What Is Domino?

Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, the face of which is either blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. A domino set consists of many such tiles, and there are various ways in which they can be used to play games.

Domino can also refer to the result of a particular action in a chain reaction, such as a falling domino. A person who practices domino toppling (also called domino art) is a “domino artist.” She or he may create intricate layouts, aiming to achieve a desired effect from the final cascade.

Lily Hevesh, a domino artist from the United States, has a YouTube channel where she displays some of her most spectacular domino creations. She began playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-pack at age 9, and quickly developed a love of creating domino masterpieces.

She has since built a career as a domino artist, working on projects for movies, TV shows, and even events for pop stars like Katy Perry. She’s become known for her ability to create complex domino layouts that fall into beautiful and rhythmic sequences. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers.

The word domino is derived from the Latin domina, meaning “little one.” The first written mention of the game dates to the 12th or 13th century in China. The early “domino” tiles were functionally identical to playing cards. In the Western world, dominoes were introduced toward the end of the 18th century and are now played in many countries.

In domino games, each tile has a number on one side and is blank or patterned identically on the other. The identifying marks on a domino are known as pips and typically consist of an arrangement of numbers in two or more columns, with some rows missing altogether. The blank or patterned sides of a domino are considered to be “open” for the placement of additional tiles. The open ends of a domino are usually parallel, but sometimes they may be at right angles to each other.

Some domino sets are made from different natural materials, including stone (such as marble, granite or soapstone); woods like ebony; and ivory. These sets have a more sophisticated look and feel, and the natural material can add weight to the pieces. The pips on these types of dominoes are inlaid or painted.

There are numerous rules for different domino games, but most fall into one of two categories: blocking and scoring. In blocking games, players must play a domino edge to edge with another in such a way that the exposed ends match up: one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s, etc. The player who completes a series of dominoes with matching ends wins the game.

In scoring games, the pips on a domino are counted and a value is assigned. Doubles are counted as one or two, and double-blank tiles may be counted as 0 or 14. The player who scores the highest total after a specified number of rounds wins the game.