Dominoes (also called bones, cards, men, or tiles) are rectangular blocks of a material such as wood or plastic, with one side bearing a number of dots (“pips”) and the other blank. They are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easier to re-stack after use. There are many different games that can be played with dominoes, and the rules vary considerably. A game is won by a player or partnership whose combined total of the spots on their remaining dominoes is the lowest.
Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes when she was about 9 years old, and she was soon creating impressive setups of curved lines and straight ones as well as other shapes and figures. Her hobby eventually became a career, and she now creates sets for movies, television shows, and events as well as domino art pieces for sale. She also has a popular YouTube channel where she shows how to make different kinds of dominoes and demonstrates how to play several of the most popular games.
The word “domino” is used in many ways, and it is the basis for a famous political metaphor. When President Eisenhower was asked about America’s decision to support the South Vietnamese government, he cited the idea of a falling domino as an example of how an action in one place could set off a chain reaction that would result in the collapse of all of humanity’s hopes and dreams. This is now known as the Domino Effect, and it can be applied to any situation that has a cascading effect.
It is possible to play domino with just one tile, but most people prefer to have a full set of tiles so that they can build larger structures and have more opportunities for luck. A set of dominoes usually consists of 28 or more tiles, but some games have fewer, and others require more. The rules of a particular game are determined by its creator, and they may differ widely from one setting to the next.
When a player is ready to play, they must first draw a number of tiles from the stock (or “drawer”) that is allowed by the rules of the game. This number is added to the tiles already held in their hand, and they then begin a new turn. The player may also be allowed to “buy” a tile from the stock, depending on the rules of the game.
As each player plays a tile, the open end of the tile is placed against the open end of the previous domino in the line of play. This arrangement is called the “layout” or “string” and defines the direction of the line of play. If a player cannot make a play on a current layout, they must wait until another player lays a tile that they can match. The player who makes the first play is referred to as the setter, the downer, or the lead.