Domino is a game in which players build a chain of dominoes by putting them on end in long lines. One domino in the line can be tipped over, causing other dominoes to fall over in sequence until all of them are gone. This is the origin of the term “domino effect,” which refers to a situation in which one small event leads to much greater–and sometimes catastrophic–consequences.
Each domino is rectangular in shape and carries an arrangement of spots or dots on both sides. There are usually a total of 28 dominoes in a complete set. The identity-bearing face of the domino is divided visually into two squares called ends, each bearing from one to six pips (dots): seven pips are typical, but some dominoes have none at all. The sum of the pips on both ends is the value of the domino, which can be used to determine its rank in a domino chain.
A domino is marked with a line in the middle to separate the two squares; this separation is often referred to as a ridge. A domino is normally twice as long as it is wide, so that it can easily be re-stacked after use.
Dominos are generally played on a table, with each player in turn placing a tile onto the surface. In most games, each domino must be positioned so that it covers both of the pips shown on the adjacent ends of a previously placed tile. In addition, a tile must be played on such a way that the next domino to be added to the chain is either to the left or right of the previous domino.
The first player to place all of their tiles on the table is said to win the game. In some games, the winner is determined by scoring points, or by blocking opponents’ play. There are also games of chance, where a domino’s values can be determined by the number of pips in its corners or the total amount of value it has across its entire face.
Dominoes can be arranged in many ways, including horizontal and vertical columns or rows, in a circle, and in other 3-D shapes. A person who builds these arrangements and places them on the table in a carefully-planned sequence is referred to as a domino artist. One such artist, Lily Hevesh, has amassed a huge following for her YouTube videos of herself setting up and arranging these impressive chains of dominoes in straight and curved lines, as well as angular designs. Each of Hevesh’s domino setups is carefully planned out and filmed in slow motion to make sure everything works correctly. She is a professional Domino artist and has done some work for movies, TV shows, and events, including an album launch for pop star Katy Perry.