Domino is a game with many different rules and variations. It can be played by two or more players and is usually based on a line of dominoes standing on end. When one domino is knocked over, it triggers a chain reaction, and the rest of the dominoes fall. The domino effect is also used metaphorically to refer to a series of events that occur as a result of one precipitating event, or to describe causal linkages within larger systems such as global finance or politics.
The word domino is derived from the Latin word dominica, meaning little domino. The earliest known domino was a set of wooden blocks, each topped with a single flat round disc or plate that bore the number nine and was arranged in a circle. The oldest known domino set dates back to 1742 and is now housed in the Museum of Modern Art. In the 1890s, a company in England began producing dominoes with metal tabs that were placed over the numbers. This allowed the numbers to be clearly displayed and made them more durable. The resulting sets became popular in the United States and were sold in a variety of shapes.
In the early 1960s, Domino’s Pizza was founded by brothers Dominic and Frank Monaghan in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The chain quickly expanded, with more than 200 stores by 1978. One of the keys to its initial success was putting Domino’s locations near college campuses, where students could get fast, affordable food.
Another key to the chain’s growth was a policy of focusing on quality rather than quantity. Unlike competitors such as Pizza Hut, which prioritized quantity over quality, Domino’s focused on making sure each store had high-quality ingredients and trained staff. This approach helped set Domino’s apart from its competition and led to a rise in sales and profits for the company.
Domino’s strategy of focusing on quality and service would later prove to be very effective for the entire industry. In 2010, when former Domino’s CEO David Brandon was replaced by Steve Doyle, he cited three main goals that the company would focus on: quality of product, speed of delivery and customer satisfaction. By embracing these goals, Domino’s saw the most significant increase in same-store sales in company history.
The most common dominoes are molded polymers such as ABS, PET or PVC. However, some sets are made from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips (inlaid or painted). Natural-material dominoes tend to be heavier and more expensive than those made from plastics.
Before a game begins, the dominoes must be shuffled. The resulting collection of shuffled tiles is called the boneyard. The first player, determined by drawing lots or by determining who holds the highest hand, places the first domino on the table. The second player then draws a tile from the boneyard and plays it to the open end of the previous domino, which can be either a vertical or horizontal line.