Domino is a game of skill and strategy. Its rules vary greatly among different games, but all share similar basic elements. Dominos are rectangular blocks of varying colors with a number of dots, or “pips,” on each side. They are used to create a series of chains, or “dominoes,” which build up and then fall over in succession. They may be used alone or with other dominoes. A player wins a hand or the entire game by creating a series of chains that reach across the table from one end to the other.
A domino has a line of dots on the open side that is called its “pip-end.” Each player must match the pips of his or her domino with those of the adjacent tiles to form a chain. The longer the chain, the more points a player receives. Players can also win by scoring a certain number of points in a specific way at the end of a hand or the entire game.
The most common type of domino is made from plastic, although sets have been made from other materials. The classic, European-style set is often fashioned from bone, silver lip oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on the ends. These sets tend to be more expensive than those made from polymer, but they have a more interesting look.
In a game with more than one player, each player’s position at the table is determined by lot. After the tiles are shuffled, each player draws a domino from the stock. The player with the highest numbered domino makes the first play. The player with the next highest number sits to his or her left, and so on. If a tie exists, the player with the lowest double or the lowest single sits first.
Some games allow players to buy dominoes from the stock. The cost of each purchased tile is added to the winner’s score. There are, however, games in which only a limited number of tiles can be bought. In such a case, the losing players’ total number of pips are subtracted from their score.
Domino art can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids can all be achieved with the right amount of planning. Choosing good dominoes is important because not all tasks have equal impact, and you should focus on those that will have the greatest effect in the long run. The process of writing a manuscript, for example, could be broken down into several good dominoes such as composing the initial outline and creating a financial plan.