A domino is a small rectangular block used in gaming. It typically features a value in the form of dots or other markings on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, and they can be stacked in lines on end to create elaborate structures when played with. When a domino is knocked over, it triggers a chain reaction that causes the other dominoes to fall as well. The resulting cascade of events has become a metaphor for describing events that spread rapidly and have broad repercussions, such as the effect of a soccer team’s victory over its biggest rival in state playoffs on its entire league.

In addition to their function as games, dominoes can also be used as tools for learning. Dominoes can help students practice their motor skills, such as fine motor coordination and hand-eye coordination, while encouraging them to make connections between abstract concepts such as addition and subtraction. Dominoes can also help students build an understanding of probability by allowing them to predict the outcome of a particular set of circumstances.

Whether they are a physical toy or an educational tool, dominoes are often considered to be fun and engaging. The game provides a sense of accomplishment to its players as they complete each row and watch their progress in the chain reaction. This positive impact is important to a child’s development and can help them feel motivated to continue to succeed.

Dominoes can be played with one or more people and are usually divided into equal partnerships, though some games require that the players draw tiles in a specific sequence before playing them. When the players are ready to begin, the first player (chosen by drawing lots or based on who holds the highest value tile) places a single domino on the table. Each subsequent player then places a domino adjacent to the first, with matching ends touching. The total value of the dominoes that touch is calculated and scored.

Each domino is typically marked on one or both of its ends with values from zero to six, arranged as they are on dice. Each side of the domino has two values, and each pair of values is assigned a rank or weight. A piece with a higher rank or weight is “heavier” than one with a lower rank or weight.

When playing a game of domino, the players can determine when to stop play by “chipping out.” This occurs when a partner can no longer add to the chain reaction with their remaining tiles. The partners whose combined scores are the lowest when all the tiles have been laid are declared winners.

A popular variant on this game involves the use of a dice to determine who goes first. In this variation, a player may choose to chip out before placing the first domino on the board. In addition, the number of tiles each player has left to place is taken into account when calculating scores.

Dominoes – More Than Just a Game