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The domino effect is a theory in which a small cause, such as a hiccup or a traffic jam, can result in a chain reaction of events that has a much larger impact. It is based on the principle that the energy of a system (including people) is affected by how it’s changed or moved from one state to another. This is also known as the law of conservation of energy.
In a domino game, a person places a rectangular wooden or plastic tile on the table and then lines up its edge with an adjacent piece, called a pips. The edge of each tile is either flat or rounded, and it may have numbers or blanks. The number or blank indicates the value of the piece, which is normally used to start a chain of pieces that will ultimately fall over and touch each other in a pattern that starts at the center of the layout.
When a player places a domino, it’s normally done in turns. Each tile must be played to the opposite edge of an existing tile, thereby creating a chain. A player must also ensure that the two matching ends show a number, or they are said to be “stitched up.” If a player places a tile that is a double and the other end shows a different number than its own, it is said to form a “snake-line.”
A domino can have anywhere from four to nine pips. These numbers indicate the values of a piece; a six-pip domino is considered more valuable than one with fewer pips or no pips at all. There are a variety of games that can be played with these pieces, some involving only two players and others that involve several players.
Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes as a child and continued to collect them when she became older. She eventually started posting videos of her creations online, and now has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers. She’s even designed stunning domino setups for movies and TV shows, as well as events for celebrities like Katy Perry.
The word domino, first recorded in the 18th century, comes from a French word that means “hooded cloak” and may have been used to refer to a mask worn with a long hooded cloak at a carnival or masquerade. An earlier sense of the word may have referred to a cape worn by a priest over his surplice.
A domino set consists of a group of tiles with a value on each end and pips on the sides, so that all the pips are visible when the domino is arranged face down on the table. Each domino is typically twice as long as it is wide, so the domino is able to be easily re-stacked after use. There are a variety of different sets available, from the classic 28-piece set to more elaborate double-nine or double-twelve (91 tiles) domino sets.