Dominos are small rectangular pieces of wood or plastic, usually bearing an arrangement of spots resembling those on dice. They are found in sets of 28 and are known by several names, including bones, cards, tiles, spinners, or tickets. They may be stacked one on top of the other or lined up in long rows. When a domino is tipped ever-so-slightly, it begins a chain reaction that causes the next domino to fall and then the one after that. This is called the Domino Effect, and it’s a great example of energy cascading in a predictable pattern.
The term domino comes from a Latin word that means “to rule” or “to lead.” It was also used in the past as a name for a long, hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The playing piece, which is black on one side and white on the other, is reminiscent of this type of garment. In fact, the word domino itself might have even earlier denoted a cape worn by a priest over his surplice.
A player places a domino onto the table, positioning it so that one of its matching ends shows a number. The player then adds another tile to the end of the line of play. The result is a snake-line of dominoes that continues to grow in length as the game progresses. Each time a double is added to the end of the line, it must be placed cross-ways over the existing double, unless it’s a spinner.
In some games, part of the score is determined by counting the number of pips on both sides of the domino. The total can be counted from the ends of the line of play, or from the middle of the line (if it’s a double-ended set). If a domino has pips on all four sides, it is referred to as a spinner and can be played either crosswise or lengthwise.
There are many games that use dominoes, ranging from the blocking and scoring types to solitaire and trick-taking. Some are adaptations of card games that were once popular in areas where there were religious prohibitions against gambling.
When a player draws more than his or her allotted dominoes for their hand, the excess dominoes should remain face down and be passed to the player to his or her right. If the surplus is discovered after all hands are drawn, it is called an overdraw and must be reshuffled into the stock before anyone draws again. One of Domino’s core values is “Champion Our Customers.” Listening to what customers say and responding quickly are both good examples of this value in action. This approach seems to be paying off for the company as it continues to find new ways for people to order pizzas, whether that’s through an app or by simply texting a Domino’s emoji. The Domino Effect is sure to continue to cascade in new and exciting ways.