When most people think of domino, they picture the small, rectangular tiles that are used to play games by lining them up in straight or curved lines and then “knocking” over one after another. But these little squares have a lot more power than most people realize. Dominoes can actually help you achieve your goals and create ripple effects in your life.
Lily Hevesh has been making and playing with dominoes since she was a child. Her grandparents gave her a classic 28-piece set, and she quickly became obsessed. Today, she’s a professional domino artist who creates stunning displays for movies, TV shows, and events—including a Katy Perry album launch. Hevesh says the key to her success is using the laws of physics to her advantage. The most important factor is gravity: It pulls each domino toward the Earth, causing it to crash into the next and start a chain reaction. Watch this video to learn more about how Hevesh uses science to craft her amazing domino creations.
A domino is a small tile that represents the result of a roll of two dice. Each end of a domino contains a number, and there are various types of numbers depending on the type of domino. In a typical double-six domino set, each side of the tile has either 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
Traditionally, dominoes are made from woods such as mahogany and walnut; however, polymers like melamine have replaced these traditional materials for many reasons, including cost, availability, and durability. More recently, dominoes have been made from other natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. These sets usually have a high-quality finish and a distinctive look, and they tend to be more expensive than their polymer counterparts.
Most dominoes are played in pairs or groups, and a player’s turn begins by placing a domino edge-to-edge against another, with adjacent faces matching either identically or in a specific total. When all of a player’s dominoes are lined up in this way, the game is over.
The most common games in the West are Block and Draw, which are both played with a standard domino set comprising 28 tiles. Other games use more or less the same rules but require a different number of tiles. These include domino solitaire and trick-taking games, which were once popular in some parts of the world to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.
Although there are countless games that can be played with domino, most of them have similar basic features. In addition to the number of dominoes and their arrangement on the table, the way that the tiles are placed also provides a significant amount of the fun. A domino is considered open for play if it has no other tiles touching it, and additional tiles can only be played against an open end of the layout. If a tile is placed against a double, it must be placed cross-ways over the long side of the layout.