Domino is a game that involves placing dominoes on the table in order to form chains of dominos. It’s a simple game with many variations. A domino is a flat thumb-sized block, the face of which is either blank or bears from one to six pips (dots). A set contains 28 dominoes.
During the early days of the game, most dominoes were handmade by skilled craftsmen. However, manufacturers have now produced a wide variety of dominoes from different materials. The most common are porcelain, ceramic, and plastic. However, wood and metal are also used for special-order games and sets.
As a player draws tiles for his hand, he places them on the table in front of him so that other players can’t see them. Then he begins playing them by matching ends and adding new ones to the existing line of play. Each time a new tile is played, the remaining dominoes in the line are knocked over and the player receives the number of points that appear on the opposing dominoes. The player who scores the most over a given number of rounds is the winner.
Some games require only the “open” ends of a domino to be joined, while others allow additional tiles to be placed cross-ways or straddling the long side of a double. Depending on the rules of the game, doubles may count as one or two (a 6-6 counts as 6, for example), and a double-blank tile can be counted as either zero or 14.
After drawing his own tiles for his hand, a player determines who will play first by either drawing lots or by deciding which player has the heaviest hand. The first player then sets a domino on the table and begins playing. The winner of the first game then becomes the first player to make a play in the next game.
Most domino games are played with a single set of dominoes, although larger sets are sometimes used to accommodate more players or for more complex or long-lasting games. These progressively larger sets contain more and more numbered tiles.
The word domino comes from the Latin verb domini, meaning “to dominate.” The name was probably derived from the fact that when a domino was struck by a heavier piece, the smaller pieces fell into place around it. The earliest references to dominoes come from China, where they were known as doming or dong.
While a domino is relatively small, it requires an enormous amount of energy to knock over. This energy is stored in the domino’s shape and position on the table. When a domino falls, most of it is converted to kinetic energy from the motion of the falling pieces. This energy is then transmitted to other dominoes in the chain, causing them to fall as well. In a chain reaction, each domino gives off more and more energy as it topples over other dominoes. The process is illustrated in the video below.