A domino is a small rectangular block that is used as a gaming object. It is usually made from some rigid material like wood or bone. It has a flat surface that is marked with numbers from one to six, resembling the markings on dice. A complete set of dominoes contains 28 such blocks. Dominoes can be stacked on end in long lines and tipped over to cause them all to fall. They are also used to make designs like arcs and zigzags or can be stacked in 3D structures. People also use them to build artwork and train motor skills.
Dominoes are cousins of playing cards and originated in China in the 1300s. They are one of the oldest tools for game play and offer a variety of challenges that require skill and patience. Unlike cards, they do not have a fixed set of rules or a particular set of symbols that represent values. Instead, dominoes are arranged in a number of ways and their pip count, or numbers, indicate their value or rank. The markings on a domino were originally meant to represent the results of throwing two six-sided dice. However, most modern sets have seven extra dominoes with the number 0 on one side and a blank or white surface on the other, to allow players to create their own games.
In addition to the traditional blocking and scoring games, dominoes can be used to create a wide variety of other games that involve matching dominoes with their pips or dots. For example, the simplest domino game is a simple variant of Concentration, where two tiles are considered to match if their total number of pips is the same. Other types of games include a number-matching game and a strategy game where the goal is to place dominoes in order to form chains with specific values.
While many people enjoy domino as a leisure activity, some use it in an academic setting to promote the development of motor skills and strategic thinking. A study published in the Journal of Research on Learning Technologies found that students who played dominoes learned better than those who did not, particularly in math and science classes. Another study found that the same children who enjoyed dominoes grew up to be more creative and better at problem-solving as adults.
In fiction, domino effects are often used to describe a chain reaction that results from one simple action. For example, if a character does something immoral that causes the next person in line to do something even more immoral, it’s likely that the domino effect will happen and the story will have a dramatic or catastrophic ending.
If you want to try creating a domino art piece, you can start by planning out your design on paper. Then you can calculate how many dominoes you need to achieve your vision. You can even add arrows to show how the dominoes will fall so you know what to plan for in your layout.