# What is Domino?

Domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with a line down the center that contains a number. One side of each domino is blank or marked by dots that resemble those on dice. The other side of the domino has a number that corresponds to its position in a series of numbered games. The most popular domino set, the double-six, has 28 different possible combinations of numbers on its ends. When a domino is placed, the number on the end of that domino must match the number on another adjacent domino to create a chain.

A domino is a game piece used in a game of chance or skill to determine who wins a hand. Traditionally, each player takes turns placing dominoes on a table until he or she cannot continue. The winning player is the one who has the highest total of all the spots on his or her remaining dominoes. In some cases, players are forced to “chip out” if their totals become too low.

Despite the challenges, Hevesh believes that more people will try their hand at making domino art in the future. To that end, she is working to produce detailed instructions for how to construct various tracks and other structures for dominoes to fall down on. She also plans to make domino tracks of varying difficulty, from basic straight lines to more elaborate grids that form pictures or 3-D structures.

For elementary students, dominoes can be used to help develop their math skills. A teacher can ask a student to choose a domino from a stack or bag and, as the child holds it up, the class counts how many dots are on it. The teacher can then use the domino to teach addition by showing it to the class and having them name an equation that represents the relationship between the number of dots on a domino and its number of ends, such as 4 + 2 = 6.

More recently, a domino has also come to be used as an analogy for how one small action can impact much larger ones. For example, this video illustrates how focusing on one activity can have enough momentum to “knock over” more than one interest.

The word domino comes from the Latin for “falling down,” a reference to the traditional way in which a set of dominoes is played. The English language spelling of the word was first recorded in the mid-18th century, while the French language version was used earlier than that. The word has several other meanings, including a long hooded robe worn with an eye mask during a carnival season or masquerade and the cape that a priest wears over his surplice. The term also refers to a pair of playing cards. The domino game was introduced in the United States in the early 1870s.

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