How to Play Dominoes


A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, usually marked with dots resembling those on dice. When a domino is topped, it causes a chain reaction in which other dominoes are knocked over, one after the other. There are many different games played with dominoes, and the rules of each game differ slightly from place to place. However, a good rule of thumb is to follow the basic instructions for the specific type of domino you are playing.

Most of the domino games on this site involve emptying your hand while blocking other players’ play. Some are scoring games that award points for the number of pips on lost tiles. Others involve blocking other players from making a particular type of move, such as the Mexican train or matador games. Some games are even designed to help you learn numbers and math.

The first domino played in a game is called the lead. The player who makes the lead may be referred to as the setter, the downer, or the lead, and must make his play according to the rules of the game. The other players must then try to match that play, often by matching the pips of the open ends of the adjacent tiles.

Some of the more intricate domino setups that can be created are works of art. A 20-year-old woman named Lily Hevesh is a well-known domino artist, and has created some spectacular setups that take several nail-biting minutes for the dominoes to fall. Hevesh says that although she uses science to design her setups, the most important thing is the power of gravity. When a domino is stood upright, it stores potential energy based on its position. Once it falls, much of this potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, which causes other dominoes to topple in a chain reaction.

Dominoes can also be used to create patterns, shapes, or pictures. One of the most popular is the tic-tac-toe pattern, in which dots form the squares and lines of tic-tac-toe. Other domino designs include curved lines, grids that form pictures when they are fallen, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids.

When planning a new project, it is helpful to think of it in terms of dominoes. Several good dominoes can make up an entire process, such as creating a financial plan or completing a major project. The key is to select tasks that will have a significant impact and are manageable.

Choosing the right dominoes can be difficult, but by focusing on those that will have the greatest impact, you can ensure that your project will be successful. A good domino is a task that requires a substantial chunk of your time and will have a significant impact on the future. The right task will provide the momentum you need to get through any difficulties in your project and ensure that it is a success. This will ultimately benefit you in the long run, and make it worth the effort.