Dominoes, or dominoes, are small, rectangular, black and white tiles that make up a set of 28 pieces. They can be used for games, to build structures, or lined up in long rows and then knocked over. Some people like to play domino with friends, while others simply enjoy arranging them on the floor in an artistic way.
In this Wonder of the Day, we’ll find out what a domino is and how it got its name. We’ll also learn about some of the different ways that people use dominoes and see a video that shows how one domino can knock over many others.
The domino is an elegantly simple piece of game equipment that has been in widespread use since the early 18th century, when it first appeared in Italy and France. It was introduced to England by French prisoners toward the end of that same period, and it quickly became a fad.
When you’re playing a domino game, the goal is to arrange a chain of tiles so that the matching ends of each tile touch each other. This is possible only if there are enough tiles with the same number of spots on each end, called pips. There are many different kinds of domino games, each with its own rules and scoring system. Some involve forming particular combinations of numbers, while others require players to place the tiles in order to complete a specified total or a series of steps.
Some of these games are based on luck and chance, while others require careful planning and strategy. In either case, a good rule is to always place a tile with the same number of pips as a previous tile. This makes the chain stable and helps prevent the domino from falling before the end of its path.
Dominoes are often made of ivory, bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), or a dark wood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. They can also be made of other natural materials, such as marble or soapstone; metals; ceramic clay; and even frosted glass or crystal.
The word domino is derived from the Latin prefix “domin” meaning rule or power, and is thought to have been coined by Italian printers in the mid-18th century. An earlier sense of the word had to do with a hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade; it may also have been a reference to the black domino that contrasted with the priest’s white surplice.
Lily Hevesh started collecting dominoes when she was 9. She liked to line them up in straight or curved lines, flick them, and watch the whole row come down, one piece at a time. Now, at 20, she’s a professional domino artist who creates spectacular sets for movies, TV shows, and events–including a recent album launch for Katy Perry. She shares her talent on her YouTube channel, Hevesh5.