We’ve all witnessed domino constructions where, by tipping one piece ever so slightly, an entire line of hundreds (or thousands) falls with stunning simplicity when even one piece tips ever so slightly. This phenomenon is an example of the domino effect, which refers to any action which causes a series of events to follow a predictable sequence in time and space. Often used metaphorically as “domino effect”, domino can refer to economic collapse or political upheaval as well.
A domino is a small rectangular block with one side bearing between one and six pips or dots, while its opposing face is blank or identically patterned to that on which pips appear; often their suit can be distinguished from others by how their two faces match; this enables easy identification between pieces in a set. A set of 28 dominoes comprises 28 tiles; “domino” may also refer to various games played with them where exposed ends touch each other either in matching order (e.g. one touches two’s touching ones) or in specific patterns (e.g. five-to-one).
The word domino comes from Latin dominum, meaning “dominant,” and first appeared in English around 1750, though its roots may date back earlier to French usage as part of a phrase meaning a hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at masquerades. Later, priests often donned long black hooded capes as an additional garment worn over their surplices.
Dominoes can be played for many different games, with blocking and scoring games being two of the most popular options. Blocking involves placing tiles so their exposed ends touch on previous tiles’ exposed ends in order to build up a chain whose length gradually grows over time. A game is won when all dominoes on one side are completed on that table – players win by finishing all dominoes first!
Scoring games involve arranging tiles so that their numbers on their faces match: one domino counts as one suit and adjacent dominoes may form another suit if their sum matches (e.g. both have multiples of five). Players win by arranging all their tiles in accordance with a predetermined pattern and fulfilling any necessary rules of gameplay.
Dominoes should always be shuffled before starting to play a game of dominoes so that no one knows the location of any given domino. A collection of such dominoes is known as a boneyard; commonly used sets include double six and nine sets but there are larger collections too. While the basic domino set only contains one suit, multiple suits have since been developed to meet player preferences for specific patterns or scoring systems; certain sets even boast additional pips such as an alternating pattern between white and black or even special designs on white pips to further differentiate them from similar sets.