Domino – A Game of Skill and Strategy


Domino is a game of skill and strategy where players set up a series of dominoes to fall over, one after the other, in a carefully-planned sequence. It is also a form of art where a player competes to create the most elaborate and imaginative domino reaction or effect before an audience of admirers. The game is played with a number of different rules and variations and is widely popular around the world.

Each domino has a square, numbered face that distinguishes it from the others in the set. This face is divided by a line into two equal parts with a matching pattern on each of them. The dominoes are often painted with spots, called pips, that represent numbers based on their position in the pattern, and they may be either black or white. The backs of the dominoes are blank or decorated with a design. Dominoes come in many different color combinations but the most common are white dominoes with black pips and black dominoes with white pips.

The earliest records of domino games date back to the late 18th Century and both the word and the game were invented in France. The word comes from the French for a black and white hood worn by priests that contrasted with their surplices. The game arrived in Britain in the late 18th Century and was popular in inns and taverns. It was probably introduced by French prisoners of war. The game was also popular among the Inuits, but they may have adopted it from European immigrants rather than created it themselves.

Physicist Stephen Morris explains how the game works, explaining that when you stand a domino upright, it has potential energy based on its position. But when you knock it over, much of this potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as the domino tumbles down the line.

In addition to the basic draw and draw-and-play games, there are also a number of domino puzzles. These are usually based on the arithmetic properties of the domino pips, for example totals of lines of tiles or tile halves. They can be very difficult to solve, even with a large enough set of dominoes.

Domino also has a place in the history of business. The founder of Domino’s Pizza, Dominic Monaghan, grew his company by emphasizing its location, putting Domino’s stores near colleges so that they could serve students with quick delivery service. He also made sure to listen to employee feedback, a practice that helped the company to thrive.

Domino can be played with a standard set of double-twelve (91 tiles) or double-nine (9 tiles). Four players draw their tiles and then play them by placing them on the edge of the table in front of them. The first player (determined by drawing lots or by who has the heaviest hand) plays the first domino. After the first domino is placed, additional tiles are played to it based on the rules of the particular game being played. Typically, additional tiles can only be played adjacent to the long side of a double but some rules consider all four sides of a double open for play.