# What Is Dominoes?

Dominoes (also known as bones, cards, men or tiles) are rectangular pieces of material that feature a line in the middle to divide them visually into two squares. Each of these squares is marked with an arrangement of dots or pips, similar to the spots on a die, with some being blank or identically patterned. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to stack and re-stack for use.

A domino set consists of one or more sets of dominoes, each consisting of a variety of different shapes and colors of dominoes that are designed to be played together in the same game. The number of dominoes in a set varies according to the rules and regulations of a particular domino game. In general, the larger a domino set, the more challenging it is to play.

There are many games that can be played with dominoes, and the number of possible combinations is nearly endless. Generally, however, dominoes can be classified into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games. The most common domino games are bidding and blocking. These games involve players attempting to outbid and block each other in order to make the first play of a domino.

In some domino games, the score is determined by counting the pips on the ends of each domino as the game progresses. Some games have specific pips that must be counted, and other games count only the ends of doubles. Depending on the rules of a particular game, a domino may also be a spinner, meaning that it can be played on both sides.

If a player draws more dominoes for his hand than the rules of the game allow, he must return the excess to the stock. If he does not return the extra tiles, they may be drawn again later by another player.

The domino effect in writing is the idea that every scene in a novel or nonfiction piece is like an individual domino, ineffective by itself, but when put into place, each scene has the power to affect the following scenes. This can be used to build tension, create logical sequences or develop a narrative.

In a dramatic demonstration, University of British Columbia physicist Lorne Whitehead used dominoes to knock over objects about one-and-a-half times their size. He demonstrated this using 13 dominoes, ranging from five millimeters tall and thin to more than three feet tall and weighing 100 pounds. The smallest domino was so small that it had to be set up with tweezers, and the largest required several nail-biting minutes to fall. However, once the first domino was placed, it unleashed the full power of the system to cause everything to come down. Domino art can take on almost any form, including straight lines, curved paths, grids that form pictures or 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. You can even design your own domino track.

##### By Beck-Web
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