Dominoes are small rectangular blocks with a line down the middle that separates two ends. Each end has a number of spots, called pips, that correspond to numbers on adjacent sides of the domino. Dominoes are used to play many different games. The most common are positional games, where one player places a domino edge-to-edge against another to form some specified total. A traditional set of dominoes has one unique piece for each possible combination of numbers from one through six. There are also sets with more than six pieces, and even larger ones, but these are less common.
Some players prefer to use the tiles for other purposes. For example, some players like to make domino art, which can be very elaborate. Domino art can include straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. It can also be made with a particular theme, such as Christmas trees, flowers, or animals. The main reason that domino art is so interesting is because it demonstrates some basic principles of physics.
As a domino falls, it creates a pulse that travels down the line of tiles, just like a nerve impulse in your body. The speed at which a domino travels down its line is independent of the size of the triggering domino and only goes in one direction.
A domino that is pushed gently with your finger can fall at an almost imperceptible rate. This is because a force called gravity acts on it. When a domino is knocked over, this force pulls it toward Earth and sends it crashing into the next domino in the line, starting a chain reaction.
The process of establishing a domino chain is often referred to as “buying.” In some positionsal games, each player can buy all the tiles in the stock that match the pips on their remaining tiles. The player who buys all the available tiles is credited with a certain amount of points. In other positionsal games, the winner is determined by the sum of the pips on the remaining tiles.
After the dominoes are shuffled, each player draws a hand of tiles from the stock. The player with the highest value draw makes the first play.
If you are playing with more than one person, a player may be allowed to draw more tiles for their hand than are permitted by the rules of the game. This is called an overdraw, and the extra tiles are added to the hand of the player to his or her right. The hand should then be reshuffled before another player draws.
If the line of play runs out of spaces, or if no player is able to place a domino, the game ends. The winner is the player whose partners have the lowest total number of pips on their remaining tiles. There are also some games where the players can choose to chip out of a hand. When this happens, the number of pips on the remaining dominoes is recorded and that score is awarded to the winner.