What Is Domino?

Domino is a tile-based game with a base that looks like a dice. Each domino has a different arrangement of dots, or pips, on each side. They’re typically color-coded, but some are blank. When a player places one of these on top of another, it triggers the other dominoes to fall over in a predictable way, creating chains of tiles called “pips.”

A player wins a round by taking all the pips on an opponent’s tile or the ones remaining in their own hand and then matching them up with the same pips on other opponents’ tiles, thereby forming a chain that extends to both ends of the domino. The player who does so is said to have “stitched up” both ends of the chain.

The game was first recorded in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, but it may have been invented earlier. It was originally popular as a way of circumventing religious prohibitions against playing cards, but it’s now most commonly played for entertainment.

Many games can be played with dominoes, including the standard blocking and scoring games as well as positional games. In positional games, each player in turn places a domino edge to edge against another, usually a set of tiles already laid out on the table. The tiles have a particular number or pattern on each face, and players take turns in the manner of a card game until one player’s hand becomes empty.

One of the most popular domino games is a variation on Concentration, in which two tiles are considered to match if they have identical numbers or if their total number of pips is some specific number (e.g., 12).

In art, dominoes can be used to create straight or curved lines, a grid that forms pictures when it falls, stacked walls, and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Artists can also use a grid of paper to draw a plan for a complex piece, then place the tiles in order to achieve that design.

For example, Lily Hevesh created a 15-color spiral using 12,000 dominoes. Other artists have used them to make patterns, faces, and even a heart shape.

Dominoes can also be used as a tool for learning, especially in the classroom. Teachers can use them to teach students to recognize patterns, sequences, and connections. A lesson might start with an activity that requires no preparation from the student, and then build upon that foundation to introduce more challenging concepts such as inverse relationships, fractions, and multiplication. A teacher can then use a set of dominoes to help students practice what they’ve learned, and even to challenge their thinking by having them create a new domino art project.