A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, marked with spots or numbers that resemble those on dice. In general, each domino has two opposite ends, called squares or pips, although there are exceptions. A domino’s value may be based on its number of pips, or it may have a blank or no pips at all. Its value is determined by the rules of the game being played.

A player draws dominoes from the stock to make his first play; this is usually done by a draw for the lead, which is won by the heaviest domino in hand. The player then plays a tile that matches that end of the domino in his hand, or “knocks” the table (or some other method, depending on the rules). When a domino is knocked, it remains on the table. Play then passes to the next player.

The basic Western dominoes are arranged in a line or string that is the layout, string, or line of play. Each player places a domino in turn so that its two matching ends are adjacent to each other and that the pips of the dominoes on those ends add up to some specified total. The open end of a tile must face up or, in the case of a double, the domino must be crossed diagonally by another tile played on its other side. This forming of the domino chain creates small parts of the enjoyment of the game.

In addition to positional games, dominoes can also be used for scoring or blocking. The number of points scored is generally the sum of the values of all the pips on a domino, or, in some games, the total of all the values of all the matching tiles. The winning player is the one whose total point score is the highest, or who blocks all of his opponents’ points.

The most common and best-known dominoes are the double-nine set (55 tiles), the double-twelve set (91 tiles), and the double-twenty-two set (253 tiles). There are several progressively larger sets that increase the number of unique combinations of ends, increasing the number of pieces possible.

Dominoes can be stacked vertically, forming 2D structures like walls and towers. They can also be shaped into 3D shapes like pyramids and abacuses. In this form, they are known as domino art.

In the past, Domino’s has tried to modernize its image with a variety of new initiatives such as a custom-designed pizza delivery vehicle and experimenting with drones for pizza deliveries. While there is substance behind these efforts, they are clearly primarily a marketing strategy to boost the company’s brand and profits. If this is the way Domino’s plans to continue to operate, it is likely to fade and disappear as other companies offer better pizza and deliver it faster and cheaper. Domino’s needs to do something drastically different if it wants to remain in business. Its only hope is to find a new strategy that makes it worth the risk.