The Basics of Domino

Domino, also known as bones, cards, men, or pieces, is a family of tile-based table games with various rules and objectives. Each domino features a square of contrasting color on one side with an arrangement of dots, called pips, on the other. Each side has a value, normally in the form of numbers that indicate how many spots or blanks it contains. Each domino is normally twice as long as wide, making it easy to stack and re-stack the tiles after use.

When a domino is played, it touches the end of the adjacent tile and thus begins a chain. Each domino must be placed so that the matching ends are adjacent, or perpendicular if the tile is a double. Typically the chain develops in a snake-line as each player plays a tile. Once a player has used all of their tiles, the winner is determined.

A domino chain can be very complex, requiring that players carefully plan their moves to avoid a mishap. However, even the most experienced players do not always make flawless chains. It has been claimed that domino is the first game to exhibit an element of chance, but the exact nature of this element remains unknown.

The most common way to play domino is with a double-twelve or double-nine set. Each player takes 12 or 55 tiles at the start depending on the set used. Then a player must in turn play a tile onto the table positioning it so that it touches a tile with a number showing at its end. The chain therefore gradually increases in length. A tile played to a double must be positioned cross-ways so that both matching ends are touching.

In order to win, a player must score more points than their opponent. This is accomplished by laying dominoes end to end so that the exposed ends match (i.e., one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s). When this is done the total of the pips on all of the exposed ends must be a multiple of five. Each time this is done the player scores points.

If a player has no domino with the required number of pips, they must draw from the boneyard until they have one. This process is sometimes referred to as setting, leading, or downing the first bone.

Hevesh takes a similar approach when creating her mind-blowing domino installations. She makes test versions of each section and films them in slow motion to identify any problems before putting the whole thing together. This ensures that the final installation is as perfect as possible. The result is a chain of dominoes that looks more like an engineering design than the simple, linear layouts usually seen on TV shows such as Undercover Boss.