The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are a set of small square blocks that can be stacked on end to form long lines. When one domino is tipped over, it causes the others to fall in succession, creating intricate patterns. They are often used for games that involve blocking, scoring or trick-taking, but they can also be arranged to create art pieces. Some people even use them to make their own personal domino layouts, with some domino artists having a devoted following online.

The name domino may have come from the Italian word for “flip” or from the Latin term domina, meaning “shepherd.” The earliest recorded use of the word was in 1771. It appears to have become popular as a game in the early 18th century, spreading from Italy to Austria and southern Germany. By the late 18th century, it had risen to fad status in France.

Usually, a domino has a number showing on one side and is blank or patterned in a similar fashion on the other. This design allows players to ascribe a value to each domino by counting the spots or pips. The pips on a domino range from six to zero; the sum of these values is called its rank or weight. Depending on the particular rules of a game, each domino has a specific placement on a domino chain.

Each domino can be matched with another by placing it so that its ends are touching. When this occurs, it is said that the domino is “stitched up.” Then additional tiles can be placed on top of it in a chain with their open ends facing either direction.

Most dominoes are made of a material such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl) or ivory with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. These materials lend a tactile quality to the pieces, and they are usually more expensive than sets that are manufactured from polymer.

Although most domino games require only a single player, many are played in pairs or groups. In these situations, the winner is determined by whoever has the most combined total of spots on their remaining tiles after all players have ‘chipped out’. Occasionally, play stops when a player can’t continue; this is called a draw.

While the domino principle can be applied to a variety of situations, it is particularly useful in business. By focusing on the most important tasks first, and giving each of them their full attention until completion, companies can achieve significant success. For example, a manager could break down the process of working on a financial plan into several good dominoes, such as outlining a budget, creating a plan and executing that plan. Each of these tasks would be its own good domino, and when each was completed successfully, it could have a positive impact on the larger company strategy. In this way, the company could achieve its desired results quickly and efficiently.