# What is Domino?

Domino is a game in which players place dominoes on a table and then try to match up their ends so that they are touching. The end of a domino can either have a number, which shows the value, or it can be blank (a “wild” end). When matched, these pieces form a chain or “snake” that develops randomly according to the whims of the players.

The word domino is also used to describe an event that has a significant impact on something else. For example, a change in a law could have a domino effect on the economy.

There are many different games that use dominoes, from simple to complex. Generally, they involve stacking dominoes on end in long lines. A player then tries to tip one of the dominoes, which causes the next domino in line to topple. This creates a domino effect, which continues until all the dominoes have fallen.

A domino is normally twice as long as it is wide, and the sides have a number of spots, called pips. The values on the sides range from six pips down to none or blank, and the sum of the pips on each side is called its rank or weight. A tile with a higher rank or weight is heavier, and therefore harder to knock over, than a lower-ranked or blank domino.

Some domino games have scoring systems, such as bergen and muggins, that determine points by counting the pips on a domino. Others are blocking games, such as matador and chicken foot, where each player attempts to block their opponents’ play until they have all their tiles in their hands. The game is won by the pair whose remaining pips add up to the least amount.

In addition to being fun, domino is a great way for kids to learn about patterns and numbers. It also helps them develop fine motor skills. A great way to use dominoes in the classroom is to make a domino writing template, which allows children to write about their favorite subject using the shape of a domino.

Michael Dummett, who writes about the history of dominoes, argues that the European domino set probably did not come from China but rather was invented independently in Italy. He suggests that the European version of the game differs from the Chinese game in that it does not have military-civilian suit distinctions or duplicates.

In his 1983 book, Dominoes: How They Work and How to Make Them Fall, University of British Columbia physicist Lorne Whitehead demonstrated that a domino has much more power than we realize. When a domino is tipped, most of its potential energy converts to kinetic energy as it moves toward the floor, and some of this energy is transmitted to the domino next to it, providing the push needed for that domino to knock over. This is what makes dominoes so powerful. For more information on how dominoes can be tipped and their impact on the environment, see the article on Domino Power: The Science of the Domino Effect.