The Basics of Domino

Domino, also known as bones, cards, men, or pieces, is a tile-based game with a wide variety of rules and play. Many domino games involve a line of dominoes set up in a row on the table and played by matching their pips. A domino is usually twice as long as it is wide, and the pips are inlaid on one side. Depending on the game, some dominoes have more than three pips; this is referred to as a double.

Dominoes are most often made of clay, plastic, or ivory and have a color-coded label that indicates the number of pips on each end of the piece. Most sets include an instruction booklet with rules for the most common domino games. In addition to the booklet, the box of a typical domino set may also have a chart with the pips labeled so that players can easily identify the type of domino they are using.

The most basic domino game requires a double-six set of 28 tiles, which are shuffled and then placed face down on a table to form a stock or boneyard. Each player then draws seven dominoes from the stock and begins making his or her first play by matching the pips on the open ends of the pieces. The player who makes the first play is called the setter or downer, and he or she should place his or her domino in the center of the table.

As more tiles are played, a line is formed across the table and is called the layout or string. When the line reaches its end, it is called the line of play. The players then make their next plays by matching the pips on the open end of each tile they draw.

A domino can only fall if it is pushed by another domino. When the first domino falls, it creates a pulse that travels down the line like a nerve impulse down an axon. That pulse can then trigger more and more dominoes to fall in a similar fashion. Dominoes are typically arranged in a linear configuration, but they can also be stacked to form 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

When you’re plotting your novel, thinking about the Domino Effect can help you keep your story logical and compelling. If your hero takes an action that runs counter to what most readers think is logical, you’ll need to give the reader enough reason or motivation to follow your hero down his or her path. Otherwise, the Domino Effect fails and your scene won’t hold up to scrutiny. The same applies if you’re writing a scene that is morally or ethically questionable for your character. The Domino Effect can give you the logic to convince your readers that what your hero does is just.