Dominoes are small rectangular blocks marked with numbers from 0 to 6 on each end. They are used in a variety of games and as toys that can be stacked on end to create patterns. They are often used as a metaphor for the “domino effect,” which describes a series of events that result from one action.
A domino game consists of players taking turns placing dominoes on a table. The first player (determined by the drawing of lots or by who holds the heaviest hand) places a domino on the table, and all other players take their turn until all players have placed a domino. The game ends when a player has no remaining dominoes to play or no other player is able to place a domino in front of them.
The dominoes are shuffled so that no one knows which tile is which before they are played. The shuffled tiles are then placed face-down on the table, and they are moved around in a random manner. Depending on the style of game, the shuffled pieces are positioned on-edge or off-edge of the table.
Some dominoes are blank or identically patterned on both sides, while others feature different numbers on each side. Typically, a domino set contains 28 tiles; larger sets can have up to 55 tiles.
In the United States, dominoes are mainly played in the block-and-draw games for two to four players. In these games, each player draws a number of dominoes that varies from seven to sixteen. The heaviest piece wins the lead. In some games, the heaviest piece can be a double.
A double may have two or three pips on it; in other games, the heaviest piece can have a single or two pips. A double may be a six or a twelve, or a double-blank may count as either 0 or 14.
There are also several rules variations for dominoes, such as the block-and-draw version of the game called Sleeping Dominion. In this variation, the players take fewer dominoes initially, but a player who cannot place a domino must pick a sleeping domino from the boneyard to add to their set. This variation is common in parts of the world where the block-and-draw game is less popular.
The heaviest doubles can also be placed cross-ways in a layout, where the long side of each tile is connected to another double. This is especially common in double-six games, where the long sides of both a six and a double are open for play.
Dominoes are also used in a number of games, including those where the goal is to score points by matching dominoes. These games can be complicated and require knowledge of a variety of rules.
Using Dominoes to Write a Novel
Whether you’re writing a book off the cuff or planning your plot out in advance, it is important to keep in mind that every action in a story will eventually result in a reaction. Keeping this in mind will help you use the domino effect in your story and create compelling scenes that will leave readers wanting more.