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The word “domino” comes from the Latin for flat, thumb-sized rectangular blocks with a dividing line to divide each face into two squares, each bearing an arrangement of spots or pips similar to those on dice (though some of these squares are blank). A domino is typically twice as long as it is wide and the two squares have values that range from zero to six pips. There are generally 28 dominoes in a complete set, though many games may be played with fewer.
A domino is used as a playing piece in a number of games, including block and scoring games. Some of these games are cooperative, where each player attempts to make as many domino chains as possible, while others are competitive. In these competitions, each player tries to build the longest domino chain or achieve the highest score in order to win the game.
Before a domino is played, it is placed on the table and its ends are matched with those of other pieces to form a line. This line is called the line of play. If the match is made, then the player makes a play and continues in turn until one player cannot continue or chips out. A player who chips out is not required to play any more tiles.
In the game of domino, a player’s first play is determined by the heaviest tile in his hand. The heaviest tile is known as the lead and the rules for this are often written out before the game begins. Some games also allow players to draw dominoes from the stock, which are then added to the player’s hand according to game rules.
The reason that a domino chain can grow is because of the energy stored in it. A domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block with a dividing line to separate its faces into two squares, each of which bears an arrangement of dots or pips, like those on a die. When a domino is stood upright, it stores potential energy because its weight opposes the force of gravity; this potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy when the domino falls, causing the rest of the pieces in the chain to fall.
When a domino falls, it releases this kinetic energy, creating friction between the pips and the surface on which it rests. This friction generates heat and makes the domino sound as it crashes to the floor. This type of energy is also created when a domino slides across another domino or the floor and this friction can cause other dominoes to topple. Whether or not we are aware of it, every domino and its surroundings have this energy.