The Art of Domino


Domino is a small, flat rectangular block used as gaming pieces. They are usually arranged edge to edge against one another so that their adjacent faces have either identical markings or some specified total value (e.g., six dots on one end and five on the other for a domino valued as “double-six”). In most cases, the pips are colored differently from each other in order to facilitate finding matching ends; for example, black pips may be designated as ‘ones,’ green pips as ‘twos,’ and red pips as ‘threes.’ The pips and coloration of each domino vary with the game being played and the rules established by that game.

The most basic domino variant requires a double-six set of 28 tiles to be shuffled and then each player picks seven. The player then begins playing dominoes by placing the first tile, referred to as an opening double, onto the table in such a way that there are open ends on both sides of the tile. The opening double may be a 6-6, a 5-5, or any other domino of the highest value in the player’s hand.

As the players take turns picking tiles and then placing them, they build up a sequence of dominoes that can be used to score points. The points earned are based on the number of pips on the opposing player’s tiles. The scoring system also depends on the type of game being played and the rules agreed upon by the players; for instance, some games count only the pips on the winning domino while others reward each player’s tiles with some specific value, such as counting doubles as one or two (if one), or blanks as 0 or 14 (depending on the game).

Hevesh has built up an impressive domino collection over the years, and she uses this collection to create awe-inspiring, massive displays that can be seen on her YouTube channel, Hevesh5. She spends hours testing each section of her installations before putting them all together. And even then, the smallest of her creations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall as a result of inertia and physics.

Like writing a novel, building a domino display comes down to one question: What happens next? This is why it’s important for writers to think about their characters and consider how a specific action might affect the rest of the story.

Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or with careful outlining, there’s no doubt that a solid understanding of domino is crucial to composing a great story. Using domino in your narrative will help you tell a tale that is both compelling and memorable.