The Art of Dominoes

The Art of Dominoes

A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block that bears an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. It is normally twice as long as it is wide, making it easy to stack and re-stack the pieces. A domino is also called a bone, card, or man, and it forms the basis for several games of chance and skill. In some games the number of pips on each side determines its value. A domino that has no pips is a blank and has no value. A domino that has a specific number of pips on each end is a double and belongs to a suit of dice.

Dominoes are used for a variety of games, including drawing, counting, and scoring. Many of the games involve laying down a line of dominoes, each successive piece causing the next to fall. A set of dominoes may be a single-piece domino, or a multi-piece layout. Some examples are a simple draw game, a race to the corner, and a strategy game in which players build lines of dominoes that connect two sides of a board.

Many of the earliest dominoes were made of ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), or a dark hardwood such as ebony. Modern sets, however, are usually made of polymer materials such as melamine or plastic. Some sets are carved out of stone, marble, granite, or soapstone; others are made from metals such as brass and pewter; and some are even crafted out of frosted glass or crystal. These natural materials tend to have a more elegant appearance, and their heavier weight gives them more heft and feel.

For the most intricate domino setups, the physical laws of gravity are a necessary partner. Hevesh makes test versions of her largest 3-D sections before she builds them, and she films the results to help identify errors and make corrections. It takes a couple of nail-biting minutes for her larger installations to fall, but when they do, the effects can be breathtaking.

The name domino is derived from the Latin dominus, meaning “lord” or “master.” It’s a good choice for someone who understands the importance of cause and effect—and who knows that the smallest action can have far-reaching consequences. Domino can be a male or female given name, and it’s an excellent option for parents seeking an imaginative baby name. It’s also a strong choice for an entrepreneur who understands the value of careful planning and anticipates the impact of every move. A clever and savvy Domino has a master’s eye for advantageous opportunities, able to see possibilities that other people miss. Just like the dominoes that a master Domino sets up, this leader is always thinking two moves ahead.