Domino is a game of skill, chance, and luck that involves matching the edges of tiles to make long lines or angular patterns. It can be played with any number of players, from one to several, with a variety of rules. Some games involve emptying your hand while blocking opponents’ play, while others focus on scoring points. Dominoes are a fun way to develop math and number recognition skills, and they also help children learn about probability.
To begin the game, all players draw a number of dominoes from the stock or tin. Depending on the rules of the specific domino game being played, this will determine who makes the first play. Generally, the player with the highest double or the largest single begins play. If a tie exists, it may be broken by drawing lots or by starting the game with the winner of the last game.
After a domino is set, each player must play his or her tile onto the table positioning it edge to edge against another domino in such a way that one or more of its ends show a number, either the matching side of the domino or a number specified by the rules of the particular domino game being played. As the player places each domino in turn, the chains of numbers are gradually extended. Depending on the game, these chains can be used to score points, build walls, or both.
As the dominoes are matched together, they form a sequence of numbers called a “count.” When the count is complete, all players place the remaining tiles in front of them on the table. The player with the highest count wins the game.
Dominoes can be placed in straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or stacked walls. They can also be placed in 3-D structures such as towers or pyramids. Some artists use dominoes to create large-scale installations.
A physicist at the University of Toronto explains that a domino has potential energy, or stored energy based on its position, while a falling domino has kinetic energy, or energy of motion. As a domino falls, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as it moves through the air and hits other objects, which in turn cause additional dominoes to fall.
Dominoes are small enough to fit in a confined workshop but detailed enough to demand respect for the craftsman who builds them. Nick Hevesh, who has a home workshop that includes a drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, belt sander and welder, developed his own method for making dominoes. He tests each of the different parts of his creations to ensure that they will work properly before putting them all together. He also films each individual part of the installation so he can see how it works in slow motion and correct any problems before they are too late. His process requires a lot of patience, but the results are breathtaking.