The Basics of Dominoes

A domino is a flat, rectangular tile with a number of spots or pips on one side and either blank or identically patterned on the other. The pips on a domino are arranged in a line or ridge, and the pieces are usually twice as long as they are wide, making them easier to stack after playing. Dominoes are used to play a variety of games, and there is considerable variation in the rules of different variants.

A pips are normally placed in the center of a domino, which is called its base, but they may be located anywhere along the face. The pips are used to determine the value of a domino, which can range from six to none at all. The most common domino has a total of twenty-four pips, but the set also includes variants with thirteen and seventeen pips.

Most of the games played with domino use positional strategy and depend on a player being able to place the first domino in a line that will then be followed by other players. The winner of the game then begins to play again. In some cases, the first player to play is determined by the person who holds a double. This is because a double can be played in two directions, and the player who plays to it will need to have the appropriate dominos available. A double may also be a spinner, meaning that it can be played on all four sides, which may or may not count in the game being played.

The word domino comes from the Latin for “flip.” This probably refers to the way that the piece was traditionally flipped to reveal its other, hidden face when it was being used in a game. Another possibility is that it was named after its ebony black and ivory coloration, which resembled a priest’s cape worn over his surplice.

Dominoes have inertia, which means that they resist motion unless something is pushing against them. A tiny nudge, such as the flick of a finger, can trigger them to fall. Physicist Lorne Whitehead once made dominoes that were three feet tall and weighed 100 pounds, but the real power of a domino is more subtle than that.

The same type of domino effect can be seen in the way that a single event, such as the collapse of the Communist regime in a country, will have a knock-on effect in neighboring countries. Domino is also a term that can be applied to an entire organization, such as a business or a university. People who want to change the domino effect in their own lives should start by identifying what they want to achieve. This will help them to create a plan of action and start small, building up their efforts gradually over time. This will be much more manageable, and it will keep them motivated to continue with their efforts until they have reached their desired outcome.