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# The Many Advantages of Dominoes

Dominoes, also called bones, cards, men, or pieces, are rectangular blocks of varying sizes with one side bearing an arrangement of spots (also known as pips) and the other blank or identically patterned. They are normally twice as long as they are wide and can be stacked one on top of the other to create structures. The number of pips on a domino gives it a value, or rank, ranging from six to none or zero. In general, dominoes are heavier than those with fewer pips.

In addition to the fun of playing games with them, dominoes are a powerful tool for teaching math and social skills. They can also help develop fine motor skills by requiring the use of the index finger to control the placement of each piece. When children set up dominoes into interesting shapes, they are often awed by the amazing chain reaction that occurs when one domino knocks over another. This is a great way to introduce concepts of physics, geometry, and astronomy to young children.

Many different rules and games can be played with domino, but the most common game is domino rally. The game is played with a double-twelve or double-nine set of dominoes (91 or 55 tiles). Each player picks 12 or 9 dominoes from the stock and then places them in front of him or her. Play begins when the heaviest domino in any hand is played, usually an “opening” double, such as a double-six. The players then take turns picking dominoes from the stock until a player has an opening to play.

When a player has more than seven dominoes in his or her hand, the winner is determined by who has the highest rank of the remaining dominoes in the player’s hand. The winner is then the first to play a domino from his or her hand. The remaining dominoes are then reshuffled and the process is repeated until a player can no longer take a turn.

A professional domino artist can create stunning displays with hundreds of dominoes. Hevesh, for example, uses dominoes to create three-dimensional sculptures and has created sets for films, TV shows, and events. Her YouTube videos of her projects have more than 2 million subscribers. In creating her large-scale domino installations, Hevesh takes time to test each section to ensure that it will work properly before putting them all together. The larger sections may take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but once they do, the results are breathtaking. In fact, one of her most spectacular installations required more than a million dominoes.