The Basics of Dominoes


A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, thumb-sized in size, with one face that is blank and the other marked by dots resembling those on dice. There are 28 such blocks in a complete set. The name is derived from the fact that when the pieces are laid edge to edge, the ends must match (one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s, and so on). Dominoes are used in a variety of games that involve placing and scoring tiles. Some of these games were developed to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards.

A well-known theory about how a domino effect occurs in business and personal life is known as the “Domino Principle.” This theory states that when one behavior is changed, it will trigger a chain reaction that will cause other related behaviors to change. For example, when someone decides to start exercising regularly, they will probably also cut down on sedentary leisure time and will consequently consume less fat.

The Domino Principle is often used to explain why a new company or product can quickly gain traction in the market. It is also used to describe how a change in the leadership of a company can lead to an almost immediate change in direction and success. The leader of a company, for instance, could suddenly change the corporate culture and strategy to one that is more focused on customer satisfaction. This would then trickle down to the rest of the organization and result in improved sales and profitability.

One of the best-known games involving dominoes is the Block game, in which players take turns placing tiles on the table and then scoring points by matching their end to another tile’s end. The matching ends may be identical or, more commonly, they must form a certain total based on the arrangement of dots or pips on the exposed face of each piece. In addition to Block games, there are many other positional dominoes that have a more mathematical basis for placement.

Historically, domino sets have been made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, mother-of-pearl, ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted. More recently, sets have been produced from polymer materials.

In order to play the game of domino, a player must begin with at least seven dominoes. The player who holds the heaviest hand draws the first tile and begins a line of dominoes that must be filled in before the next player can place a domino on the table.

In a simpler version of the game, a player starts with only three or four dominoes and must pass when unable to go. The remaining dominoes then become “sleeping” and can be picked up by the next player when he or she has an opportunity to go. This variation is more popular in some areas of the world than others.