A domino is a rectangular tile with one side bearing an arrangement of spots or “pips” like those on a die, and the other blank or identically patterned. The pips are used to identify the domino’s rank, which is often referred to as its weight. The higher the rank, the more valuable the piece is.
The tiles are normally twice as long as they are wide and can be stacked vertically to form 3D structures, such as towers and pyramids. They may be used to build scenes advancing a story, such as a battle scene or a moment of revelation. The pieces can also be placed flat, with lines that create pictures when they fall or a grid of dots that spell out words. The art of creating domino displays is known as domino art, and the resulting creations can be quite spectacular when they are done well.
Hevesh, a 20-year-old from the Philippines, has built a global following for her amazing domino projects on YouTube. She has created domino setups for TV shows and even a Katy Perry album launch. She has also set a Guinness world record for the largest domino setup in a circle, with over 300,000 dominoes. Her most complex installations take several nail-biting minutes to complete, as each of the many individual sections must be carefully positioned before they can begin to collapse.
Dominos were introduced to Europe from China in the early 18th century, and the game changed slightly as it made its way across cultures. European domino sets lack the suit distinctions of Asian dominoes and are usually made from ivory rather than wood, which was more common in China.
While a few games use only the ten numbered doubles in a standard domino set, most use all 28 tiles. These can be arranged in various ways to form larger layouts and to play games with more players. The most popular type of domino game is a positioning game, where each player takes turns placing a domino edge to edge with another in such a way that the adjacent faces match a specified value.
The player with the highest number of matched dominoes wins the round and, depending on the game type, is awarded points. Some games end when the number of dominoes in a player’s hand reaches a predetermined amount, while others are played until a specific point limit is reached.