What is Domino?


Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, blank on one side and marked by an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. A domino set usually consists of 28 pieces; larger sets may contain more. The earliest known set was made in China, around the 12th or 13th century. The word domino was borrowed from French in the 18th century, although it had earlier denoted a hooded robe worn with an eye mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The domino theory, a political concept that predicted how countries would react to events, was named after the domino effect, which describes how a single event can cause a chain reaction affecting many other people and things.

Dominoes are frequently used as building blocks to create artistic displays. A famous example was the giant set that former Polish president Lech Walesa toppled in 2009 for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Other artists construct elaborate mechanical devices called domino rallies that are triggered by remote control to produce a domino-like cascade of movement.

When domino is played, each player has a hand of dominoes, which are arranged so that the first tile plays to the left of the opening double and produces open ends on both sides of the line. Other tiles are then placed horizontally or vertically to the right of or to the left of the opening tile, depending on a particular game’s rules. As the dominoes are placed, they build up a snake-line shape across the table.

In most games, each player scores points for laying dominoes and the game continues until one player chips out (plays his last domino). The winner is the partner whose combined total of the pips on opposing players’ remaining tiles is the lowest. The earliest dominoes were marked with the values of six and five (representing the two numbers that result from throwing a die), but today they are typically marked with an arrangement of spots on one side and a blank or identically patterned face on the other.

When Hevesh starts a domino construction, she places the largest 3-D sections first. She then adds flat arrangements and finally lines of dominoes that connect all the sections together. Before she begins a sequence, she test-runs each individual section to ensure it works properly. This way, she can make precise adjustments if necessary. Her work is often filmed in slow motion so that she can see the dominoes as they move. She also uses a computer program that shows her the effect of each individual domino on the whole installation. The point is to get all the pieces in place so that they fall neatly and rhythmically when pushed. Writers who understand how to use the domino effect in their stories can help readers to keep reading until the final climax.