The Art of Dominos

Dominos have long been a favorite game for kids and adults alike. There’s something about watching those little tiles fall in a beautiful, rhythmic cascade that’s just so satisfying. What’s more, the fact that it only takes the slightest nudge to bring down an entire line of dominoes makes them an ideal metaphor for events in a story, such as a car crash or a rocket launch. In fact, we sometimes use the term “domino effect” to refer to any event that has a similar pattern of cascading effects.

Dominoes are a generic gaming device, like playing cards or dice, and can be used in a number of different games. Typically, the only limit to the types of games that can be played with a domino set is the imagination of the players. In recent years, the popularity of dominoes has grown as people have become interested in using them for artistic purposes. For example, a Dominos art gallery has been created in which customers can come and watch artists create works of art using the classic domino pieces.

The first step in creating a domino layout is to draw the dominoes out into a line. Each domino has two matching ends, and the rules of most games require that adjacent faces be identical or form some specific total (e.g., 5 to 5) when laid side by side. Each domino is then positioned on the layout so that its open end is either abutted by another piece, or if it’s a double, straddled by two other matching sides.

After a player has drawn all of his or her dominoes, play begins. The first player, usually determined by drawing lots or by who has the heaviest hand, places his or her first domino. The next domino is then played on top of the first, and so on, until one of the players runs out of matching ends or reaches some other end-point. The winners are the players whose combined total of all of their remaining dominoes is the lowest.

Unlike American-style dominoes, European-style sets have a greater variety of styles and materials. They’re often made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted onto the pieces.

Most domino sets have a maximum of twenty-four pips on an end. However, several extended-set dominoes are available, which add additional pips to the maximum. These additional pips allow for a much larger number of unique combinations of ends and, therefore, of pieces in a given set.

Lily Hevesh has been fascinated by dominoes since she was 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her their 28-piece set. She quickly started setting up intricate domino constructions and posting videos of them online, where her YouTube channel has attracted more than 2 million subscribers. She also creates spectacular domino setups for movies, TV shows, and even celebrity album launches. In fact, she’s a professional domino artist and has even created a domino art gallery in her hometown of Detroit.