Dominoes – A Game of Chance and Skill


A domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block, with one side blank or marked by an arrangement of spots like those on a die. The domino is used in games of chance and skill.

A game of domino is played by two or more players, with a set of dominoes (plural: dominoes) on a table or other flat surface. Each player takes turns placing a domino on the table, positioning it so that it touches one end of a preceding domino in a chain. When all the ends of a chain have been covered, the game is over and the winner is declared.

The term is also applied to a sequence of events in the past or future, especially a series of social or political changes that are expected to cause a greater change. It may also refer to a domino effect in business, whereby one success leads to another, or to the effect of a single event on the outcome of an entire industry.

In the game of domino, each player is dealt a hand of dominoes, and the winner of the previous hand starts by placing one of his or her tiles on the table. Each tile must be placed in a manner that connects it to the next domino along the chain, with the exception of doubles, which are always played cross-ways across each other touching at both ends.

Dominoes are usually made of wood, although some sets are manufactured from other materials, such as bone or ivory; dark hardwoods (such as ebony); and metals, particularly brass and pewter. They can be painted or decorated with colorful, decorative motifs. Some modern domino sets are made of polymer, a material that allows for more precise shapes and colors than could be achieved with natural materials.

Most domino games fall into two main categories, blocking and scoring games. Blocking games involve emptying one’s hand while blocking the opponent’s, and scoring games involve determining points by counting the number of pips on opposing players’ tiles.

The symphony of scenes that make up a novel is often described as a chain reaction, and some authors use the image of a line of dominoes to visualize the process. Whether you’re a pantser who writes without an outline or a plotter who makes detailed scene cards for each chapter, you must consider the logical impact of each scene on the ones that come before and after it.

The word “domino” is also sometimes used to describe a complex construction built up by an expert builder and then brought down in a spectacular display of domino effect before an audience of fans. Some builders even compete in domino shows, where they construct elaborate chains of hundreds or thousands of dominoes, carefully positioned to topple with the slightest nudge. The art of constructing such structures is called domino sculpture.