What is Domino?

The domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as gaming pieces. Over the centuries dominoes have been made from various materials including wood, bone, ivory, and plastic. They are normally twice as long as they are wide and a little thicker than a normal playing card. The face of a domino is usually marked with a number of spots or pips from one to six. Each side of a domino is also marked with a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares. The values of each end may be different or the same, but they must match for a domino to play to another.

A single domino can be arranged to form lines, curved lines, grids that make pictures when they fall, stacked walls, and 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. Domino art is very popular. You can even make your own tracks and arrows to show the way you want the dominoes to fall.

A large stack of dominoes can be a good tool to teach the principles of gravity and centrifugal force. They can also be used to demonstrate that the laws of mathematics are invariant under a variety of conditions.

One of the most fascinating things about domino is its ability to knock over objects of up to one-and-a-half times its own size. This is because a domino has inertia and resists motion until it gets pushed beyond its tipping point. Once that happens, the potential energy stored in the domino becomes available to do other things — mainly to push on other dominoes.

In a domino game, players take turns placing tiles on the table. Each tile must touch a previous piece so that the chain develops in a snake-like pattern. The chain is completed when the last tile has a matching value on both ends. If the two matching ends are not adjacent, a cross-way double must be played to create a connection between them. If a player has no more tiles to place, they must “knock” the table and pass play on to the next player.

Many games are played with a fixed number of dominoes, such as the classic 28-piece set. The traditional domino set was designed to represent every possible combination of the faces of two thrown dice. There were also sets with blank faces, and some Chinese dominoes had a mix of both. Some modern sets have more than one type of domino, but these are not common.

A domino effect refers to the consequences of an event or action influencing other events or actions in an uncontrolled way. It is the opposite of the butterfly effect, which refers to the idea that one change in the behavior or activity of a small group of people can cause a ripple effect throughout an entire population or culture. The term is also sometimes used to describe the effect of a person’s decision on the behavior or activities of other people.