Domino is the name of a game and the term for a small tile marked on both sides with an arrangement of dots. Dominoes are used to play games like a traditional dice game, but also for other kinds of strategy-based games, such as block building or scoring. Dominoes may be colored to distinguish different types or they might be blank, with the numbering on the other sides resembling a die. The most common domino set has a total of 28 pieces. Other sets include more specialized tiles for specific games, such as double-six.
The word “domino” has a long history, both as a game and a piece of furniture. The word may have been derived from the Latin verb domino, which refers to the act of putting something on top of another thing. The game itself was first introduced to Europe in the late 1700s, though it existed much earlier. The earliest sense of the word domino, however, was a garment: a long black hooded cloak worn by a priest over his white surplice for carnival season or masquerade.
Dominoes are also sometimes used to make art, and they have been shaped into straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when fallen, or even 3-D structures. Artists who use dominoes for art often follow a similar process to creating other kinds of works of art. This involves considering the theme of the piece, brainstorming images or words that might be appropriate for the work, and then planning how to lay the dominoes out to create the desired effect.
When an engineer or architect designs a new structure, she will often start by drawing a plan on paper. The plan shows how the dominoes will be arranged and what they will do when they fall. Using this diagram, she can test out the design and determine if it will work or if it needs to be modified. This process is very similar to the way artists and designers plan their work.
While a domino is most commonly referred to as a rectangular tile, it can also be an octagon or a triangle. The shape of a domino affects its ability to be stacked and the kind of game it can be played. For example, a curved domino is more likely to fit into an octagon than a square.
Besides blocking and scoring games, domino can be used to create puzzles. One simple example is concentration, in which players try to match two dominoes by laying them end to end. Each side of the touching ends must have the same number of dots: for instance, a double-six must touch a double-two or a double-four. The player who scores the most points over a series of rounds wins the game.
Dominoes are often used in lessons on time management and organizational skills. They are a great visual for explaining the principle of the Domino Effect: if you change one behavior, it will cause a chain reaction and influence other related behaviors. For example, if you begin exercising regularly, you are likely to eat healthier foods as a result.