Domino is a small rectangular block with two groups of spots on its surface and used for playing games that require skill and strategy. A domino can also be used to create a work of art with lines, curves, stacked walls, or grids that form pictures when the tiles fall. The word is also used to refer to any act that causes a chain reaction or cascade of events, as illustrated by the image of dominoes lined up and standing on end. Similarly, the word can be used to describe any action that results in one thing influencing another, as demonstrated by the example of a single domino that knocks over all the others in its path.
Many games can be played with a domino set, which is generally composed of either a double-twelve (91 tiles) or a double-nine (55 tiles). The rules and variations of play differ slightly depending on the game being played. In general, the basic instructions on this page that pertain to more than one player will apply to most of these games.
Most games begin with a line of dominoes on the table, which is called the “line of play.” Each player draws the number of tiles he is permitted to take from the stock according to the rules of the game, adding them to his hand of tiles he has already drawn. When a tile is played to a domino, it must be placed perpendicularly to the double and touching at its middle. As the domino chain develops, it forms a snake-like shape and may continue in either direction from the double.
As a rule, the first player to play a tile in a particular turn must follow it with another tile of the same value before any other players can make a play. This is sometimes known as the “set,” “the down,” or the “lead.” A player who plays a domino out of turn must call the game’s end before he can make a further play.
Dominoes can be a good metaphor for positive change in one’s life. A single domino can cause a series of small changes that lead to a greater shift in one’s behavior and beliefs. For example, a person who begins making his bed every morning is essentially establishing a new self-image for himself as someone who maintains a clean home. As this new behavior becomes a larger part of his identity, it can then influence his habits in other areas of his life, which in turn can further reinforce his new self-image.
The analogy of dominoes is also useful in explaining the power of concentration. As one domino falls over, it energizes other activities in the same way that nerve impulses travel at a constant speed without losing energy as they move down a line of neurons. Identifying the “dominoes” that are most likely to have a positive impact in your life is an important first step to success.