Domino is a popular game in which players set up a row of dominoes by placing the tiles edge to edge. Each tile features a number that can be added to another to form a total or to create an empty space. The first player to place all of their tiles in a row wins the game. There are many variations of this game, including matador, where the goal is to not match an adjacent domino but play a number that totals seven, and muggins, in which the aim is to make the sum of all open-end pips on the layout a multiple of five.
Dominoes are also used for creating art, both simple and elaborate. The art can take the form of straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures like towers and pyramids. This kind of domino art requires careful planning to ensure that the pieces will fall as intended. Some artists build test versions of their work, filming it in slow motion so that they can fine-tune the arrangement before putting it all together.
Some of the earliest use of the word domino was in reference to a long hooded cloak worn with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. It later came to refer to a large black domino that contrasted with the priest’s white surplice in an altar service. A more recent meaning of the word has a slightly different origin, and it refers to the set of rules that govern a game of domino.
A number of people have used the power of dominoes to help them overcome obstacles in their life. A popular concept, illustrated in this video, is that a small domino can generate enough energy to topple much larger ones. This is a great way to view life’s challenges, and it can be applied to any situation where you need some energy to push yourself forward.
Historically, domino sets have been made from natural materials such as silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), bone, ivory, or dark hardwoods such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips. More recently, sets have been produced from polymers such as styrene or acrylic. While the modern plastic dominoes are commonly available in a variety of colors, many hobbyists continue to choose natural materials for their elegance and quality.
The most common dominoes feature 28 tiles arranged in two suits, one featuring a number from 0 to 6, and the other featuring numbers from 7 to 11. Each of these tiles has a particular color printed on each face and an individual number inscribed on its side. Identifying the number on a particular domino can be difficult, and some large domino sets feature more readable Arabic numerals instead of pips.