Domino is a small flat rectangular block used as a gaming object, similar to playing cards or dice. Its identifying markings are located on one face, while the other is blank or patterned with from one to six dots, called “pips,” which form a suit. A domino set typically consists of 28 tiles, although larger sets exist for longer games. Dominos can be arranged in a variety of ways, including in straight lines and curved ones, as well as grids that form pictures or stacked walls.
Often, domino is simply used for positioning games, in which a player places one domino edge to edge against another with its pips aligned with those of the first domino. The other faces of the pieces then determine their positions, and the goal is to position them in such a way that each domino leads into or forms an open field in which a player can place a piece of his or her own. The first player to place all of his or her pieces wins the game.
The word domino comes from the Latin dominum, meaning “smooth or polished surface.” The earliest known Western dominoes were made of wood and had a smooth white or ivory finish. Later, the pieces were made of bone and other materials.
In the 1860s, a British man named Sir Charles MacCartney created an early version of what would eventually become the modern domino. His design featured a round, hollow center with an engraved figure that was meant to represent the head of a lion.
Dominos are now made of a variety of materials, from plastic to ceramic to the traditional clay. Some even include electronic components to make them compatible with smart devices. Dominos are also available in various shapes and colors, as well as 3-D models.
Today, there are over 100 Domino’s locations in the United States, with the majority of them operating as franchises. The company has a reputation for quick delivery and uses technology to help customers order, monitor their orders, and manage their pickup. For example, half of the workers at the Domino’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, work in software analytics, and the company has developed new technologies that allow customers to place an order by texting an emoji or by speaking to their Amazon Echo device.
Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes at age 9, when her grandparents gave her their classic 28-pack. She loved setting them up in curved or straight lines and flicking the first domino to watch it fall. Hevesh’s passion for dominoes led her to create a YouTube channel where she posts videos of her creations. She’s a professional domino artist who has commissioned pieces for movies, TV shows, and events—including an album launch by pop singer Katy Perry. Hevesh believes her success stems from applying a simple principle of influence, called the Domino Effect, outlined in the influential book Influence by Robert Cialdini. The concept is that once a person commits to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor it because it becomes part of their identity.