What is Domino?

Domino is a type of game where players place tiles, called dominoes, edge to edge in lines to build larger chains. Each domino has a number of spots, like the ones on a die or playing card, which distinguishes it from other dominoes. The first player to play all of his or her tiles wins the game. Some games, such as the classic game of jacks, are played with one domino set while others use multiple sets to create more complicated rules.

Dominoes are made from a variety of materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory and a dark hardwood such as ebony. The most common dominoes have a colored surface with black or white dots inlaid or painted. They can also be made from ceramic clay or frosted glass. These sets are often considered more desirable than those made from polymer materials, as their weight and feel are generally more substantial.

A Domino Effect is a situation where a single event, whether it is an accident, lawsuit or governmental action, has the effect of throwing off a chain reaction in which subsequent events occur rapidly and are hard to stop. The term is derived from the fact that each event builds upon the previous one in a very similar way to how a stack of dominoes falls when a single domino is dropped.

The history of dominoes and their names is as interesting as the games they inspire. In English and French, the word “domino” originally referred to a hooded cloak worn by participants at carnival season or masquerade balls together with a mask. It later came to refer to a gaming piece that brought to mind the priest’s black domino contrasting with his or her white surplice.

In addition to blocking and scoring games, dominoes are used for other types of games as well. Concentration and trick-taking games, which were adaptations of card games, became popular in certain regions to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards. Dominoes may also be used to play solitaire or to form the basis for an exercise in pattern recognition.

The most common domino games involve matching identical or very similar tiles. In most Western games, the identity-bearing side of a domino is divided by a line or a ridge into two squares, each with an arrangement of spots, known as pips, on its ends. A domino that has all of its pips showing is said to be “fully matched.” If a domino has any blank sides, it is considered to be wild and can be paired with any other tile in the same hand. In this way, each player seeks to acquire as many dominoes as possible while avoiding those that are unlikely to be of much use. Play stops when a player can no longer make a play or when the total of the pips on his or her remaining dominoes is less than the winning total.