# How Domino Works

Domino is a game that requires skill and strategic play. Players make a line of dominoes by matching pips on the open ends and placing them in the proper position to begin a chain reaction that causes dominoes to fall. Unlike many other games, domino is played with a single set of dominoes; each tile has two ends with different numbers and values, sometimes called spots or pips. A domino may have anywhere from six to no pips on both of its sides.

The first domino that falls starts the chain reaction. Once it starts, energy travels down the line like a neuron firing in the body. Like a nerve impulse, the energy travels at a constant speed regardless of the size of the triggering domino and can only go one way—toward the end of the line.

To stop the domino effect, you have to be very precise in your placement. Hevesh follows a version of the engineering-design process that she learned during her graduate studies. She starts by considering the purpose or theme of her art and brainstorming images that she might want to create. Then she creates a domino track or layout on a piece of paper with arrows indicating the direction that the pieces should be placed, and then calculates how many dominoes are needed for the design.

Each player then places his or her domino on the table, positioning it so that it connects to a domino in the line of play by the number of pips on its open end. There are many different rules for connecting dominoes, and the basic instructions on this site listed under Line of Play describe how to do this for most of the domino games shown here. Some games, however, do not use a dominoes’ lines of play and allow players to place tiles at right angles to each other.

Once a line of play is started, additional dominoes are then placed in the same manner, following the rules of the particular game. When playing dominoes, the open ends are considered to be in a fixed position and are referred to as “out” or “in”. Normally only one side of a double is considered an out, so additional dominoes can only be placed against its long side, but some games allow a double to be straddled by other pieces, allowing it to be played on both its short and long sides.

Most domino games require at least two players and each has a turn in which to play a domino. The first player to do so is referred to as the setter or downer. Each subsequent player plays a domino in accordance with the rules of the game being played, and if the rules are for a group or team game, each member takes turns playing. If a player does not wish to play a domino, he or she passes the turn to another player. There are also solitaire domino games that do not involve drawing hands or are adaptations of card games used to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards.

##### By Beck-Web
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