A domino is a flat, thumbsized rectangular block of clay or ivory or plastic that is blank on one side and has an arrangement of dots or pips, like those on the face of a die, on the other. Twenty-eight such pieces form a complete set of dominoes. A domino may be played with as few as two or as many as eight players. The most popular games use six to twenty-four dominoes, depending on the rules of the game. The term domino is also used to refer to any of the various games played with such pieces.

When you play a game of domino, the goal is to make a chain of tiles that ends with a double tile. This process is not easy, and the success of a player depends on how well they can follow the rules of the game. The way the domino chains develop is a large part of what makes the game fun. In some cases, a player can create a snake-like pattern that spans several square feet of table.

The rules of domino are complex, and there is much variation from place to place in the exact rules of different types of games. One rule that is universal to most domino games is that a domino placed on the table must be positioned so that it touches one end of another domino already on the table. A tile may be positioned in either direction, but when a domino is played to a double, the two matching sides must touch fully (unless the domino being played is a spinner, which must be played squarely across the end of the domino chain).

In most domino games, scoring is accomplished by counting the number of pips showing on the losing players’ dominoes at the end of a hand or game. This number is added to the winner’s score. During the course of a game, however, the number of pips left on a player’s dominoes is constantly changing.

Some games have rules that specify that a player can buy tiles from the stock, while others require that only certain kinds of dominoes can be bought. If a player buys a domino that is not allowed by the rules of the game, it is called a blunder or an error and is penalized.

Whether you’re writing a novel off the cuff or constructing a detailed outline, the story you want to tell depends on the Domino Effect, the notion that one event triggers a series of events that leads to ever-larger consequences. Whether you’re writing a scene about the destruction of a small town or describing a global financial crisis, this principle can help you shape your plot. The process of creating a narrative around the Domino Effect begins with asking yourself: “What will happen next?”