What is Domino?

Domino, also called bones, cards or men, is a flat thumb-sized rectangular block with one side bearing from six to zero dots or pips, and the other blank or identically patterned. Two of these blocks form a domino, and 28 such dominoes comprise a complete set. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easier to re-stack after use. They are most often made of bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), with contrasting black or white pips. They may also be made of ivory, a dark hardwood such as ebony, or ceramic clay.

Dominoes can be used to play a variety of games. In most games, the objective is to build a line of dominoes that cascades from one end to the other and ends up in a specified pattern, or layout. Depending on the game, the line of play may extend vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Each player, in turn, plays a domino and positions it so that its open end is touching the end of the line of play. This configuration is then referred to as the layout or string.

As each player makes his or her move, the line of play grows. In some games, the first tile played must be a double, which is able to play on all four sides. A double may be a spinner or non-spinner, depending on the rules of the game. Occasionally, it is impossible to play a tile because the line of play is blocked. This can be resolved by drawing new tiles from the stock to add to the hand, or by breaking the tie by taking the remaining tile in the player’s hand without looking at it and returning it to the stock.

A domino is a powerful tool for creating structures that are as decorative as they are mechanically fascinating. For example, University of Toronto physicist Stephen Morris has set up dominoes that are more than three feet tall and weigh 100 pounds. He demonstrates their incredible power by tipping one ever so slightly. The rest of the pieces fall in a remarkably rhythmic and spectacular fashion.

In addition to the artistic potential of dominoes, they are an effective teaching tool for developing a number of important concepts. These include counting, probability and spatial awareness. In addition, they can be used to demonstrate the principles of fractions and geometric shapes.

Dominoes can be used to create a number of different types of artwork, such as straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. For many students, domino art is a fun and engaging way to make learning math and science come alive. In fact, dominoes are so effective that many teachers use them as a reward for students who have demonstrated success in class. In addition, they are a great way to encourage student creativity and imagination. For example, students can create a layout that includes their favorite animals, places or sports teams.