Domino, or dominoes (plural), are small rectangular blocks used as gaming objects. They are usually made of rigid material such as wood or bone and may be marked with pips similar to those on dice. Several different kinds of domino games exist. Many of them involve blocking or scoring; others require matching a tile with a previous one. There are also a few sets designed for children.
Lily Hevesh started playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-pack at age 9. She fell in love with the game, fascinated by its ability to create long curved lines and amazing displays of physics. Her passion grew into her job as a domino artist, creating intricate domino setups for movies, TV shows, and events. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers.
Hevesh’s biggest creations take up to 300,000 dominoes. When she begins a new project, she considers the theme and purpose. She then brainstorms images or words she might want to use for the design. Finally, she creates test versions of each section of the installation, which she then demonstrates to make sure they work properly.
Generally, dominoes are used in groups of four or more people. The most common set has double-sixes, which can be paired with other double-sixes to form chains of 12 or more tiles. Other common extended domino sets include double-12, double-15, and double-18. These sets have more pips than the basic double-six set, allowing more possible combinations of ends.
Most domino games are based on simple rules. The most famous involves placing the last domino in a line in such a way that its end is touching another tile’s side. This creates a chain reaction that causes the remaining dominoes to fall. The resulting chain can reach almost any length.
There are some specialized domino games, including 5s-and-3s, a version of the game that is played in British public houses and social clubs. In this game, players attach a domino from their hand to the end of another domino that has been placed so that the sum of the pips on the two ends is divisible by five or three. A player scores points for each time this happens.
The term domino was coined by English journalist and satirist Richard Cobden in 1870, although some believe it has roots in the Latin word dominium, meaning a “throne or pedestal.” It became popular in the United States after the 1860s, when it was used to describe a political situation in which one small event could lead to an out-of-control chain reaction. In the United States, President Dwight D. Eisenhower cited the idea of the falling domino principle in a 1961 speech that helped justify America’s support for Ngo Dinh Diem’s government in South Vietnam.
The most important physical phenomenon involved in domino is gravity. This force pulls a knocked-over domino toward the ground, allowing it to hit the next domino in the row with enough momentum to cause it to fall. This process continues until the last domino falls, completing the sequence of actions.