Dominoes – Fun Games For All Ages


A domino is a flat thumbsized rectangular block that’s either blank or bears from one to six pips or dots, typically arranged in two parallel lines. The pips originally represented the results of throwing two six-sided dice, but modern sets also feature Arabic numerals. Dominoes are used to play a wide variety of games that involve laying the pieces down in straight and angular lines, curved patterns and even 3D structures like towers and pyramids.

A large set of dominoes can be a beautiful and intriguing addition to any home or office. They can be used for decorative purposes to form geometric designs, or for a fun way to learn physics and spatial reasoning with children. The most common game played with dominoes is a simple counting game, where each player draws and plays a domino, then counts the total number of spots on its exposed ends. When all the pips have been counted, the players pass the domino to their opponent, who then adds his or her own points. The first player to reach a set number of points wins the game.

Many other games can be played with a domino set, which is typically made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or ebony and painted white or black. Alternatively, some sets are made from natural materials such as marble, granite or soapstone; metals; ceramic clay or glass. Some are painted with brightly colored graphics, while others have more subdued, muted or antique-looking motifs.

The most basic domino game, called double-six, requires a double-twelve or double-nine domino set, which contain 28 tiles that are shuffled and arranged in a “boneyard” or “stock.” Each player then draws seven tiles from the stock to begin playing, placing them face down on the table to prevent other players from seeing their values. Players then lay down their tiles, matching the adjacent sides of each end so that a one’s touching ends match and a two’s touching edges form a double. Doubles are then laid at right angles to the previous tile to form a domino chain, or a snake-line.

If a single domino cannot be laid because the adjacent tiles are already in use, players continue to draw until they can lay another tile. The players then score their points by counting the numbers of dots on the exposed ends of the remaining dominoes, or in a variation of the game called Five-Up, by scoring multiples of the total number of dots on all the exposed dominoes, including the first double (which functions as a spinner).

Whether you write your book off the cuff or take your time with a carefully plotted outline, if you want to build an exciting story, consider the domino effect. Just like a row of dominoes, the events in your novel should cascade from one scene to the next, influencing each other through cause and effect. If you start with a small change, it can have huge implications for the rest of the story.