Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, each end bearing a number of dots resembling those on dice. They are used for playing games in which one domino is placed edge to edge against another, either so that the adjacent faces are identical or form some specified total. The first domino to fall initiates a chain reaction that causes all the others to topple over in a sequence determined by the game rules.
Domino was invented by American entrepreneur Frank Martino in the late 1890s. He patented the game in 1913 and sold it to a company that distributed it to restaurants, hotels, and arcades. The company, now called Domino’s Pizza, remains a leading brand in the United States and has expanded worldwide.
When Lily Hevesh was 9 years old, she started collecting the classic 28-piece set of dominoes that her grandparents gave her. She loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking the first one, watching the entire line come crashing down. In time, her passion for dominoes became a career as a professional artist who creates mind-blowing domino setups. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers.
Hevesh’s creative process is much like the engineering-design approach used in other fields. She starts with an overall theme and brainstorms images or words that might represent it. Next, she considers the materials and how they might be shaped to achieve her vision. She then draws and creates models of her idea. Finally, she tests the design in her home workshop to make sure it works.
As Hevesh’s creations get more elaborate, her attention to detail has also grown. For her latest creation, she made a giant heart-shaped domino tower, incorporating the colors red and pink to represent Valentine’s Day. She also used the red-and-white Domino’s logo to honor its founder.
In most games, players play a domino in turn. When a player plays a tile that has upon it a number that shows at one or both ends of the domino chain, the chains gradually increase in length. The player who plays the last tile of a chain is said to have “stitched up” the ends.
A common scoring method is to count the pips on the tiles that the losing players have left in their hands at the end of a hand or the game and add that amount to the winner’s score. Other rules vary. For example, some games allow players to purchase tiles from the stock; others require that only one end of a double tile is counted (i.e., a 4-4 counts as only 4 points).
When the game is over, the player who has the highest number of pips seats himself at the table. If there is a tie, the winner of the previous game may open the next game. If the players cannot agree on a seating arrangement, the drawing of new tiles from the stock will break the tie.