# The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are small rectangular wood or plastic blocks, each bearing an arrangement of spots resembling those on dice. They have a blank or identically patterned face on one side and an identifying mark, called a pip, on the other. They are typically used for games played by two or more players, although they may also be used alone. The basic rules of domino vary from game to game, as do the scoring systems. Some of the more common games are shown on this site, but there are many others.

The word domino derives from the Latin for “flip.” When a domino is set on its edge, it flips over, revealing its other side. A domino that is flipped in this way can continue to flip until it ends up on its side, which then makes it a complete rectangle and no longer triggers new turns of the chain reaction.

Unlike playing cards, which have a fixed number of possible arrangements of suits and symbols, each domino has a different pattern on each of its six sides. This uniqueness allows players to create a variety of patterns of plays with the same tiles.

When a player draws more than he is entitled to for his hand, it is called overdrawing. If he can be certain that the extra tiles won’t be used in his hand, he may buy them from the stock without looking at them, but he must then return the surplus to the stock.

During the game, the player who holds the heaviest domino begins play. If he can’t make a play on his first turn, the player who draws a higher domino takes over the lead. The order of play can be determined in other ways, depending on the game.

Stephen Morris, a physicist at the University of Toronto, says that when a domino is standing upright, gravity exerts a pull on it. This energy, stored on its surface, is converted to kinetic energy when the domino falls over. As it falls, much of this energy is transferred to the other dominoes in the chain. The force of this energy is proportional to the distance between the top of the first domino and the bottom of the last.

Just like a good domino, a good task is something that contributes to a larger goal and requires some effort and concentration. It is usually challenging and carries some risk, but it has the potential to have a huge impact in the future. For example, developing a financial plan might seem like an intimidating task, but it can be broken down into several good dominoes such as determining finances, creating a budget, and executing that budget. Identifying these dominoes will help to manage the overall process and make it easier to stay on track. It will also be easier to avoid distractions that can throw off your progress. You can even use a domino app to help you keep track of your progress and goals.