Dominoes are a set of gaming pieces similar to dice or playing cards. These rectangular tiles have a line down their center, dividing them into two square ends, each of which contains a number of spots (also called pips).
In traditional domino sets, the numbers vary from one to six, but larger and more elaborate sets are available. In these, each piece is unique.
When a domino is placed, it must be positioned so that the two matching sides touch fully. It must also be placed in a direction that is perpendicular to the double touching at its center.
Once the initial tile is placed, it can either be shifted left or right to produce open ends of 2 and 3. It must also be placed vertically to produce open ends of 4 and 5.
If the initial tile is a double, it must be matched by a tile that has a single blank side. A double-blank can only be matched with another double-blank, and a single-blank can only be matched by a tile that has at least 3 pips on each side.
The game is played in a series of rounds, each round consisting of three or more turns. The player who reaches the target score or who has won a certain number of rounds wins the game.
To play a standard domino game, players begin by placing seven dominos on a circular table. During their turns, each player must place a domino, taking no more than seven dominoes from the set.
A player who cannot place a domino can pick a sleeping domino from the set, and when the sleeping dominoes run out, the player must pass their turn. The sleeping dominoes are often a number of different tiles, and if the player has more than the required amount of sleepy tiles in his or her hand at the end of the round, that player can choose to draw a new set of tiles from the sleeping dominoes.
Most domino games involve a series of rounds, or rallies. A rally is a sequence of successive dominoes that must be arranged so that the last domino falls into place before the first domino falls out of place. In some games, the sequence can be made to change direction at any time, so that it becomes a serpentine line.
When the final domino is thrown, it can knock down the previous domino, making it fall down into place as well. This effect is called the “chain reaction.”
Using a single domino to knock down a chain of dominoes can also provide an interesting illustration of how exponential growth works. In 1983, a professor of physics at the University of British Columbia published an article in the American Journal of Physics demonstrating this phenomenon with dominos.
Whether you’re a fan of dominoes or just enjoy being entertained, we can all learn from this fascinating game. So grab a friend or family member and try your hand at the classic game. It’s a fun, engaging way to spend a few hours!