What is Domino?

Domino is a game in which players compete to place tiles, called dominoes, on a table. Each domino has a pattern of dots or “pips” on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The dominoes are connected by a line or ridge and can be arranged to form shapes, images, walls, or 3-D structures such as towers and pyramids. Dominoes are also used to create patterns, letters, and numbers.

Dominoes are most commonly made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on it. Some domino sets are made of a plastic material or other durable material. Historically, dominoes were hand-painted and the patterns or insignia carved into the surfaces of each piece.

When playing a domino game, each player takes his turn placing a tile, or “going” to the nearest open domino. Once a tile is played, it may be referred to as the set or down, and it must be placed on the table with its matching end touching the end of another domino that is already in play, known as a double. When a player plays a tile that does not match up with any existing domino, it is known as a misplay and must be removed from the game.

In many games, the winner of a hand or game is determined by counting the total number of pips on all of the losing players’ remaining dominoes. This method of scoring is sometimes referred to as a block game. Some players agree to count only one of the ends of a double when determining a winner’s score in block games.

Many domino games are played in pairs or teams. One way to determine seating arrangements in such games is by lot, where after the dominoes have been shuffled and a player draws his hand, he sits in the seat indicated by the highest-numbered domino in his hand. The seat occupied by the player who drew the next highest domino is then vacant, and so on.

Whether you’re a pantser, writing your manuscript off the cuff without a detailed outline, or a plotter, using the domino model can help you weed out scenes that don’t move the story forward in a compelling way. This process can also be helpful if you’re unsure how to end your book. Taking the time to look at your story through the lens of the domino effect will help you make sure that your ending will be a memorable one.