A Beginner’s Guide to Dominoes


Dominoes have been around for a long time, from simple kids toys to elaborate setups made for movies, TV shows and even an album launch. Lily Hevesh has been playing with dominoes since she was 9 years old and started creating amazing setups on YouTube when she was 10. She’s now a professional domino artist who makes her living creating sets for film, TV and events.

A domino is one of 28 tiles in a set of dominoes (also known as bones, cards, men, stones, tickets, spinners or tiles). They are normally twice as long as they are wide and have either two square ends that are blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. Each domino has a specific value which is indicated by the number of spots or pips it has on each side. The domino with the highest value is called a double-six, while a domino with no spots or pips is referred to as a blank.

In a domino game, each player draws a hand of dominoes and places them on the table so that they are facing up. The first player then plays a domino by positioning it against another tile so that the corresponding end of the two tiles are connected and either match each other or form a specific total. Depending on the game, additional tiles may also be placed against the sides of a domino that is already connected to other tiles. If a domino has only one open end, it is considered to be a single and can only be played against other singles. However, if a domino has two open ends it can be paired with either singles or other doubles.

Once all players have played a domino, it is passed to the next player. If a player cannot play their domino, they “knock” or rap the table and the game continues in this manner until either all of the players have finished playing their tiles or none of them can continue to do so.

The term domino also applies to a chain reaction of events or outcomes, such as a political event or economic development. A politician or policymaker’s actions can have domino effects, whereby they trigger other events that may result in unexpected consequences. The term also refers to a domino effect in a business, whereby the failure of one company or division causes other companies or divisions to fail as well.

When playing domino, the goal is to get all of your tiles laid down in a row or curved line before the other players. This can be done in many ways, but the most popular way is to make a track using a pencil and paper to draw arrows showing how each domino should fall. This can be as simple or complicated as you want – from straight lines to curved tracks, grids that form pictures when the dominoes are fallen, or 3D structures like towers and pyramids.