Domino, which also means “master,” is a powerful name that encourages its bearer to keep one eye on the consequences of any action. As a result, a domino master knows the gravity of every decision and plays to the rules of cause and effect.
The word is derived from the Latin dominus, meaning “lord” or “master,” and it has roots in a game of blocking that date back centuries. Whether you’re looking for an inspiring name for your child or are in need of a strong foundation for a new business, Domino is a wise choice that keeps you two moves ahead.
A domino is a flat, thumbsized rectangular block bearing an arrangement of dots or pips on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. 28 such blocks make up a complete set of dominoes.
Dominoes are played by laying the tiles down in lines and angular patterns, forming chains that fall according to a set of rules. Some of these chain reactions are spectacular, with a single domino toppling hundreds of others. But the science behind these creations is much simpler than you might think.
Physicist Stephen Morris explains that when you stand a domino upright, it stores potential energy. Once you push it over, though, that energy is converted into kinetic energy—the energy of motion. It’s the same principle that causes dominoes to tumble when you knock over a stack of them.
When you play a domino game, the first player draws a tile from the stock and makes the first play. If there’s a tie, it’s broken by drawing the heaviest domino, double or single, from the remaining pile. Normally, the players play in turn until one player chips out—plays his last domino and can no longer score.
Each time a new tile is placed, the dominoes around it must be rearranged to match its shape. For example, if a domino has a spinner (an exposed side that can be displaced), it is played perpendicular to the other dominoes to form a line of three or more touching ends. Then, the other players can play their tiles onto that end of the chain.
A player wins the game by scoring all of his points in a straight line or by making a total of all of his pieces across a diagonal line. The first player to do so wins. A player may also win by completing all of his remaining tiles.
The best way to understand how a domino works is to watch it in action. A domino artist, known as Hevesh, creates stunning displays by arranging hundreds of thousands of dominoes. Her biggest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall, and Hevesh relies on a simple physical phenomenon to keep her creations in line. Watch the video below to see how she uses gravity to create dazzling designs. Domino art can be as simple or elaborate as you like — you can create straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, 3D structures and more.