The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are a type of game where players try to place tiles on their opponents’ hands. It is similar to the popular game of “Five-Up.”

The origins of dominoes are unclear, but they have been traced back to 1750. The word domino is derived from the French word dominier, meaning a long hooded cloak worn over a mask during carnival season or by a priest at a masquerade.

Like playing cards, a domino has two ends marked with identifying marks, known as spots or pips. The number of pips is usually equal on both sides, though some sets have ends that vary by three pips or more, called extended sets.

These differences in number of pips make the game more complex to play. For example, a set with a single end has four pips, while a double-six set has six pips on each side.

In order to win a game of domino, a player must be able to empty his or her hand without leaving any pips behind in their opponent’s hand. Often, this is done by placing one tile on the opponent’s hand and then immediately playing a double tile on the same side. In a variant of five-up, this double tile awards the player a bonus play, which can be as many as a triple tile, in addition to the standard play.

Some players prefer the more complicated version of the game, called “block-and-draw.” In this variation, the 28 tiles are shuffled face down, which forms the stock or boneyard. Then, each player draws seven tiles from the stock. The leader plays first, and the heaviest piece wins; the next player draws another domino from the stock, and so on.

This method of playing has its roots in ancient Chinese and Indian cultures, where it is thought to be a symbol of prosperity. In modern times, it is a popular game for two to four players.

There are many different types of dominoes, but most are double-sided and have a line on each side. In most cases, the line divides the tiles into two squares, each with a different value. These two values may be six or fewer pips, but can also range from no pips to ones that are blank.

The first rule of the domino effect is to focus on small, manageable tasks that will move you closer to your goal. These can be things like completing a financial plan or achieving other goals.

Keeping these tasks short and sweet makes them easier to complete, which means you can maintain momentum as you work toward your goal. You can also use the domino effect when trying to break a habit or change an unhealthy one.

Domino artist Hevesh creates incredibly elaborate designs using her knowledge of physics and the laws of gravity. She has created installations involving 300,000 dominoes and helped set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017.