The domino is a tile-like game piece that can be stacked on its end in long lines. When the first domino in a row is tipped over, it triggers an effect that continues to occur until all of the dominoes in the line have toppled. When done right, the process creates beautiful, complex designs. The domino is also a metaphor for events that may seem small or insignificant at the time but have far-reaching effects. Domino theory, for example, suggests that a chain reaction of micro-consequences can have unforeseen macro-consequences.

Dominoes are used for playing a variety of games, and children often enjoy using them to create elaborate designs. They can be arranged to make letters, numbers or shapes. The tiles are also useful for learning math and counting. Using dominoes for this purpose helps students develop visual representations of the relationship between addition and subtraction. The commutative property of addition is also reinforced when students use a domino to practice adding digits together.

In some countries, people create domino structures that are a work of art. One such artist, Hevesh, has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and creates spectacular domino displays for movies, TV shows, and even album launches. She has even set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. When she’s working on a large-scale project, Hevesh makes test versions of each section and films them in slow motion so that she can make precise adjustments if needed. The smallest sections of her installations take just a few minutes to fall, but the largest ones can take several nail-biting minutes to fully collapse.

While domino is most often played by individuals, it can also be used in team-building exercises. Some corporations and organizations host domino building competitions where teams build intricately detailed arrangements of the pieces. They may then challenge other teams to complete a set before the time runs out. In these events, the builders usually compete for a cash prize.

Some of the earliest sets of dominoes were made of bone or ivory, with black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. More recently, domino sets have been made of a wide variety of materials, including stone (such as marble or granite); wood (e.g., ebony or ash); metals; ceramic clay; and frosted glass. Typically, dominoes made of natural materials are more expensive than those made from polymer, but they also tend to feel heavier and have a more unique look.

As the popularity of dominoes increased, many different variations on the basic rules were developed. In the most common, each player begins with a hand of seven dominoes. Each domino has a number on two of its ends and the players alternately place them down in a row. The first player to reach the end of his or her row wins the round and begins a new one. In the game 42, for example, players draw seven dominoes and play them into tricks.

Dominoes Are More Than Just Tiles