Dominoes are a wonderful addition to any family’s home games, and they also offer the opportunity to work on motor skills. They can be played by one, two or more players. They are easy to learn and have the added benefit of teaching basic math concepts such as addition and subtraction. There are many different types of dominoes and even a few that require specialized skills to play.

A single domino is a rectangular tile with a number of pips on its open end. When a domino is set, it initiates a chain reaction that adds more and more tiles until the entire line is completed. This is called a domino cascade. Dominoes are usually made from a combination of materials, but plastic and wood are the most popular. Other types of materials include ivory and silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl). Some sets even contain a mix of these materials, for example, with the top half thickness of a domino in mother-of-pearl or ivory and the lower half in ebony.

There are many different domino games, most of which depend upon matching suits. In these games, the first player sets his or her domino. Then the player to his or her left adds a tile that has the same number of pips as an open end on an already-played domino. The process continues around the table until the entire line of tiles is complete. The players then score their points according to the rules of the game.

When playing domino with more than one person, seating arrangements are determined by lot. After the dominoes are shuffled and a player draws a tile from the stock, that tile determines his or her seat at the table. If a player can’t place a domino, he or she may draw additional tiles from the stock and add them to his or her hand.

Each time a tile is played, it must be positioned so that the two matching ends touch. The chain will then develop a shape such as a snake-line or a cross-way pattern. Typically, the double is placed perpendicular to the cross-way of the end it touches, but sometimes, the double can be played diagonally to the end it is touching.

A player who cannot make a play may buy a new set of dominoes from the stock by adding the pips on the tiles that he or she owns to the total pips on the dominoes in his or her hand. A player can also pass his or her turn if he or she cannot make a play, and the game ends when play stops or a player chips out.

In some domino shows, builders compete to create the most impressive domino effect or reaction before a live audience of fans. The builder’s masterpieces are often awe-inspiring. For writers, the domino effect provides a metaphor for narrative logic. If a scene in a story runs counter to what most readers think is logical, the domino effect will fail. This is why it’s important for writers to provide their protagonists with motivation and/or reasons to do things that go against societal norms.