Domino, the cousin of playing cards, were first used for game play in China around the 1300s. Today, dominoes offer a wealth of games, and also test the patience and skill of their players. The markings on a domino, known as pips, originally represented the results of throwing two dice. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the next one to tip, and so on, in a chain reaction. The domino effect is a popular phrase that describes the way in which one small action can trigger much larger events, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.
There are many examples of the Domino Effect in our daily lives. For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee began making her bed each day, she created a small domino that eventually influenced other areas of her home. As a result, she became more inclined to make other small habits that reinforced her new self-image as someone who takes care of their home. This is a key principle of influence psychology, and is illustrated in the classic book Influence by Robert Cialdini.
The word domino is also a verb that means to control or dominate. It may also refer to a person who has a controlling or manipulative personality, especially one who is ruthless in business. In fiction, the term domino effect is often used to describe the way in which one scene or character can cause the plot of a novel to fall apart.
Domino is a small, thumb-sized, rectangular block with a flat surface and bearing from one to six dots or pips. There are 28 such pieces in a full set. A domino is most often made of wood, but it can also be made of plastic, metal or other materials. The term can also be applied to any of the various games that are played with these small blocks.
In addition to blocking and scoring games, dominoes are also used in a variety of drawing and pattern-making games. In these games, players draw dominoes from the remaining ones and place them in a line or angular pattern. Each domino must be positioned so that its matching ends touch. Generally, dominoes must be placed perpendicular to a double, but a cross-way placement of a double is acceptable.
A domino set is typically a stack of rectangular blocks with the pips inlaid on top. These are often painted or engraved in white and black to make them more distinguishable. Other colors are occasionally used, as well as different materials such as marble, granite, soapstone and agate. In the past, dominoes were also made of bone and silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or dark hardwoods such as ebony.
A large set of dominoes can be difficult to store, and identifying individual tiles can become challenging with larger sets. For these reasons, some manufacturers have made sets of dominoes in alternative materials such as stone; metal or frosted glass; ceramic clay; and even wood veneers. These alternatives are often more expensive than standard polymer sets, but have a unique look and feel to them.