The Basics of Domino


Domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block with two square ends bearing numbers resembling those on dice. It can be used for playing games of chance or skill in which the object is to build a chain of matching tiles across a table surface, either side up or down, until all the tiles have fallen. The value of a domino is indicated by the number of spots, called pips, on each end. The more pips on a domino, the higher its rank or weight; a domino with no pips is called a blank or zero.

Dominoes may also be referred to as bones, cards, men, or pieces. They are usually twice as long as they are wide, which makes them easier to stack after use. Depending on the game, the pips may be arranged in a circle or on a line to divide the domino visually into two squares. The pips on one end are called values, while the other end is often left blank or marked with only a few pips. The sum of the pips on each end is known as its rank or weight, and is often compared to the ranking of other tiles in the same set. A domino with more pips is a higher value than a domino with fewer pips, and may be called “heavier” or “lighter” based on its relative rank or weight.

In the mid-18th century, domino reportedly first appeared in Italy and France and was brought to England by French prisoners. The name domino, however, is first recorded only in 1771 in a dictionary. It was originally used to describe a type of mask worn by priests at masquerades, but later came to refer to the game itself.

Before a game of domino begins, all the dominoes are shuffled. Then, each player draws a number of tiles from the remaining set to form his hand. Then, a starting player is chosen (either by drawing lots or by the person holding the heaviest hand). This player then places the first tile on the table. It is typically the heaviest tile in the set, but with some sets, the starting player may choose any tile.

Once a domino is placed, the next player in turn must place another tile onto the table. During play, the players must be careful to position each new tile so that it touches both of the previous tiles open ends. The resulting chains can develop snake-like shapes, depending on the players’ whims and space constraints on the playing surface. Whenever a player plays a tile that produces an open end of the same value as the previous tile, this is said to be “stitched up.”

In the early 1960s, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan began opening franchise locations in Michigan near college campuses. This strategy helped the company grow quickly. In 1968, Domino’s became the first national pizza chain in the United States. In order to keep up with demand, Domino’s remodeled many of its stores and developed a new computerized delivery system. In addition, it focused on placing its locations close to customers. This strategy has become an integral part of the Domino’s brand and its success.