A domino is a small block of wood or plastic, with a line down its center and each end bearing dots that resemble those on dice. A set of these dominoes, often 28 in number, is used for playing a variety of games. The word also refers to a type of costume consisting of a long, hooded cloak worn with an eye mask during carnival season or at a masquerade ball.
A Domino design can be as simple or elaborate as the artist chooses – from straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, or even 3D structures like pyramids and towers. Artists can create their designs on paper with arrows indicating the way they want the dominoes to fall and then transfer them to the table top using hot glue or spray adhesive.
Domino art can be displayed in the home, at a party or celebration, at a school, community or corporate event, or as part of a fundraiser for a charity. A variety of materials can be used to make dominoes, including polymer clay, wooden blocks, or ceramic tiles. A set can also be made with metal, such as brass or pewter, to add a contemporary look. The most traditional dominoes, however, are still created from bone, silver lip oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory, or dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips.
One of the main challenges when designing a domino layout is to ensure that the pieces fit together. The rules of most positional games require that additional dominoes be placed only on the ends of a domino that have not already been positioned in the layout. This means that a double is usually only placed cross-ways in the layout, or it may be straddled between two other dominoes, leaving the remaining sides of the double open for future placement.
In addition to the rules of each game, each player must decide how to score points. Typically, the goal is to get a number of points before the opponent, with the winner being the first player to reach the target score or having amassed the most points over a specified number of rounds. The simplest way to score a domino game is by counting the pips on opposing players’ tiles: for example, a domino with a double-six on one end and a double-blank on the other count as 6 or 12 depending on the rules of the particular game being played.
When it comes to writing a novel, dominoes can be useful for describing how scenes work together to advance the story. If a scene doesn’t have enough impact or is too similar to the previous scene, it can seem out of place and confuse the reader. As a writer, you can avoid this by planning your scenes like dominoes. Each scene should be a separate piece that helps build or reinforce the overall story, but it also needs to have some logical connection with the scene before it.