A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, bearing a series of dots or numbers in a pattern resembling those on dice. It is typically painted or engraved in various colors, and can be carved, molded, or cast. A domino is used for playing a game in which players place tiles on the floor, positioning them so that they touch one another at either end of a line of dominoes. When the first tile is flipped over, a chain reaction occurs that causes every other domino to topple in turn. The game is most often played on a table, but can also be played in the air or on a wall. There are many different variations of the game, and some people use dominoes as a tool for self-improvement, using them to improve their memory, or simply to relax.
A popular variety of domino is the double six, which contains 28 tiles. There are also larger sets available, such as the double nine, which includes 55 tiles. Most dominoes are made from polymer, a synthetic resin, but there are also sets that are made of natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, and ebony. Natural-material dominoes are typically much more expensive than polymer sets, but they offer a distinctive and beautiful look.
Dominoes can be used for a number of games, including layout games, blocking games, and scoring games. In a layout game, a player takes turns placing dominoes on the table in such a way that they create a long domino chain. When a player places a domino, it must be matched with a domino that has the same number of pips as the one it is touching at both ends. Alternatively, a tile may be played that has the same color as a previous domino and is then matched with any other colored tile.
Some sets of dominoes come with special pieces that can be arranged to form specific patterns. The most common layouts involve forming a train, or a zigzag, by connecting a single domino to several others. These patterns are particularly useful for training a child’s motor skills.
There are many theories about the origin of the word “domino.” Some believe that the term was derived from a French word for masquerades, and refers to a hooded robe worn with an eye mask at a party or festival. Others believe that it was an Italian word meaning “little mountain,” referring to the fact that a small amount of force can trigger a greater effect. The word is also believed to have been a shortened version of the name Domingue, an early name for the city of Naples in Italy.
While Domino’s is experimenting with robot delivery and drone delivery, its real challenge in the short term comes from third-party delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash. These companies operate flawed business models, and their rapid market share gains will eventually erode Domino’s profitability.