Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of rigid material, often made of wood but sometimes of bone or even plastic. The surface of a domino is marked with dots or “pips” which indicate the number of points it has, or sometimes the suit (for example, a double-six set has six suits). The value of a single tile may also be denoted by its rank or weight. In this article, we’ll explore what’s behind the name of this gaming device and some of the many games played with it.
A domino (also called a bone, men, or pieces) is a generic gaming piece that can be used in a wide variety of games, including blocking and scoring. The most common domino sets contain 28 tiles. A domino is normally twice as long as it is wide. Each side has a number of dots or pips that determines its value, ranging from six to zero. A domino may also be distinguished by a line in the center that divides it visually into two squares, which are called ends. A domino that has all six pips belongs to the suit of six; a domino that has five pips and one blank belongs to the suit of threes.
There are a lot of different ways to play domino, and each has its own set of rules and nuances. But when it comes to the most basic form of the game, the principle is the same: You lay down a single domino, then slide other dominoes on top of it, each time causing them to fall in turn.
Lily Hevesh has been building amazing domino creations since she was 9 years old. She says the secret to her success is simple: “Gravity.” Hevesh explains that gravity pulls each fallen domino toward Earth, which causes it to crash into the next domino in a chain reaction. She’s worked on projects involving more than 300,000 dominoes and helped break the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. To ensure that her massive designs will work as intended, Hevesh tests each section individually. She films each test in slow motion, allowing her to make precise adjustments.
There is an underlying science behind all of Hevesh’s projects, but the most important factor is still gravity. When she lays down a new set of dominoes, each must be in the right place to ensure that they’ll fall in the correct order. This is why she starts with a flat arrangement, then builds up into 3-D formations before letting the entire installation drop. When Hevesh’s masterpieces do finally tumble, it takes a few nail-biting minutes for them to reach their final state. Watch the video to see Hevesh in action. This is just a small sample of her stunning creations. For more, check out her YouTube channel Hevesh5.