# What is Domino?

A set of small rectangular blocks, typically 28 in number, used to play a game in which one domino is placed on top of another to form a line of matching numbers. Each domino has a side bearing an arrangement of dots, or “pips,” resembling those on dice. The other side of each domino is blank or patterned identically to the other.

When a domino falls, much of its potential energy converts to kinetic energy, which is transferred to the next domino to push it over and continue the sequence. This is similar to how a domino effect can occur in novel writing. Scene dominoes are like individual scenes that add up to help advance the story and create momentum. When a writer uses scene dominoes effectively, the effect can be powerful and effective.

The word domino comes from the Latin verb dominium, meaning to dominate. The term has several meanings in English, including a piece of furniture that is larger than a chair and a hooded robe worn with a mask at a masquerade. The most common use of the word, however, is the domino game.

In most domino games, the first player to make a play takes control of the game. This is usually done by drawing from the stock, a pool of tiles from which players may take as many dominoes as they are permitted to according to the rules of the game. The player who draws the highest double-lead (for example, a double-six) will lead with that tile. If the heaviest double is not available, the second highest is taken, and so on.

Each player must follow the rules of the specific game to determine which domino is played and how it is joined to the line of play. For example, a double-spinner may be played on all four sides or only two. In most cases, the last double played in the line of play must be a spinner.

Some domino games are based on positional play, in which each player lays down one domino edge-to-edge against another in order to match the values of adjacent pips, or forms some other specified total. Other games are based on the manipulation of the domino pieces themselves. These include tiling and overlapping, whereby a single domino, such as a six, can be placed to block the way for other dominoes, such as fives.

The most popular domino games fall into one of four categories: bidding, blocking, scoring, and round. Each type of domino game involves a different strategy and requires a different set of rules.

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