Domino is a game in which players take turns placing dominoes so that their ends touch each other and form chains of dots that build in length. The number of points a domino chain is awarded for depends on the rules of the particular game being played. Dominoes may be played on a flat or 3D arrangement and can be used to create straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and even 3D structures like towers and pyramids.
Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide and are usually printed with a line in the middle to divide them visually into two squares called ends. Each end is assigned a value, the most common being six pips. Depending on the number of pips and the type of game being played, additional pips may be added to either end or blanks (or both) to determine the rank and weight of a domino.
As a rule, each side of a domino has an identity-bearing inscription or a blank that is identically patterned to the other side. Unlike playing cards, which also have a face and an identity-bearing side, dominoes have a specific meaning to the gamer; they are not just random numbers or symbols. Depending on the game, a player’s goal is to score more points than the other players by building longer chains of dominoes with matching sides.
Despite its enormous size, domino is one of the most recognizable games in the world and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. As such, it is a popular choice for parties, family reunions, and corporate teambuilding exercises.
The word domino, like the game itself, is relatively recent. It first appeared in France in the late 17th century and was introduced to England by French prisoners-of-war. Its origin is unclear, but it is speculated that the name derived from an earlier sense of the word which meant the hooded cape worn by a priest over his surplice. This garment’s similarity to the domino piece’s ebony black with ivory face might have helped it to acquire the new meaning.
When constructing a domino installation, it is important to remember that the laws of physics are constantly at work. Gravity pulls a fallen domino toward Earth, and this force can halt or reverse the direction of a domino chain. This means that every element of a domino setup must be carefully positioned in order to achieve the desired result. For this reason, Hevesh always makes test pieces of her larger installations to ensure that the whole thing will work properly before it’s filmed. She also films each section in slow motion, so she can make precise corrections to the design if it doesn’t work as planned. This careful planning is what allows Hevesh to complete projects that take many nail-biting minutes to fall. Watch the video below to see some of Hevesh’s incredible designs. She has built displays that involve 300,000 dominoes and set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017.