#### How Do the Pieces of Dominoes Come Together?

The simple pleasure of lining up a row of dominoes and flicking the first one over to watch the whole chain fall—that’s the magic of domino. But just how do the pieces come together? The answer, as it turns out, involves a few key forces.

Lily Hevesh started playing domino at 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her their classic 28-piece set. She grew to love it. But she never imagined the amazing creations she could make. She’s built rainbow spirals, tangled trees, and even a 15-color spiral made out of 12,000 dominoes! She did all this because of a little thing called inertia, a property that makes objects resist movement when no outside force is pushing or pulling on them. But when the first domino gets a tiny nudge, its potential energy is released and it can then push on the next tile in line. And that’s how a domino spiral starts.

The most basic way to play domino is with two players using a double-six set of 28 tiles. These are shuffled and then, depending on the game being played, each player draws seven tiles from the stock.

Once a player has his or her hand of seven tiles, the player may then begin making plays on the table. This is done in accordance with the rules of the specific game being played, which are described below.

Most games that use domino require a domino chain, or “line of play,” to develop, with each player positioning a tile on the table so that it touches only one end of an existing domino chain. The match of the pips on each end of the new tile with those on an already-played domino is what determines whether the chain can continue or must be ended.

Many games have a set order in which dominoes are played, and the order of play is determined by the rules of the particular game. Some games do not use the line of play, and in those cases, the player who begins play may choose to draw a hand according to the rules of the game being played.

A typical Western domino set consists of 28 tiles, with each tile representing one of the 21 results of throwing two six-sided dice (2d6). Some sets are made of different materials, such as silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony. These natural materials have a more unique look and feel than polymer dominoes, which are typically made of pressed plastic. In addition to wood and metal, some sets are also made of glass, ceramic clay or crystal. Chinese dominoes have a history dating back to the 12th or 13th century and they were traditionally made to represent each of the 21 possible combinations of face numbers on two thrown dice. This was in contrast to European dominoes, which were designed to be replicas of the 28-piece set that originated in Europe during the mid-18th century.