Categories: Gambling

What is Domino?

Domino is a name given to a series of events or actions that cascade one after the other, often with unexpected results. It can refer to a literal domino effect (a series of dominoes that actually topple), or it can be used metaphorically to describe the way one thing impacts another in a chain reaction, such as a business crisis that can quickly spread through an entire organization. The word is also the name of a game that requires skill, patience and luck, where players place dominoes in a line or other arrangement, then “flick” them to make them fall. Lily Hevesh began playing with dominoes at age 9, when her grandparents gave her the classic 28-pack. She now has a YouTube channel with more than 2 million subscribers and creates impressive domino art for movies, TV shows and events, including the launch of Katy Perry’s latest album. Her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall. Hevesh carefully builds each section of her designs in advance, then lays out the dominoes and connects them together with flat arrangements. She tests each individual piece to make sure it works properly, and then films the whole project in slow motion. This allows her to see how the pieces interact with each other and correct any errors as she goes along.

Each domino has a unique number of spots, called pips, on its face. These pips are either identical or different on each half of the domino’s face, and they determine its identity. A domino can be matched to another tile only when their pips match. A domino with two matching pips is a double, and a domino with one matching pair and one blank side is a single.

The first domino set was invented in the 12th century, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that the modern version of the game came into play. It moved from Italy to France in the mid-18th Century and then into England, possibly via French prisoners of war. The game became popular for positional games in which players placed dominoes edge to edge against each other, so that adjacent faces matched or formed some arithmetic total.

Domino games are played all over the world, and many of them are adaptations of card or dice games that were popular in some regions to circumvent religious restrictions against certain games. Even the Inuits have a domino game, although it is likely that this was an imitation of Western games and not an original creation.

A domino is far more powerful than people realize. In a 1983 study, University of British Columbia physicist Lorne Whitehead showed that a well-placed domino could knock over objects one and a half times its own size. The physics behind this remarkable domino effect is simple: The force exerted by a domino on the next tile must be greater than the force exerted by that tile on its surroundings, otherwise the second tile will not tumble.

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