# The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are small, thumb-sized rectangular blocks with a square end that is either blank or marked with from one to six pips (or dots) that resemble those on dice. 28 such blocks form a complete set of dominoes. They are sometimes called bones, cards, men, stones, spinners, or tickets. The word dominoes can also mean the games played with these pieces, which usually involve matching ends and laying them down in lines and angular patterns.

Most domino games are based on a sequence of turns. The first player to make a play begins the turn, followed by each successive player in clockwise order until all players have made a play. When no player has any more plays to make, the game is over. There are many different ways to determine which player will make the first play in a domino game, including drawing lots, seating arrangements, and using the heaviest piece as the start.

Physicist Stephen Morris explains that when you stand a domino upright, it stores potential energy based on its position. When you then knock over that domino, much of that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as the domino falls. This energy is transferred to other dominoes, and so on in a chain reaction that causes them to topple over. This is known as the domino effect.

This domino effect can be used in real life, as well as in games. For example, if you fail to put away the clean laundry before starting to fold another stack, the clothes may pile up on top of each other and eventually fall over, creating a domino effect. In the hospital, an infection that a patient gets while under treatment can spread to other patients, which may lead to further infections and even death. This is called the domino effect, and it can be the result of medical professionals not washing their hands properly or of patients not following doctor’s orders.

There are a wide variety of domino games, from simple to complex. Some involve playing against other people, while others are played alone. Most of these games are based on a sequence of moves, where the goal is to reach the end of a line before all other players do.

A player starts a game of domino by drawing a number of tiles from the stock that are allowed to be played for that particular game. These tiles are added to the tiles a player already has in hand. The player then places a tile on the table so that its open end touches one of the other dominoes on the table, forming a chain that increases in length as each new tile is placed. When the last domino is played, it can be counted and recorded to determine a winner of the game. If a player accidentally plays a tile out of turn, this is known as a misplay and must be corrected before the next player makes a play.