# Dominoes – A Great Educational Tool

Dominoes are one of the world’s oldest and most versatile tools for game play. From professional domino competition to a simple set on the coffee table, they provide countless games of chance and skill. The markings on each domino, known as pips, represent the results of throwing two six-sided dice. As each domino is positioned next to another, the pips on the end of that domino must match the adjacent pips on the adjacent domino in order for the pair to be considered a “match” and for the chain to continue building.

The most common domino sets are double-six and double-nine with 28 and 55 tiles respectively. However, larger sets exist and are commonly used for longer domino games. Each additional domino added to the set increases the maximum number of pips on an end from three to six, and a larger number of unique combinations is possible.

Traditionally, domino plays fall into two categories: blocking games and scoring games. In a blocking game, the objective is to empty the opponent’s hand before he can make any more plays. Typical blocking games are played with a double-six set, with each player drawing seven tiles from the stock (also called the boneyard). When a player can no longer play he must call “stop” and the game ends. A score is calculated at this point, and the winners are the players whose opponents’ remaining dominoes have the lowest total count.

While the most popular domino games are blocker and scorer games, there are many other variations of domino, ranging from solitaire to trick-taking. These are usually adaptations of card games and were popular in some areas to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards.

Domino is also an excellent educational tool. It is a great way to introduce and practice basic math skills. Students can work alone or with a partner and use a domino addition worksheet. To begin, they choose a domino from the group and identify its dots. They then name the equation that is represented by the dots on the domino and write it. For example, a student might draw the 2 and 4 and say “2+4=6.”

Hevesh creates her mind-blowing domino setups using a version of the engineering-design process. She considers the theme or purpose of the installation, brainstorms images or words that might be related to the theme and then uses her domino set to build a sequence that reflects this idea.