What is Domino?

Domino (sometimes referred to as bones, cards, men, pieces or tiles) are rectangular domino-like game pieces that are marked on one side with an arrangement of spots or dots, and on the other side with either a blank, identically patterned, or matching set of numbers. Each tile has a line in the center to visually divide it into two squares, called ends. Each of the four sides on a domino bears a different number value, ranging from six pips down to none or blank, and each of these values belongs to a suit. The total value of all the pips on a domino is its rank, or its weight.

A domino set is used to play a variety of games, including positional games, in which each player in turn places one domino edge-to-edge against another so that the adjacent faces match or form some specified total. Games are also played with a single domino, in which the players try to form a chain of dominoes without the use of additional tiles. A domino is most often made of wood, although plastic and other materials may be used as well. In addition to traditional domino games, some people also create artistic domino structures, such as curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D towers and pyramids. Dominoes are often displayed in domino shows, where builders compete to see who can create the most complex and imaginative domino effect or reaction before a live audience of fans.

Several scientific studies have shown that dominoes can be much more powerful than people realize, especially when they are set up in a long row. A physics professor at the University of British Columbia demonstrated this with a thirteen-domino sequence, where each domino had a weight of over two billion pounds. The key to this demonstration is that the first domino needs to be pushed just past its tipping point, so that it can generate momentum that will carry it down the entire row of dominoes.

In fiction, dominoes can represent scenes. Each scene should advance the plot by moving the hero closer to or farther from the goal, and should have a clear impact on the next scene. Each scene should be short enough to keep the story moving, and should be spaced out so that the reader can feel the flow of the narrative.

Just as a domino is an excellent example of the physics of inertia, a story must be properly paced for the action to have its maximum impact. If a story is overly long, it will become tiresome to read; but if it is too short, the reader may lose interest before the dramatic climax occurs. This is why it’s important for writers to know how to pace a story. If they don’t, their work will feel rushed and disjointed. As a result, many stories end up feeling unfinished. The solution is to master the art of the domino effect.