# The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game played with rectangular pieces that have a line of numbered spots or “pips” on one face. Each domino has a blank or identically patterned face, and the pips are arranged so that each side shows a different number. These numbers are used in a variety of ways to determine the scoring of a hand or a game and the order in which the players must place their tiles on the table. The rules for various games vary widely, and the same game may have many different names and variations in different parts of the world.

A player draws the number of dominoes permitted by the rules of a particular game from the stock, adding them to the dominoes already in his or her hand. Then he or she places those tiles on the table in front of him, positioning each so that the other players can’t see the pips on them. The player then plays a tile so that it touches one end of the domino chain and thus causes the other ends to increase in length. Often, players will play a tile that has upon it a number showing on one of the other ends of the chain, and this is referred to as “stitching up” the end.

The next domino to touch a previous tile must have a matching number, or the player must knock over that piece. Then the energy from the first domino, converted to kinetic energy as it falls over, travels through the chain until the last domino is touched. This process is what gives domino the beautiful rhythmic cascade of movement that makes it so enchanting to watch.

Like a deck of playing cards, each domino has an identity-bearing face and a blank or identically patterned face. The identifying marks, called pips, are usually an arrangement of alternating black and white, but there are some sets that have a domino with the top half thickness in ivory or bone and the lower half in ebony with contrasting pips.

Historically, each domino represented one of the 21 results of throwing two 6-sided dice (2d6). The pips are arranged so that one half of the domino contains the pips from the first die, and the other half of the domino has the pips from the second die.

Dominoes have been made from a wide variety of materials for centuries, including ceramic clay, marble, granite, soapstone, and woods such as ash, oak, redwood, and cedar. More recently, dominoes have been produced from plastic and other polymer materials. A few sets remain made from natural materials such as bone, silver lip oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood with contrasting pips; these tend to have more of a traditional look and feel to them than polymer dominoes.

Domino’s was founded in 1967 by Tom Monaghan, who believed that the key to success with his pizza franchise would be putting pizzerias near college campuses. He also stressed the importance of listening to customers. Keeping close to these values helped the company grow quickly and sustain that growth as it became a national and international brand.