# Dominoes

A small rectangular block of wood or plastic that is marked on one face with an arrangement of dots resembling those on a die, and blank or identically patterned on the other. Dominoes are used to play a variety of games, the rules of which vary widely from place to place. The word is also used to describe a chain reaction, or domino effect, in which one event causes a series of events that each influence the other in a predictable way.

Dominoes are often played in groups of two or more players, and the game can be a cooperative or competitive endeavor. Depending on the specific rules of the game, some of the players may be designated as “buyers” and others as “passers.” The person who makes the first play is referred to as the setter, downer, or leader, and he or she places his or her tile face up in the center of the table.

As the game progresses, each player matches and plays a domino in turn. The configuration of tiles formed after all of the dominoes have been played is called the layout, string, or line of play. In some games, a player’s score is based on the sum of all the numbers of pips on the dominoes in his or her own line of play.

Hevesh, who has a following of more than 2 million on her YouTube channel, creates domino displays for film and television sets and for special events, including an album launch for Katy Perry. Her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall, as the physics of dominoes are put to the test.

Throughout history, people have found many ways to use dominoes to express themselves artistically. Artists and designers have employed them to build structures, set records, create patterns, and even tell stories.

Dominoes are often used in chess and other board games as pieces that must be moved to particular positions. A domino is an excellent teaching tool because it allows children to explore the principles of geometry, physics, and probability without the use of complex formulas.

When a domino is knocked over, it is said to have fallen, or been “hit,” and the player to its left must then make his or her play. In some paired games, the partners may be required to agree on the order of play in advance. The players whose combined total of all the pips on their remaining dominoes is lowest are the winners.

In addition to the traditional wood-and-plastic dominoes, modern manufacturers have produced sets made from other materials such as marble, granite, and soapstone. Some sets are made of natural materials like bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), ivory, or ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted. These sets tend to be more expensive than those made from polymer materials. They are often viewed as more attractive and desirable, with a weight and feel that is more substantial than the lightweight polymer dominoes.