Dominoes – More Than Just a Game


Dominoes are more than just a game, they can also help us with organizational skills and leadership. One of the most important aspects of any project is determining the order in which tasks should be completed. Then, once each task is prioritized, the next step in the process is to complete those tasks. This process can be difficult, but dominoes provide an excellent way to visualize what needs to be done and to determine the sequence of events.

The word domino is both a noun and a verb, but many people use the term to refer specifically to the act of playing a domino. Several games are played with dominoes, most of which involve emptying your hand while blocking opponents’ play or scoring points. Other popular games include block games such as matador and chicken foot, and scoring games such as bergen and muggins. In addition, a variety of variants are played as solitaire or to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.

Hevesh says the physical phenomenon behind her mind-blowing domino setups is gravity, and it works as follows: When a player stands a domino upright, it stores energy — potential energy based on its position — that it can convert to kinetic energy (energy of motion) when it falls over. That energy travels to the next domino, causing it to topple and start a chain reaction. And so on.

When players make their plays, they create a line of dominoes that extends across the table. This line of play is called the layout, string, or line of play. Each domino has an open end that mates with the open ends of adjacent tiles to form the chain. In the basic instructions shown here, doubles are joined lengthwise and singles are joined crosswise.

Historically, domino sets were made from natural materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, and a dark hardwood such as ebony. These sets tend to feel heavier and have a more substantial look, although they are usually much more expensive than polymer sets.

More recently, sets have been produced from more common materials such as plastic and polymer-coated wood, which are generally less expensive. However, many people prefer the look and feel of a traditional set, which may be more affordable than you might think. You can purchase domino sets at most discount and big box stores, but some specialty stores carry a wide selection of styles. You can even find dominoes that are made of crystal, ceramic clay, or frosted glass. In the past, dominoes were made in European workshops by hand, and some sets still are made this way.