The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes, cousins of playing cards and dice, are one of the oldest tools for gaming. From professional domino game competition to simply stacking them on end and knocking them over, this simple tool offers a variety of games for players of all ages and skill levels.

The basic domino is a rectangular tile marked with an arrangement of dots, or pips, on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. These pips are used to identify the tile and determine its value in a domino game, usually indicated by a number on each side of the rectangle. The most common domino set is double-six, with each side of a tile displaying six pips. This set is used in most of the games played with dominoes, although other sets exist.

Unlike traditional cards, a domino is typically twice as long as it is wide, making it easier to stack and re-stack them after use. This doubling makes the tiles easy to handle and also allows them to fit more easily into play, which is important in most domino games.

A domino has a line down its center that divides it visually into two squared areas, called ends. Each end is identified by the number of pips it displays, with one area having more pips than the other. The pips on the dominoes can range from six to blank, or zero, with each doubling of the number of pips increasing its value. The total number of pips on a domino is known as its rank, or weight, and is used to decide the winner of a game.

While most people know that a domino can be tipped over to cause its companions to topple, fewer may understand how this effect is possible. Stephen Morris, a physics professor at the University of Toronto, explains that when a domino is standing upright, it stores energy in the form of potential energy. When this energy is converted to kinetic energy and causes the domino to fall, it triggers a chain reaction that results in all the remaining dominoes falling.

In a similar way, one small action can have a large impact on a larger community. For example, when a woman was pulled over while driving with a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver, the domino effect led to legal and social consequences that may affect many people. The driver was able to save her life, but it may not be the last setback that will fall on a person who lives with an addiction.

The idea of a domino effect can be applied to leadership and management. In the popular television show Undercover Boss, Domino’s Pizza CEO Don Meij sends his top leaders to work in Domino’s restaurants and other places where their employees interact with customers. In the program, Meij watches how these managers manage their teams and interact with their customers, which can have a large impact on the customer’s experience. Meij is able to see that the leaders who excel at Domino’s have strong leadership skills, and are able to create an environment where people can flourish.