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# What is Domino?

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Domino is the name of a game played with a set of small rectangular blocks, usually 28 in number. The individual domino pieces are sometimes called bones, cards, tiles, or spinners. People often line them up in long rows and then knock them over, either by hand or with a device that slams them down like a hammer.

In addition to blocking, scoring, and other domino games, people use them as educational tools for teaching reading and math skills. They also use them for party games and for a variety of creative arts projects.

Unlike playing cards, which have specific numbers on each end, dominoes have a unique number of spots on one side and a blank or identically patterned other side. These spots, or pips, are usually arranged in the same way on each piece. Depending on the game being played, the domino’s pips can be matched to specific values, such as points, moves, or emptying one’s hand.

Domino is a popular pastime among children and adults of all ages. It’s easy to see why: A simple game of laying down one tile after another can lead to hours of fun and creativity. Many people play domino with their families, friends, or coworkers. Others prefer to compete against opponents.

The word domino itself is believed to have derived from the Latin phrase domina, meaning “flip.” It also may be related to the English term for a hooded robe worn with a mask at a masquerade. The most widely used set of dominoes has a total of 28 tiles: 21 black and 13 white. Other sets are available with more or less of the same tiles, or with different colored dominoes.

While some people play domino by simply lining up the tiles and knocking them down, others enjoy games that involve matching or combining the tiles. To match tiles, each player draws a domino from his or her hand and then places it on the table with its blank or matching side facing up. Other players then place their tiles on top of the first player’s, with the goal of forming lines or patterns that add up to a specific value.

When the entire line or pattern is completed, that person claims the winning domino and then starts a new game. The first player to do so wins the game. The rules for most domino games vary slightly from one to the next, but in most of them, a winning tile is one that matches with all the other players’ remaining tiles.

In writing, the domino concept can be useful for plotting a story. If you’re a pantser, or someone who doesn’t make detailed outlines of scenes ahead of time, the domino image can help you keep track of your plot and weed out scenes that don’t have enough impact to advance the story.

For example, if your character reveals an important clue in the opening scene, but then in the following scene, the opposition does nothing to raise the tension, something is off. A scene domino could be the clue itself, or it could be a detail that doesn’t have enough logical impact on the scene ahead of it.