Domino is a game in which players try to knock down the same number of tiles by rolling them on a board. It’s a lot like playing dice, but it is much more complicated and involves more strategic thinking.
Dominoes are round pieces that have a line down the middle, which divides them into two squares called ends. Each end is either blank or contains a number of spots (pips) that range from six pips on the heaviest dominoes to none or blank on the lightest.
They come in different sets of varying lengths and shapes, but the most common set is a double-six with 28 unique tiles. Each tile has a number on both ends; the player rolls each tile, and the higher of the two numbers on each end is the winner.
The game of domino can be played with many types of pieces and a variety of rules, depending on the game’s style. Most traditional dominoes are square and made from wood or a hard material, such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory, or a dark hardwood, with contrasting black or white pips. Some are plastic or a combination of materials.
Stacking and tumbling the dominoes is another fun way to play with them, which can lead to spectacular designs. For example, Lily Hevesh, a 20-year-old YouTube star and professional domino artist, started playing with her grandparents’ dominoes when she was 9 years old.
She began posting videos of her domino creations on her channel Hevesh5, which has more than 2 million subscribers. She’s been able to build up her portfolio of works over time, including one for Katy Perry’s album launch and another that won a prize at the 2014 World Championships in Tokyo.
Hevesh’s work has led to her being featured on several websites and television shows, including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and the BBC. She’s also been recognized for her domino artwork by the National Art Museum of Ireland and the British Council.
To play the most popular Western domino games, which are block-and-draw games for two to four players, the tiles are shuffled face down on the table. A player draws the highest piece, which is usually the domino with the highest total pip count; the remaining tiles are then called the stock or boneyard.
The leader plays first, generally playing the heaviest domino. Unlike dice, which have a fixed number of holes in them, each domino has a certain number of pips, and it is these that determine the value of the piece. The heaviest domino is typically called the “heavy” or “double” domino, while the lightest is often called the “blank” or “light” domino.
If the dominoes are spaced properly, they can be stacked on top of each other to form lines. Eventually, the dominoes will tip over, which causes them to slide down and fall on each other, tumbling and creating more intricate designs.