How Dominoes Work


A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic marked with two groups of dots, resembling those on dice, on each face. When a domino is pushed onto a table it begins a chain reaction that causes the next tile to fall and so on, until the entire line is flipped over. This simple action can be used to create a very complex design, and many different games are played using these small blocks.

Dominoes can be stacked together in long lines and tapped to make them fall over. This process can be used to create some amazing structures, including curved lines that form pictures when they fall and 3D buildings and pyramids. Some people even use dominoes to create art. This type of creation is usually called “domino art,” and it can be very complicated to plan out. It is often made by drawing a plan of the structure on paper and then figuring out how to build it from the pieces available. The artist may then paint the dominoes and add other decorations.

The physics of dominoes can be explained by a concept known as inertia. Inertia is the tendency of objects to stay at rest unless something forces them into motion. When a domino is tipped over, the energy that was stored in it as it stood upright is converted into kinetic energy, which can cause other tiles to topple. This is what makes it possible for a domino to create a chain reaction that can result in thousands of pieces falling over at once.

Some of the most popular games played with dominoes are the ones in which players try to score points by laying tiles across the table. The player who wins is the one whose exposed ends have a total value equal to or greater than the number of spots on the adjacent domino (known as pips). A domino’s pips are normally arranged in a grid pattern that divides it visually into two squares. Each of these squares may be labelled with numbers from zero to six, or in some cases blank or with a single dot.

When the players first begin play, the dominoes are shuffled randomly to mix up the order in which they are drawn. Then each player draws a hand of seven tiles and begins playing. If a player cannot place any of the dominoes they draw on their turn, they must draw another from the boneyard until they find a tile that matches the value of the one they’re trying to play.

During this time, the other players take turns to play their tiles on the board. When a player is unable to play a tile, they “knock” the table with their hand and pass play to the other player. This continues until a player plays all their tiles and has no more to play, or they win by making the last move that knocks over all of their remaining tiles.