The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are flat, rectangular pieces of plastic or wood that can be arranged in long lines. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the next one to tip and so on, creating a chain reaction that leads to the last domino falling over. Dominoes can also be stacked to form shapes or to create art. Many children enjoy using dominoes to make long, curved lines or even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Dominoes are a fun way to explore the principles of gravity and momentum, as well as to learn about patterns, colors, and numbers.

A domino has a set of markings, called spots or pips, on its face that help identify it. The pips are usually arranged in an alternating pattern of six and two, but some dominoes have no pips at all (these are known as blank or zero). The number of spots on each side of a domino can be used to determine its value in a game. If both ends of a domino touch, a player is awarded points based on the total value of the exposed dots.

The earliest record of dominoes dates back to the mid-18th Century in Italy and France. The game gained popularity in England toward the end of the 18th Century and the fad soon spread to North America. By the late 19th Century, dominoes were being produced in mass quantities and used for games and puzzles.

In most domino games, a player scores points by laying tiles so that their ends are touching and the exposed dots on both sides total a multiple of five. Normally, additional tiles may be added to the left or right of a double, but some games only allow more tiles to be played against adjacent doubles. The winner is the player who reaches a target score or accumulates the most points over a certain number of rounds.

While some games use only a single set of dominoes, other games may require a larger number of dominoes. In these games, the rules are a bit more complex. The player is awarded points by a system of scoring based on the arithmetic properties of the pips (doubles count as either one or two; for example, 6-6 counts as 6, but a double-blank counts as 0).

Hevesh follows a version of an engineering-design process when planning her mind-blowing domino art installations. She begins by considering the theme or purpose of the installation, then brainstorms images that would be appropriate. She then calculates the number of dominoes she will need to create the desired design.

When Hevesh is finished, she tests the track and then draws arrows showing the direction in which the dominoes should fall. This helps her ensure the design will work and that she has accounted for every possible scenario. This is an important step in her creative process, as it ensures that the dominoes will fall in the correct order and at the right speed to produce the desired effect.