The Art of Domino

Domino, in English-speaking countries, is a game of chance and skill played with rectangular blocks (tiles) of wood or other material, each bearing from one to six pips or dots. These are matched edge to edge against each other, and the winner of a round is awarded the number of pips on the opposing player’s tiles. Whether you play the game by chance or strategy, it is a fun way to pass the time.

A domino is a small, flat, thumbsized rectangular block, typically white with one to six pips or dots. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 such tiles, and they can be used for games in which the aim is to line up adjacent dominos in rows or columns. Each domino is distinguished from another by its color, the number of pips or dots on it, and the arrangement of these on its face.

Generally, the game is won by the first player to form a row of seven or more dominoes. This is accomplished by drawing or selecting a tile from a hand and placing it, either on the table or in front of the player, so that its pips are matched with those of adjacent dominoes. The next tile is then laid so that its pips match with the pips of a domino lying over it, and so on. In the case of doubles, some players may choose to count them as one or two (a domino with 6-6 pairs, for example, counts as 12; a double-blank may count as zero or 14).

As each new piece is placed on the table it pushes the dominoes in its direction, creating chains of dominoes that are arranged in lines and angular formations. In addition to these traditional positions, many variations of the game can be played with different rules and with other types of pieces such as a peg or tack, or even a ping-pong ball.

Hevesh’s domino installations take months to create, and she often films them in slow motion, so she can re-create the sequence if something goes wrong. She also makes test versions of each of the largest 3-D sections, which she then uses to verify that they work properly when merged with the others.

A good domino effect is a chain reaction that leads to success. For example, if your child’s soccer team wins a big game, it can lead to more victories and boost their self-confidence. This can encourage other kids to join the team and help the team win more games, and so on. Similarly, an inspiring speech or article can start a wave of positive actions that can spread throughout an organization or a community. The word domino is also often used to refer to a political event or policy that can cause a series of events to occur. For example, President Eisenhower cited the falling domino principle during a press conference when explaining America’s decision to offer aid to South Vietnam during the Cold War, and the phrase has since become commonplace in politics and business.