Domino is the name of a series of games played with a set of tiles, or dominoes. The tiles have identifying marks on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. They may also contain an arrangement of dots, called pips, similar to those on a die. The number of pips on a tile is its value; the more pips, the higher its value.
A dominoes game usually involves a sequence of turns in which players place and move their pieces so that when one player has exhausted all of his or her moves, the other player takes over the game. The winner is determined by counting the pips on opponent’s pieces or, in scoring games like bergen and muggins, by the number of opposing players’ points awarded to the winning player.
Many people who play dominoes enjoy constructing elaborate designs out of the tiles. These designs can include straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall, stacked walls, and 3-D structures like towers and pyramids. Some people even turn their domino layouts into works of art. Lily Hevesh is one such artist; she has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers who follow her videos of her stunning domino sets.
The word domino comes from the Italian domanda, meaning “flip.” During a hand of domino, the first domino is flipped over to start the chain reaction that causes all of the other pieces to fall. This simple act initiates a game of skill, strategy, and luck that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
In the business world, domino relates to an effect called the Domino Effect: when one small change leads to a cascade of other changes, similar to the way that a single domino can knock down a line of other dominoes. Dominos CEO Steve Doyle used this idea to emphasize his company’s core values in a recent employee survey, and it shows in the way that he runs the company.
When Dominos employees were asked to list the most important qualities of their jobs, they overwhelmingly selected “listening to our customers.” Doyle understood this, and implemented policies that demonstrate it—from a relaxed dress code to new leadership training programs and college recruiting systems.
In writing, the domino image is often used to refer to a story’s “domino effect.” For example, in fiction, when a character makes a small, seemingly insignificant choice, it can have a big impact on the future of the plot. This is why it’s so important for writers to pay attention to their characters and the choices they make. Whether you’re a pantser who writes on the fly, or a plotter who uses tools like Scrivener to help you outline, the domino effect is an important consideration in any scene.