Learning About Dominoes

Domino is a tile game in which the players take turns placing dominoes on end so that adjacent sides match or form some specified total. This creates long chains that can be tipped over by one or more dominoes at the end of the line, and this sequence is called a domino effect. Very complex patterns can be made from stacking dominoes, and the art of creating this sort of domino artwork has become a popular pastime for many people.

The first player to place all of his or her tiles wins the game. In addition, scoring games can be played in which the losers score points based on the number of dots left in their opponents’ hands. These types of games, such as bergen and muggins, are fun for the whole family to play together.

For a fun learning activity that can help students understand addition, teachers can use a large set of dominoes and have the class complete an addition worksheet for each. In this activity, each student chooses a domino from a stack or bag, counts the dots on both ends of the tile, and then names an addition equation that represents the relation between the total number of dots and the numbers on each end of the domino.

As children play domino with friends or family members, they may discover that some tiles have blank sides on one end. When a player lays down a domino with blank sides, other players cannot place their tiles to match it until the person to his or her right lays down a matching domino. This rule is called a “block” and helps maintain the flow of the game.

When a domino is laid down, it must be placed so that the two matching ends are touching fully. This is a necessary condition for the development of a chain that forms a shape, such as a snake-line, depending on the whims and limitations of the playing surface. If a double is played on a single-sided domino, the new chain must continue to be developed in the same way.

Dominoes are a fascinating game in part because of the physical laws that govern the behavior of the pieces and the sequence of events that occur when they are played. The first domino that is tipped over starts a chain reaction in which other dominoes are tipped over, and the chain continues until all of the dominoes have been tipped over.

In the past, dominoes were made from natural materials such as bone or ivory, dark hardwoods such as ebony, and metals, such as brass or pewter. Some contemporary sets of dominoes are made from woods such as mahogany or birch, and some are even made from glass or crystal. These modern sets are usually more affordable than the old-style wooden dominoes and also look more elegant. A glass or crystal domino set is a beautiful gift for a loved one.