The Basics of Dominoes
Dominoes are a type of tile game that originated in Italy. It was then adapted for play in Austria, Germany and France.
There are two main types of domino games, blocking and scoring. These can be played individually or with friends and family. The rules of these games are usually very simple, but can become very complex.
The basic rule is that each player starts with a domino from their hand and must play that same domino to another person’s domino, or to the edge of the board. If the first person’s domino matches, they win and the second person must draw a new domino from their boneyard or stock of 28 tiles.
Most commercially available domino sets are double six (28 tiles) or double nine (55 tiles). Larger sets such as double twelve (91 tiles), double fifteen (136 tiles) and double nineteenth (190 tiles) can also be used for long games that have a large number of players.
Some variants of dominoes also include a game where players try to connect the ends of each domino by adding one pips from their hand. For example, fives-and-threes is a British public house and social club game where the objective is to attach the end of a domino that is divisible by five to the end of an already played domino. The sum of these two ends is then scored as a single point.
A domino can topple because of two forces that act on it when it falls: gravity and friction. According to physicist Stephen Morris, the force of gravity acts on falling dominoes by storing up potential energy and then pushing it forward when they land.
The second force, friction, slows the domino as it makes contact with other dominoes and ground. This can cause the bottom edges of the dominoes to slip, which is why wooden dominoes on polished floors can topple more easily than plastic ones on rougher surfaces.
This force is also what allows dominoes to amplify the impact of other dominoes. It creates a chain reaction that travels down the domino line, much like a nerve impulse moves down an axon in your body.
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