The Metaphor of Domino


Domino is a type of game that involves a player placing one tile on the table, positioning it so that its end matches an adjacent piece that bears a number value. The number value on a domino can range from one to six dots, or “pips,” and there are several different types of games that can be played using a set of dominoes. A domino is normally divided, visually, into two squares, with the face bearing a pattern of pips and the other blank or identically patterned. A single domino is normally twice as wide as it is thick and 28 such pieces form a complete set.

When playing a domino game, each player takes turns placing a tile on the table so that its end matches an adjacent piece that has a number value. The total number of pips on a domino may be used to determine its value, but the value can also be determined by counting the ends of a line of play, which is usually marked with a series of lines and circles that represent each possible combination of values.

Some games have a scoring element; players score points by placing their tiles in a row or other shape that causes a chain reaction that leads to the end of the line. Other rules for scoring include determining who makes the first play (called passing and byeing) and establishing whether or not the initial tile is a spinner, which is treated as a separate end for purposes of counting.

A domino is a type of block, and the most common ones are made of plastic, though other materials such as bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwoods such as ebony have been used in some sets. These sets are generally more expensive than those made of polymer, but they often feel more substantial in hand and offer a more unique look.

Dominoes are also used in a variety of other games, including solitaire and trick-taking games; most of these are adaptations of card games and were popular among people wishing to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards. One such example is concentration, which is a variant of the game of solitaire that uses dominoes instead of numbers.

As a writer, you can use the metaphor of domino to help you create a strong story. By setting your scenes and characters up in a way that will cause them to fall smoothly one after the other, you can create a dramatic climax with no hiccups in logic or character development.

When a domino falls, its top slides against the next domino, which in turn slips against the surface it is sitting on. This friction, along with the force of gravity, releases the potential energy of the domino, which then crashes down on the next domino in its line until it is all done. Domino artist Hevesh uses this principle to create her incredible displays, and she credits one physical phenomenon in particular for making her designs possible: gravity.