Dominoes are a fascinating toy that has been in existence for centuries. They are often used in games that involve lining up a series of tiles, which can be done in many different ways. Depending on the game, players can make straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Some domino artists even create intricately patterned sculptural works that take several hours to complete.

A domino is a rectangular tile marked with an arrangement of spots, or pips, similar to those on a die. The other side of each domino is either blank or identically patterned. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to re-stack after use. Dominoes are commonly made from a combination of clay and wood, but plastic and other materials have also been used.

Traditionally, a domino set consists of 28 tiles. Each domino originally represented one of the 21 possible results of throwing two six-sided dice (2d6). The first player begins by laying one of his or her tiles on the table in such a way that the exposed ends match (i.e., a one touches a six and a five touches an eight). The resulting line is then opened up for the next player to place their tiles into. As each domino is played, the corresponding dots on the exposed ends are counted. If a player can make a full circle with their exposed tiles, they win the round.

If a player can’t make a full circle, then they must play one of their remaining tiles into the open line. The player who makes the most points in a given number of rounds wins the game. Typically, the points are awarded by awarding the opposing player the sum of all the exposed pips on their exposed tiles. However, some rules allow doubles to be counted as one or two, and some are allowed to be played as zero.

The word “domino” can also refer to the mathematical polygon of order 2, which consists of four equal-sized squares joined edge-to-edge by lines. In literature, the term is sometimes used to describe a domino effect, whereby an action or event causes a chain reaction that leads to other events of the same kind.

Lily Hevesh first started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents gave her a classic 28-piece set and she loved lining them up in curved or straight lines, then flicking the first domino to watch them all fall down. Now, at 20, she has a popular YouTube domino channel where she shows off her amazing setups.

There are many variations on the basic domino game, but most of them involve placing a single tile on the table and then building up a chain of tiles by matching one end of an exposed domino with another. The other end of the domino must then be touched by another, forming a line that continues to build up in length.