A domino is a small wooden or plastic block with a number of spots or dots arranged in a pattern similar to those on dice. It has a line or ridge down its center to divide its face visually into two squares. One side of each square is marked with a value, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, while the other is blank or is identically patterned to the other side. A domino is normally twice as long as it is wide, although there are exceptions to this rule.
Dominoes are used for a variety of games, most of which involve emptying the player’s hand while blocking opponents’ play. Some games are scoring games, such as bergen and muggins, which award points based on the number of pips on opposing players’ tiles. Others are blocking games, such as matador and chicken foot. There are even dominoes that replicate card games, such as solitaire and trick-taking, in order to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.
The term domino is also used figuratively to describe the effect of one event or action on the rest of an organization, such as a sports team clinching a championship after many years of losing. The idea is that the domino effect will create a snowball effect, leading to additional positive outcomes.
While it’s easy to get carried away with the possibility of a domino effect, it’s important to keep in mind that such an event is not guaranteed. For example, the soccer team that wins a championship could see its success shattered by an injury to a star player that ruins its momentum. Similarly, an initial success in a business may be followed by a period of failure or slump.
One of the most basic rules in domino is that a player must play all of his or her tiles before taking another turn. To do this, the players shuffle the tiles, and then draw one to determine who plays first. The player who draws the highest double goes first, and then each other player draws a hand of seven tiles.
If a player is unable to play his or her tile, that person must draw a new domino from the boneyard until he or she can. The player who has the most tiles left in his or her hand at the end of a round wins.
In addition to basic games, there are many ways to use dominoes for art and design purposes. Artists can create a single domino, or a whole set of them, to form an image or message. These can be used as decoration or in other artistic creations, such as sculptures and jewelry.
For more advanced domino play, the dominoes can be grouped into sets, with each group having a specific pattern or layout. These can be used to create patterns that are difficult or impossible to create with individual dominoes. In addition to these designs, artists can create a variety of 3-D structures using dominoes, including towers and pyramids.