Domino is a game of chance and skill that involves falling blocks, or tiles, one at a time. The first domino to fall starts a chain reaction that causes the other tiles to topple over, just like a ripple caused by a pebble dropped into a glass of water. The game can be played by two or more people and has many rules that vary by region. The most common set consists of 28 tiles, but larger sets are often used for games with more players or longer chains. A domino has a rectangular shape and is characterized by the arrangement of dots, called pips, on its surface. These pips are usually colored, although white, black, or clear stones may also be used. Dominoes are numbered on one face and blank or identically patterned on the other. The number of pips on each tile determines its suit, with the suits being spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
The first player to play a tile must be careful not to cover up the remaining pips of the previous tile, unless the new domino has a number matching its own. The number of pips on a domino is also important for scoring purposes; the winner is determined by whoever earns the most points in a given round of play.
Aside from a traditional block and draw game, there are many other kinds of domino games. Some are designed to be quick, and others are meant to be long and complex. For example, in a game of double-six, players try to make a chain of tiles that show either all 12 or all six. The first player to do so wins the round.
Some people use dominoes to create art, such as lines of straight or curved dominoes that form patterns when they fall. Others build 3D structures out of dominoes, such as towers and pyramids. Some even compete in domino shows, where they build complicated and imaginative chains or effects before an audience of fans.
While some people think of dominoes as a toy, they can have an important impact on our daily lives. For example, Admiral William H. McRaven once told University of Texas graduates that making their beds in the morning is a small but significant act that can have a domino effect throughout their lives.
When you play domino, the most important thing to remember is that gravity helps everything work. When you knock over a domino, it falls because of the force of gravity, which pulls it toward Earth. This force is what allows you to build intricate domino displays, like the ones Hevesh creates. Hevesh’s largest domino installations take several nail-biting minutes to complete, and it is the same force that keeps your heart beating and the planet rotating on its axis.