# The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that are used to play a variety of games. They have a number or blank on each end, and the sides are identically patterned or blank. The identifying marks may be dots (or “pips”), as on a die, or an arrangement of a number and the word domino, for example 6-6. A domino that has six pips on both ends is called a double-six, and one with no pips on either end is a blank. The value of a domino is determined by the sum of the numbers on both its pips and blank, which is its rank or weight. This ranking is important because the higher the rank, the more a domino can be moved without stopping the game and giving away a win to an opponent.

In many domino games, a player moves a tile across the table in such a way that its long side straddles an end of another domino. This tile is then added to the existing layout, creating a chain of tiles that continues to grow in length as each player places their dominoes in turn. Traditionally, only the ends of dominoes that are adjacent to other dominoes or are straddling an end may be added to the layout. When the dominoes are added in this fashion, the new chain is referred to as a “suit.” Each suit has a different color, which helps players keep track of their pieces during the course of a game.

There are a wide range of games that can be played with domino, but most fall into two broad categories: blocking games and scoring games. In blocking games, a player attempts to place a domino so that it can block an opposing piece from moving forward. Once a block is placed, the other players attempt to make their piece match it in number or rank, or to add additional pips to the matching tile. The first player to reach a predetermined target score wins the game.

A domino can also be used as a metaphor for the spread of an idea or event. A common idiom is the phrase the domino effect, which refers to the theory that one small trigger can set off a chain of events that will continue to grow in size until it becomes uncontrollable.

An example of the domino effect is a child’s winning soccer team beating its biggest rival. The success of this team can lead to a domino effect in the community, where other students become inspired to excel and want to emulate their achievements. This is why it is so important for us as educators to create a positive learning environment that will inspire students to want to achieve more and learn from their peers. This will create a positive domino effect in our communities and help our children succeed. The best way to do this is by showing our students that their hard work and effort will pay off in the long run.