Domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as gaming object. It is often referred to as a bone, piece, man, tile, or card and may also be described as having a black or white surface. Dominoes are used to play positional games that involve laying the pieces edge to edge against each other so that the exposed ends match, or form some specified total.
There are many different kinds of dominoes and games that can be played with them. For example, one popular game involves lining up dominoes into long lines and then knocking them over. The player who has the most dominoes left when all of their lines have fallen is the winner. There are also a number of artistic applications for dominoes, such as making designs on the floor that form pictures when they fall.
Another use for dominoes is to create a track for trains or cars to travel on. This is done by laying out the tiles in the desired track shape and then adding a corresponding set of directional arrows that indicate the way the dominoes should be positioned. Some of the more elaborate tracks can have curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, or even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. To make these more complicated projects, Hevesh creates test versions of each section of the track before putting it all together. She then films each part of the layout in slow motion to check that it works as planned.
The word domino comes from the Italian domina, meaning “fate” or “luck.” It is thought that a game of domino originated in Italy around 1750 and spread to Austria and southern Germany before becoming a fad in France by the early 18th century. It was introduced to England by French prisoners of war toward the end of that same period and its popularity grew worldwide.
Although there are many variations to the game, most dominoes have a standard set of 28 pieces. Each piece is printed with either black or white dots and may have one, two, or three pips on each end. The most common domino sets include double-nine, double-12, and double-18. Larger sets exist, but they are rarely used and are difficult to handle.
Dominoes can be made from a wide variety of materials, including stone (e.g., marble and soapstone), other woods (e.g., ebony and walnut); metals (such as brass or pewter); and ceramic clay. The most commonly used polymer for dominoes, however, is polystyrene.
The most common way to score a game of domino is by having all the exposed ends on the first domino line match (one’s touching two’s, and two’s touching one’s). When this is achieved, the player receives points for each matching pair of pips on opposing players’ tiles. Depending on the rules of the game, doubles may count as one or two (a 6-6 counts as 12); and blanks may count as zero or 14 (again, the rule variations must be agreed upon before the game begins). The player who has the most points after a set number of rounds wins.