Dominoes are a type of tile that features a line down the middle to visually separate it into two squares with values of either one, six or blank (no dots). Each domino is in one of the suits, just like dice or playing cards, and the sum of the numbers of each end is its rank.

In addition to being a popular game, dominoes can also be used for art and to illustrate important concepts. Domino art can be very simple or elaborate, and it can range from straight lines to curved shapes, grids that form pictures when the pieces fall, stacked walls, and even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Many domino artists are self-taught and use their imagination to create unique designs.

The word domino comes from the Latin “dominium,” which means power or authority. The earliest use of the word may have been for a long hooded cloak worn by a priest over a white surplice, but it eventually came to denote a playing piece.

Dominoes are very useful in physics because they can demonstrate the power of gravity by creating an amplification effect. For example, in this video, physicist Stephen Morris sets up 13 dominoes, each one about 1.5 times larger than the previous one. He starts with the first domino, which is so small that it needs to be set up with tweezers, and ends with the 13th one, which is more than three feet tall and weighs 100 pounds!

It is common for dominoes to be used to teach students about mathematics, especially algebra and geometry. The amplification effect of the sizing up of one domino and then another helps students to understand concepts like scale, ratio, and proportion.

In a similar way, Domino is a powerful tool in the hands of a writer, allowing them to craft scenes that naturally advance a story. This technique is sometimes referred to as the Domino Effect and is often seen in narrative nonfiction, as well as novels and screenplays. A scene domino might be a single event that has a dramatic impact on the character and plot. The way in which the story unfolds naturally then depends on the way the dominos are positioned and placed.

There are many different games that can be played with dominoes, but the most common types of domino play fall into two broad categories: blocking and scoring games. Most dominoes are sold in sets that contain 28 tiles, and each piece is one of a number of distinct numbers, from one to six. Occasionally, sets with more than 28 tiles are available, but they are rarely used because they are not useful for most domino games. Many of these larger sets are called extended, as they introduce new ends that allow for more combinations of tiles. The largest extended sets have a maximum of 190 tiles and are called double-18.