Domino is an exciting game of chance and strategy. Usually played by more than one person, it involves moving a domino around the table until it reaches the end and falls, revealing a piece of art or some other creative masterpiece. It is a fun way to pass the time, and it can be very rewarding when you achieve your goal of creating a long chain of dominoes.
There are many different types of domino games. Some are blocking or scoring games while others involve drawing and buying tiles. In some cases the rules for a game may vary from region to region, though most have very similar, and sometimes identical, basic rules.
A domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block of material that has from one to six pips or dots on each side. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 such pieces.
The most common type of domino is made from wood, either ebony or ivory, with black or white pips inlaid or painted. However, sets have also been made from other materials such as metals (e.g., brass or pewter); stones such as marble, granite, or soapstone; ceramic clay; and even frosted glass or crystal. Such dominoes tend to be heavier and more expensive than those made of polymer, but they also often have a more elegant look.
In most domino games, the first player makes a play by placing one of his or her tiles on the table, positioning it so that it touches one end of a line of dominoes already on the table. This starting line is called the line of play. A chain of dominoes then builds out from the line of play. This chain can be joined in two ways: 1) with the line of play, lengthwise; or 2) across the line of play, crosswise.
After each player has placed his or her tile on the table, the remainder of the tiles are called the stock. Depending on the game, some of these tiles will be bought by one or more players during the course of the game. Others will be left in the stock, and these, depending on the rules of the game, may later be used to buy more tiles from the opponents.
Dominoes can be used to create beautiful, colorful works of art. These artistic creations can include straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3-D structures such as towers and pyramids. Some artists create these works by hand, while others use stencils to guide their work.
While Hevesh carefully tests each section of a domino installation before she puts it together, she admits that a simple nudge is sometimes all that it takes to bring an entire set to life. She says that it is like the domino effect in physics: “If a domino stands upright, it has potential energy, and as soon as you push on it, it converts that to kinetic energy and the rest of them are going to change form.” The same idea is at work when you build a long chain of dominoes: each new domino contributes to the outcome of the whole chain.