How Dominoes Fall Into Place

When you see a domino chain toppling away in slow motion, as if someone is pushing it with a huge block of marble, the resulting image is not only incredibly satisfying, but also a great example of how things can fall into place when you build them one by one. You can apply this concept to your life, whether you are working toward a goal or simply trying to develop good habits.

A domino is a generic gaming device, similar to playing cards or dice, that can be used in many different ways. There are literally hundreds of games that can be played with a single set of dominoes, and each game has its own rules and scoring system.

The most common type of domino is made of polymer, but there are sets made of other materials as well, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), ivory, woods like ebony, and even ceramic clay. These sets tend to be heavier and more durable than those made from polymer, but they also can be expensive.

Dominoes are normally double-sided, with a number of dots or spots arranged in an arrangement that resembles the numbers on a die. The dominant side of the domino is called its end, and the blank or identical-patterned other side is known as its face. The number of spots on each end varies, but the total value of all the ends must match in order to play a domino.

Each domino has a line in the middle that divides it visually into two squares. The domino’s identifying marks, known as pips, are arranged in these squares to form a pattern that identifies its rank or weight; the higher the number of pips, the more valuable the domino.

In most domino games, as each player makes a play, the dominoes are joined together into a line that is often called the “line of play.” The dominoes may be joined either lengthwise or crosswise; however, if a tile has a matching number on both its open ends, it must always be played across the line of play.

After all hands have been drawn, the player with the most dominoes in his hand is referred to as the “setter,” “the downer” or “the lead.” The first player to make a play will start the chain of dominoes by placing a domino, or more specifically, its dominant end, on the table so that its adjacent faces match up. The other players then add their dominoes, if necessary, to join the chain of dominoes that is the line of play for that particular game.

In some games, the winner is determined by counting the total number of pips remaining in a losing player’s hands at the end of a game. In other games, a player must chip out, or play his last domino before the winning player can continue. The losing player must then count the total number of pips on his remaining dominoes and subtract that from his score to determine the winner.