A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block that bears identifying marks on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. Generally, the identifying mark is a pattern of dots resembling those on a die. A domino can be used to play a game that involves blocking or scoring points. A larger set of dominoes can be arranged in a grid that forms pictures when the pieces fall. Alternatively, these small blocks can be lined up in straight or curved lines to form walls, 3D structures like towers and pyramids, or stacked together to create art.
In addition to providing entertainment, dominoes can be used as tools for analyzing patterns and making decisions. In business, these blocks can be helpful in building a strategic plan that will allow a company to achieve its goals. A good strategy will require a number of dominoes to be completed before reaching its target, but if these blocks are picked carefully and placed in the right order, success can be achieved much more quickly than expected.
The word “domino” is also used to describe a chain reaction that causes one event to cause another in an uncontrolled way. For example, a car accident that knocks over a streetlight can cause many more lights to fall over in the vicinity and possibly lead to an even larger disaster. The word can also be applied to a system of steps that are required to complete a particular task, such as writing a novel or preparing taxes. Identifying the best tasks and placing them in the correct order can help a writer write a more cohesive story, while ensuring that all required steps are taken in the proper sequence.
When a domino is standing upright, it stores potential energy. This is because of its position against the pull of gravity. However, once the domino is knocked over, this potential energy is converted to kinetic energy that moves the entire chain forward. The energy that is stored in a domino is similar to the energy that can be found in a battery.
For a player to score in a domino game, the two matching ends of a tile must touch (i.e., one’s touch one’s and two’s touch two’s). Then, all other tiles played must be positioned either to the left or right of this initial doublet so that they form a cross. The player who scores the most after a certain number of rounds wins.
In the late 18th century, the term domino appeared in French and English as a game that involved placing tiles in a line or square, with each subsequent tile being placed to touch a neighboring piece in such a way that the exposed dots on both sides of each adjacent piece were equal. Earlier, domino denoted a long hooded cloak worn with a mask at a carnival or masquerade and may have evoked images of a priest’s black domino contrasted against his white surplice.