The domino effect refers to the idea that one change in behavior can cause a chain reaction that leads to other changes in behavior. For example, if someone begins to exercise more often, this could lead them to decrease their overall fat intake, which would have a positive impact on their health. Dominoes are a good example of this phenomenon: when one domino is knocked over, it can trigger the falling of other dominoes.
Dominoes are small rectangular blocks with a line down the middle that visually separates the ends into two squares. Each end is either blank or has a number of spots, called pips. The sum of the values on the pips determines the rank or weight of a domino; for example, a domino with six pips on each end is considered heaviest, while a double-blank is lightest.
Some people like to play games with dominoes by lining them up in long rows and then trying to knock them down. Others prefer to create intricate designs or structures using the tiles. Watch this video to learn about domino artist Hevesh, who has created some of the most impressive designs ever made using these simple toys. Hevesh’s artwork uses the laws of physics to make her pieces work, including straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.
Hevesh uses a lot of math to design her tracks and determine how many dominoes she needs for each piece, but the most important tool she has is gravity. She says that when a domino is set up properly, it can be tipped over by the force of gravity alone, without any help from human hands. Shevesh’s largest creations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, and they depend entirely on the law of gravity to work.
Traditionally, dominoes are played on a tabletop with a small cup or other object for the draw. The players draw their dominoes, and the player who draws the highest value domino goes first. The game continues until everyone passes or chips out, although some variants use different rules for when the game ends.
In the Block Game, each player takes seven dominoes to begin with. The first person to play a domino places it on the table, followed by all other players in turn. Each time a player cannot place a domino, they pass their turn to the next person.
After the shuffling, players then draw their hands of dominoes, and each draws a number corresponding to a particular color or symbol on the tiles. Typically, the player who draws the first tile (determined by drawing lots or by the heaviest hand) puts it down on the table to start the chain reaction.
There are many types of dominoes and variants of the game, but they all work on the same principle: that each domino must be connected to another domino in some way. Typically, the connecting side of a domino is called an “open end,” and additional dominoes can only be played to the left or right of the opening. However, some games allow additional dominoes to be placed atop the open ends of existing tiles.