Dominoes are pieces of a game that is played by two people, normally with a set of 28 dominoes (also known as bones, cards, tiles, men, and spinners). Each piece in a standard domino set has a number of spots or pips on it. In the most basic game, a domino is played by placing it edge to edge with a previously-played one. Alternatively, the player can play it in a straight line or on a curve to create an interesting shape or picture.
A domino is usually twice as long as it is wide. It has a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares, called ends. It also has the number of spots or pips on each end. These pips represent the value of each piece and determine its rank or weight, which is a factor in how it stacks.
The most popular game of dominoes is the “standard” or “block” game, which uses a “double six” set of dominoes. It is similar to the game of rummy, but instead of rolling a dice, players roll dominoes on a table.
Another popular game is the “draw” game, which requires a larger set of dominoes. A set of 28 dominoes is enough for the basic game, but the standard set is often extended by adding a larger number of spots to each end. The most common extended sets are double-nine (55 tiles), double-12 (91 tiles), and double-15 (136 tiles).
In the basic game, each player chooses seven of their dominoes to begin with and places them edge to edge with a previously-played domino. Then, the player places another domino, matching the first in number of pips, to form a chain. This is played until either a player chips out or the game ends.
Lily Hevesh has been playing with dominoes since she was 9 years old. Her grandparents had a classic 28-pack, and she loved arranging them in a curved or straight line, flicking the first domino, and watching it fall.
Hevesh started posting videos of her domino installations online, and by the time she was 20 she had built a YouTube channel with 2 million subscribers. She’s a professional domino artist who uses science to create amazing designs.
Creating a domino design involves many steps, starting with putting up the pieces individually and testing each section to ensure it works. Hevesh films each step in slow motion, which helps her make corrections as necessary.
Once she’s satisfied with the results, Hevesh starts laying out the entire display. Her biggest projects take several minutes to set up, but once they’re ready, she lets the dominoes tumble according to gravity.
The laws of physics are what make her installations so spectacular, Hevesh says. Standing a domino upright, she says, provides it with potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. When it falls, however, the domino’s stored energy is converted into kinetic energy, which causes it to fall and sends it crashing into the next domino in the chain.