What is Domino?

Domino is a game of matching and stacking pieces that are tipped on end to form long lines. When one domino is tipped, it causes the next one to tip and so on until all of the dominoes have fallen over. In many games, the first player to complete the chain wins. Dominoes are also used to create complex designs, and the stacked pieces can be moved around to produce different patterns. The game has led to the popular phrase, the “domino effect,” which describes any situation in which one event leads to a series of larger events.

Dominoes have a distinctive shape that distinguishes them from other playing cards, and they are marked on one side with an arrangement of spots or “pips” similar to the ones on a die. The other side of the tile is either blank or identically patterned, depending on the variant of the game. Each piece is twice as wide as it is long, and its ends may be squared or curved. The values on the exposed sides of a domino range from six to zero pips, although some sets use more recognizable Arabic numerals instead of pips.

Most dominoes are played by two or more players. Generally, the only rules for connecting tiles in a chain are that they must be adjacent, and that a double cannot be placed across a line of singles. Depending on the game, extra tiles can be played to any open ends of the domino chain; these can add points to a player’s score. Often, a double is placed in the layout so that it straddles the end of the tile to which it is connected.

Some games involve scoring points by laying dominoes end to end; the touching ends must match (one’s touch two’s, three’s touch four’s, etc.). Normally, a domino is considered to have one or two open ends when it is placed, but this is often determined by the whims of the players and the limitations of the playing surface. If the player lays a domino with all four open ends, he or she scores a total of the sum of all the pips on opposing tiles (except those with doubles, which are counted as either one or two).

The word “domino” was probably coined from the Latin verb domini, meaning to lead. The same Latin root also gave rise to the English word “dominant.” This meaning of the word is now more often associated with a political context, in which it is used to refer to a country that has the potential to lead others, especially during a crisis. The idiom of the domino effect, which describes how one small trigger can cause an overwhelming series of events, was probably inspired by this political usage. Domino’s is currently working to improve its image as a pizza company by introducing new food and marketing initiatives. In addition, it is experimenting with delivery drones and a purpose-built pizza-delivery vehicle.