How to Play Dominoes


Dominoes are a type of game played with flat rectangular blocks whose faces have either blanks or numbers on each end. A set of dominoes can be a single piece, or a group of pieces that are arranged in different ways to form a variety of games.

The word domino appears in the 18th century, and the game arose in Italy in the mid-18th century before spreading to Austria and southern Germany and then France. In England, it is thought to have been introduced into the country by French prisoners at the end of the 18th century.

Playing a Domino

One player is given a number of dominoes to begin with, and other players may lay their own dominoes in order to match the first domino. They do not have to use a specific number of dominoes, but the total number of pips on all their dominoes must equal or exceed that number. The game is usually played in pairs, although it may be played by three or more people.

The Domino Effect

A domino can be defined as a chain of small actions, each of which creates a positive change in the next action. In fact, a small domino has the potential to topple much larger dominoes, due to its relatively high center of gravity and ability to generate energy.

To activate this effect, Lee instructed Schwab to pick the most important task for the day, and then to focus all of his attention on that task until completion. Once the task was completed, Schwab could move on to the next task.

This strategy, which Lee developed in the 1970s, helped Schwab to build his company from a tiny steel manufacturer into the largest independent producer of steel in the world. It also taught Schwab a powerful technique that he uses to this day: the domino effect, in which a small effort leads to bigger results.

Converting Energy

Morris explains that as the domino is slightly tipped forward, much of its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy (the energy of motion). Some of this energy is transferred to the next domino and provides the push it needs to tip over.

If you have a large set of dominoes, it can be helpful to mark the numbers on each tile with Arabic numerals rather than pips so that people can read them without having to look at the face of the tiles. This is especially true if you plan to play a number of rounds and don’t want to keep track of the exact number of pips on each of your dominoes as you go along.

Getting Started With Dominos

To play dominoes, you need a set of the game’s standardized tiles or, alternatively, you can make your own using wooden boards with a flat surface. You need to make sure that each domino is in the correct position on the board, so that you can easily see it and play against other players.