onto the table positioning it so that each end of the chain shows a number divisible by either five or three. The last player to play a domino scores points for each complete set of five or three.

Hevesh is a domino artist who plans and builds spectacular displays using hundreds of thousands of individual pieces. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers and she has created large-scale domino installations for movies, TV shows, and events—including the album launch of pop star Katy Perry. Hevesh works meticulously to make sure that her complex arrangements are perfect before she teeters them into position, and it can sometimes take several nail-biting minutes for the entire domino set to fall.

Dominos can help kids develop spatial awareness by encouraging them to carefully place the pieces in the correct spots. They can also help children learn the names of different colors and sharpen their fine motor skills by manipulating the small pieces. Playing dominoes can also boost creativity as it helps kids imagine a wide range of possibilities and create their own unique patterns.