What is Domino?

Domino is a small rectangular block that has been marked on one side with an arrangement of dots or pips similar to those on dice. The other side is blank or patterned with a different arrangement of dots. The domino is used for playing various games and can be stacked to form 3-D structures like towers and pyramids. The term is also used for the game itself and for a set of rules that governs how the pieces are placed and when they fall.

Lily Hevesh first started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents owned a classic 28-piece set and she loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking them to watch the entire line fall, domino by domino. By age 15, she had amassed a large collection and was posting videos of her creations online. She eventually became a professional domino artist, creating mind-blowing setups for movies, TV shows, and events.

While the idea of a domino effect has been around for centuries, the term did not gain widespread use until the mid-1800s. The game was popularized in France, and later spread to Italy, Austria, southern Germany and England, where it was brought over by French prisoners of war. The word domino appears to have been inspired by two earlier recorded meanings—one referring to costumes consisting of a hooded robe worn with an eye mask at a masquerade and the other referencing crudely colored woodcuts on paper popular among French peasants.

The most common games played with dominoes involve placing the tiles edge to edge against each other, either identical or forming some specified total. Some games, such as draw and knock, involve placing all of the dominoes in a row before the start of play and taking turns drawing and placing dominoes in their rows. Other games, such as a double-six, have players take smaller numbers of dominoes and pass their turn when they can’t place any more tiles in their row.

When a domino is flipped over, it transfers its potential energy into kinetic energy, the energy of motion (see Converting Energy). Some of this energy is transferred to the next domino in the row, giving that domino the push it needs to fall. This process continues until all of the dominoes have fallen.

Many people also use the concept of the domino effect to describe a situation in which an initial event causes a chain reaction that ultimately has much larger consequences than the original event. For example, if someone starts smoking regularly, then other people in their social circle may also begin smoking, which can lead to a decline in the health of a community as a whole.

When it comes to personal habits, the idea of a good domino is something that can help us break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. For example, if you want to work on getting your finances in order, then creating a financial plan and executing that plan are good dominoes that can make the overall process more manageable. Similarly, if you commit to making your bed each day, then this is a small habit that can have big impact on your life by helping you develop the identity of being a neat and tidy person.