Domino is a game piece that resembles a large card. It has a line down the middle to separate its ends into squares. Each end may show a number of spots, called pips, or be blank. Dominoes are similar to playing cards or dice in that many games can be played with a set of domino pieces. A domino set usually contains 28 pieces. Some people like to use dominoes as toys, stacking them on their ends in long lines and then flicking the first one over to make the entire line topple. Other people use dominoes to create artistic designs.
When you play domino, the goal is to get all of your pieces out before your opponent. Each domino has a special end, called a spot or pips, that is used to match with another piece that shows the same value on both of its sides. If the two matching dominoes are on opposite sides of the table, they must touch each other and be positioned so that the number showing at one end is matched to the number showing at the other. The matching dominoes are then connected to each other with a small line, or a “brick,” that connects the ends of the two pieces together. A person who plays a domino in this way is said to be “stitching up” the ends of the pieces.
If a player cannot match the numbers on both ends of a domino with a piece in their own hand, that person is out of the game. The player who is out of the game must then call out “brick.” A player may also call out “stitch up” a brick or other piece in the chain, forcing the opponent to stitch it up and reposition the dominoes on the board.
In addition to being a fun game, domino can be a good educational tool. For example, it can help kids learn about counting. Some domino games involve scoring, such as bergen and muggins, while others teach children how to recognize numbers and count pips.
People who use domino for art are known as domino artists. One such artist is Lily Hevesh, who creates elaborate, curved lines of dominoes. Her YouTube channel has more than 2 million subscribers. She has worked on projects involving more than 300,000 dominoes and helped set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. Hevesh’s most intricate displays can take several nail-biting minutes to complete, and she says that one physical phenomenon is essential for her domino setups to work: gravity.
Gravity is the force that pulls a domino toward Earth, knocking it over and starting the chain reaction. Hevesh tests her creations by laying down only one section at a time and watching how it falls. She says this helps her make corrections if the piece doesn’t fall exactly how she planned. Watch her explain her process in the video below.