Dominoes and Domino Art


Dominoes are rectangular tiles with matching ends, a total of spots or pips, and sometimes a blank side. They are normally twice as long as they are wide. Invented by the ancient Egyptians, dominoes were once made from bone, wood, and even carved ivory-materials that were readily available at the time. Modern dominoes are usually constructed from heavy plastic.

Domino games are played with one or more players in a game room, on the computer, or in an open space. Most involve emptying a player’s hand while blocking opponents’ play. Some games, such as bergen and muggins, determine points by counting the pips (spots on a tile) in the losing player’s hands. Other domino games duplicate card games-but without the possibility of the wind blowing the cards away! These games are often used to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.

The word domino derives from the Latin word for dominium, which means ‚Äúdominant.” A skillful domino player is called a “dominator.”

Most domino games involve positional play where players place a piece edge to edge with another such that both the exposed ends match (one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s, etc). Then they add up the total of all the exposed pips on each end-with doubles counting twice-and score when this total is a multiple of five or three.

A typical domino set contains 55 tiles with a maximum of 12 pips on each end. Larger sets are also available, and they can extend the number of pips per end to 15, 18, or 21. However, identifying the numbers on larger ends is more difficult, and this makes it difficult to play some games.

Some domino builders create spectacular designs involving hundreds or thousands of pieces. These displays can be a nail-biting spectacle to watch as the dominoes tumble to the floor by their own weight and the laws of gravity. Domino shows feature builders competing to make the most complex and imaginative domino effect or reaction before a live audience of fans.

Domino Art

Using a pencil and paper, you can create your own domino art – straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Just be sure to plan your design out carefully: dominoes will take the time they need to fall, and the size of your structure will depend on the amount of room you have to set it up.

Domino Builder

A domino builder is a person who constructs complex layouts of stacked dominoes, each domino touching the next on a line and then falling by the force of gravity. Some of these layouts take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but they are worth the wait. Domino designers are renowned for their artistry, and they are able to create elaborate domino art for film, television, and events, including album launches for pop star Katy Perry. Many of these talented artists have YouTube channels where they post videos of their creations.