A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, normally twice as long as it is wide, that is marked on both sides with numbers in the form of dots or squares. A set of 28 such pieces makes up a domino.
A more common use of the word is in reference to a series of events that begin with one small action and lead to larger consequences, as suggested by the idiom “domino effect.” This term is also used to describe the process of stacking blocks on their ends in long lines, so that if the first block is tipped over it will cause the others to topple in a similar manner. Dominoes are popular toys that are useful for teaching children counting and number recognition. They can also be arranged into complex designs or stacked into shapes, such as a house or castle.
The most common type of domino set contains a double six and has a total of 28 tiles. However, much larger sets exist for games that require more than just two players. Some sets feature different colors, while others have a more uniform look. The color of the dots or pips on a domino is sometimes referred to as its suit. A single domino may belong to multiple suits.
When a domino is laid down, the pips face up to show their value and the exposed ends are used for scoring or blocking other players’ play. The pips may be colored black, white, or red. In addition to pips, a domino can be printed with the names of various games, and some have Arabic numerals or other markings for easier reading.
Dominoes can be made of wood, such as ebony, or other natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), and ivory. Some sets include dominoes of mixed material, such as a combination of ivory and ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on the surface of each piece. Polymer dominoes are commonly used, but some people prefer the more traditional feel of a wooden set.
In the world of politics, the domino theory refers to the idea that a country that begins support for a communist government will ultimately be forced to withdraw its support, just as one domino falling over another will trigger the next domino to fall and so on. This concept was used by President Dwight Eisenhower in his speech at the end of the Cold War, when he described the possible spread of Communism across Asia as a “domino effect.” The phrase is now also used to describe any situation that leads from one action to a larger sequence of events.
The Domino Effect is a wonderful example of how the domino principle works in real life. When you focus on one thing and move it forward, it can help push other interests in the same direction. That’s why it’s important to recognize and appreciate the little victories in your life.