A domino is a small rectangular block, flat on one side and marked with a pattern of dots that resembles those on dice. The other side is blank or identically patterned. A domino set contains a number of these blocks that can be used in games to build lines of “falling” dominoes. The name “domino” comes from the fact that when a domino is placed on a table it often sets off a chain reaction whereby other dominoes are moved to match the first ones, like a row of falling soldiers. The term is also used to describe the actions of a person or group that have a large impact on others.
Dominoes are usually made of wood or another rigid material, but they can also be plastic or metal. The most common sets have double-nine dominoes, which can be played with up to four players. Larger sets are also available, such as double-12 and double-18. Some sets are engraved or painted with the numbers, while others have a smooth surface that is easy to grip and carry.
Traditionally, dominoes have been carved from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory and dark hardwoods such as ebony. These types of dominoes have a distinctive look and feel, as well as a heavier weight. They are more expensive than polymer dominoes, but are prized by collectors for their history and beauty.
A person who plays dominoes may use the game as a tool for learning to concentrate and focus. In addition, the game can help improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills. The mental challenge of dominoes can also be helpful in developing patience and self-discipline.
The domino effect is a term used in the business world to describe the way that a change in one area can affect related areas. For example, if a company cuts costs in one department, it may have a ripple effect and reduce profits in other departments as a result. This concept can also apply to other aspects of life such as health and wellness.
For a writer, the domino effect can be applied to the way that a scene influences the next one in a novel or nonfiction writing. The scene dominoes might be character motivations, a major event or other elements that contribute to the story’s development.
Dominos are also used in art to create curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. When creating a domino art, the artist should carefully plan out the design before beginning construction. This includes figuring out how many dominoes are needed and what types of shapes they will be.
In a Dominos game, each player starts with seven dominoes in their hand. The remaining dominoes are face down on the table and called the boneyard. When a player cannot play from their hand, they draw from the boneyard until they find a domino with matching values to the domino they already have on the table.