The Fun of Dominoes

A domino is a small tile with one or more identifying markings on its face and is blank or decorated on the back. These identifiers, called pips, are molded or drilled into each piece. There are two types of pips: colored, which represent numbers from 1 to 9, and white, which are blank (indicated by the number zero). The two halves of the domino are separated by a line or ridge, and the pips are arranged in a grid that looks like the dots on a die.

Dominoes can be a fun way to spend time with friends or family, and they can also help with math and motor skills. They’re used in a variety of games, from simple ones such as domino aces and spades to complex setups such as the game of 42. The best part is that each domino has the potential to set off a chain reaction, and that’s what makes them so much fun.

The earliest records of dominoes are from the mid-18th century in Italy and France. They arrived in England toward the end of that period, possibly brought by French prisoners. In the first domino games, players placed a domino edge to edge against another domino with matching marks. The result was a line of all connected tiles that formed some specified total. This process was known as dominoing, and it is the basis of most of today’s domino games.

Today’s domino sets are usually made of wood, though they can be found in plastic and other materials. They come in a wide range of color combinations and are available in different sizes. The most popular are double-six and double-nine.

Most domino games fall into two categories: blocking and scoring. Blocking games, in which the object is to empty one’s opponent’s hand while protecting your own, are the most common. A winning hand typically contains all matching pairs of exposed ends, or “tokens.”

Domino builders, sometimes referred to as domino artists, create elaborate and imaginative setups. These impressive structures can be composed of hundreds or even thousands of individual dominoes, and can take several nail-biting minutes to fall due to the laws of physics. In domino shows, building competitors compete to create the most spectacular domino effect or reaction before an audience of fans.

At age 10, Hevesh began posting her domino creations on YouTube, and now has more than 2 million subscribers. She’s worked on large-scale projects for movies, television shows, and events, including the album launch for pop star Katy Perry. Hevesh’s largest setups can include more than 300,000 dominoes, and they take hours to set up. Her biggest domino chains can take weeks to fully fall. In her spare time, Hevesh enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter and visiting local parks to play domino with family and friends. She also enjoys reading, watching a good movie, and eating pizza. She is a big fan of Detroit sports teams and hopes to retire soon to the Detroit area.