Domino is a small flat rectangular block used as gaming objects, with a square face bearing an arrangement of spots or pips on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. Dominoes, also called bones, cards, men, or pieces, are usually twice as long as they are wide. They may be made of many materials such as ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), bone, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, and the pips may be inlaid or painted.

There are numerous games that can be played with dominoes, including solitaire, tic-tac-toe, and a variety of card games such as poker and blackjack. In addition, dominoes can be used to create intricate designs and structures such as towers and pyramids.

In modern times, dominoes are most commonly made of polymer or ceramic clay, but some sets of dominoes are still produced from natural materials such as stone (e.g., marble or granite); soapstone; woods (e.g., ebony or mahogany); metals (e.g., brass or pewter); and even glass or crystal. Sets made from these natural materials tend to be heavier than those made from polymer or ceramic and often have a more elegant, traditional look.

While many adults use dominoes primarily for games, children often enjoy stacking them on end in long lines and then tripping them over. The process can be repeated over and over to create ever-increasing chains of dominoes. This is the origin of the figurative expression domino effect, which refers to a chain reaction that starts with one small event and then results in many more larger events.

A popular activity in elementary school classrooms is the creation of domino art, where students arrange the tiles into lines and curved patterns, then flick them to make them all fall. These designs can be as simple or elaborate as the students choose. For example, a student might create a picture of the solar system using dominoes arranged to represent the planets, or she might make a picture of a city by placing dominoes around the outline of a building.

Some individuals also make a living from domino art, creating spectacular arrangements for movies, TV shows, and even album launches for pop stars. Domino artist Lily Hevesh, for instance, has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers who watch her create dazzling domino constructions.

Despite their small size, dominoes have immense power. They can be arranged to create almost any image, and when they are tipped over they cascade down in a rhythmic, beautiful fashion. This is why they are so much fun to play, and it’s why the domino effect has such a powerful meaning in our daily lives. In fact, the same could be said of the way we live our own lives, and the way our choices can have such big impacts on others.

What is Domino?