What Is Dominoes?

Dominoes are little rectangular blocks that can be stacked on end in long lines. When one domino is knocked over, it can cause the rest of the line to tip over, and so on. Stacking them in this way creates a sequence of falling dominoes that can form beautiful, complicated designs.

Some people use them for games, while others just enjoy watching them fall. Dominoes are also a symbol of how one small event can have greater consequences than expected, often leading to a chain reaction that is much larger than the original domino. This is what gives rise to the term “domino effect.”

The most common type of domino set contains 28 tiles, called dominoes or domino pieces. These are usually black and white, although colored ones are also available. Other names for dominoes include bones, cards, tiles, or spinners. They are used for games involving skill, luck, or both. Depending on the game, different rules govern how to place and play them. The most common types of games are blocking and scoring.

In a blocking game, the object is to create a line of dominoes without touching any of the exposed ends. A player can score points by placing a domino in such a way that its exposed ends match up, for example, a single’s exposed end with another one’s exposed end or a two’s exposed end with a three’s exposed end. A player can also score by placing a double at right angles to the first one being played (or any other domino in a chain) and then playing another tile directly on top of it.

There are many different types of dominoes, including those with alternating colored pips or different shapes. Those with alternating pips belong to a suit of the same color, while those with different shapes belong to the other suit. The suits are usually arranged in two groups, white and black, to make it easier to distinguish the different types of pieces. There are also sets with fewer or more tiles than the standard 28.

Besides the traditional polymer materials, some sets are made from other natural substances such as bone, silver lip oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwoods like ebony. These are generally more expensive than polymer sets but can give a more elegant look to the games and a more substantial feel in the hand.

A domino artist is a person who uses dominoes to create artwork, such as lines of straight or curved dominoes that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Some domino artists have created impressive layouts for movies, TV shows, and events, such as the album release party for Katy Perry.

Creating these intricate domino setups requires more than just skill, however. It is important to understand the forces that affect how dominoes fall. For example, gravity plays a large role in how dominoes are set up and then fall. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy that is stored based on its position. When it falls, much of this energy is converted to kinetic energy that causes the next domino in the line to fall.