What is Domino?

A domino is a rectangular, flat piece of material that has markings on one side that correspond to the spots on a die. Dominos are usually stacked on end to form long lines. When the first domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in line to tip and so on. The chain can grow very long, and when it finally breaks, the result is a satisfyingly spectacular visual effect. Dominoes are used in many games, including simple ones for children, and they can also be arranged to create art.

There are thousands of videos on YouTube of elaborate domino creations. People set up rows of hundreds or even thousands of dominoes, carefully arranging them so that each will fall just as they are supposed to. Some of these creations include curved lines, grids that reveal pictures when they are flipped, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. People are even competing in domino shows, where they build complex and imaginative chains and then try to make them go as far as possible. It’s a thrilling sight to see, and it’s no wonder that the word domino has entered our vocabulary.

The word domino comes from the Latin dominica, meaning “little domino.” It is believed that the word was originally used to describe a small, thin playing piece. However, the term soon came to mean a larger piece that was used to build a domino chain. Today, dominoes are made of various materials, including plastic, resin, and wood, but they are most often made from ceramic clay or polymer. Ceramic sets have a more distinctive look and are generally heavier than polymer dominoes. Historically, dominoes were made from natural materials such as silver lip oyster shell (mother of pearl, MOP), ivory, and dark hardwoods such as ebony. These sets have a classic, luxurious feel and are often more expensive than dominoes made from polymer.

Dominoes are most often played by two or more players in turn. The rules of the game determine how the pieces are matched and placed on the table, but the basic concept is that each player plays a domino onto the table so that it touches one or more ends of a long line of previous tiles that has already been played. This configuration is sometimes called a string, line of play, or layout. The open end of the domino is usually numbered, and some games require that the match is made by the pips on each side of the tile.

In some games, players may buy dominoes from the stock if they cannot match a current piece in their hand. When a player does this, they add the number of pips on the bought domino to their total. Normally, play continues until one player “chips out,” or finishes his last domino. However, some games have a rule that says that play stops when the total number of all the players’ chips in the line of play is equal to or less than a specified amount.