Dominoes are a favorite toy of many children, who like stacking them on end in long lines and then knocking them over. This can create very complex shapes, as well as lead to a popular phrase: The domino effect, which describes a chain of events that begins with one small action and ultimately results in greater-than-expected consequences.
Domino, which is pronounced “doh-MIN-oh,” was first used in English in the 17th century and is believed to be named for the French word for a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask at carnival season or at a masquerade. It also may refer to crude and brightly colored woodcuts on paper that were once popular among peasants. In the early 18th century, dominoes became a popular fad in France. The word and game eventually spread from there to England, Austria, and Southern Germany.
The game has many variations. In most, a domino features two square ends or faces, with one having numbers and the other blank. The number of pips on each end determines its value, or rank. A tile with a larger number of pips is considered to be “heavier” than a tile with fewer or no pips. A domino’s value is not necessarily the sum of its pips, but can be the difference between a player’s rank and his or her opponent’s.
Each player in turn plays a domino on the table, positioning it so that it can touch either end of a line of dominoes. Then, each subsequent domino played must fit over the last on the left or right side of the line. If the next domino is a double (which has two ends), it can only be played over the domino to its immediate left or right. When a domino is played such that all four sides of a double are open for play, it is called “stitched up.”
The rules of each game differ. Some games require that a player only play a domino that matches another domino already on the table, while others allow for an infinite variety of combinations. In general, the most important rule is to have fun!
A Domino is a toy made of clay or similar material. It is shaped into a rectangular or other shape, and is placed on the floor. A domino can be tipped over by an object or by another domino that has been positioned correctly. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the other pieces to tip over. This continues until the entire domino line is flattened and collapsed. Dominoes are also commonly used for creating artistic designs. They are often arranged in straight or curved lines, but they can be stacked in other ways, such as to form figures such as hearts or flowers. They are often decorated with paint or other materials. Some are even illuminated to create colorful displays. In the case of some, such as those designed by Lily Hevesh, they are used to promote products or movies and have been featured in other special events.