When a domino is tipped ever-so-slightly, it sets in motion a chain reaction that eventually leads to the entire line falling over. That’s what gives rise to the popular expression “the Domino Effect.” The same principle applies to any action that can set off a similar cascade in your life. You may think your actions are not important enough to trigger the Domino Effect, but you’d be surprised. Your daily tasks can have more impact than you realize. For example, a friend of mine once told me she made her bed four days in a row, and this seemingly trivial feat ended up changing the way she went through the rest of the day.
A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with a face marked by dots resembling those on dice. The most common domino sets have 28 tiles in a double-six configuration, although larger sets do exist. A domino is a versatile toy that can be used for a variety of games.
Historically, a domino was made of bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwoods like ebony, with a contrasting color on the pips to make them easier to identify. More recently, dominoes have been made from polymers such as polyester or ABS, which offer a more durable, less breakable, and more affordable product.
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, dominoes are often valued for the way in which they teach kids about number recognition and counting. The most common types of domino play fall into two categories: blocking games and scoring games. Blocking games require players to empty their hand while preventing other players from playing a tile. Scoring games, such as bergen and Mexican train, involve calculating points based on the number of pips in a losing player’s hand.
While the most popular games of domino are layout-type, other forms of domino play include domino cards and domino abacus. Many people also enjoy creating intricate domino constructions that can be admired for their beauty and complexity.
When a domino is first set up, it must be placed so that one side is touching another tile of the same suit. Each subsequent domino must be positioned so that it will touch the next piece of the same suit before reaching an edge. This is the only way to ensure that the entire set will fall over in a smooth, continuous cascade.
A domino construction can take on almost any form, from a simple arc to a towering structure that requires more than one person to complete. Some dominoes are engraved with letters or numbers that can be used for game names, while others have images or artwork. For more elaborate designs, an artist can follow a version of the engineering-design process. This can help the artist visualize how a domino will work and can help prevent errors. The artist can even test out dominoes in a small version of the construction before it is fully built, by barely touching each one with a finger and seeing how it reacts.