How Dominoes Are Used
A domino is a small rectangular block with two groups of dots on its face. It’s usually made from wood, although it can also be made of metal, ceramic clay or glass. Dominoes are used in a variety of games. Some people even use them to decorate their homes or businesses. The word “domino” comes from the Latin dominium, meaning territory or domain. It was first used in English around 1750. In French, the term had an earlier sense: a long, hooded robe worn together with a mask at a carnival or masquerade ball.
In the West, dominoes are most commonly played with a set of 28 tiles called a double-six set. However, there are many different games that can be played with a set of dominoes, and each game has its own rules.
During a domino game, the players take turns drawing and placing their dominoes on the table. When a player cannot play a domino, they place it in a boneyard, or discard pile, until they find a domino that can be played. Then they must either continue playing until one player has a complete set or pass their turn.
The most common game played with dominoes is the “block” game. In this game, a player begins by putting down one domino in the center of the table. Then, other players must place their dominoes next to it, in a straight line or in a row, according to the rules of the game. The first player to do so wins the game.
Another popular domino game is the “draw” game. In this game, the players begin by drawing a certain number of dominoes, and then they must place them on the table. Each player can only place a domino when it matches the value of the one already placed. For example, if a player draws a double-six, then they must place a domino with a matching value on its end, such as a double-nine or a double-12.
Hevesh also makes test versions of each section of her installations to ensure that they work individually before they’re installed in a public space. She’s filmed many of these tests, and the resulting video is an excellent way to see how the installation works.
While most people know that gravity causes a domino to fall, they might not think about how it’s possible for a single domino to start a chain reaction that topples hundreds or thousands of other dominoes. Physicist Stephen Morris explains how this is possible:
When a domino remains upright, it has potential energy because of its position in relation to gravity. But when a small nudge is applied to the domino, that potential energy is converted into kinetic energy, or energy of motion. As the kinetic energy builds up, it becomes more and more likely that the domino will tip over, creating a domino effect.