Dominoes are small flat blocks used as gaming objects. They are often referred to as bones, cards, men, or pieces and can be made of many materials. They are normally twice as long as they are wide and have a line in the middle to visually divide them into two squares. Each of the squares has an arrangement of spots, or pips, like those on dice. One side is marked with numbers while the other is blank or a different color. The most common domino set has 28 unique pieces.

The most popular domino game involves scoring points by laying the tiles end to end in a line. When the exposed ends match (a one’s touch a two’s and so on) the player is awarded that number of points. This is a very simple and enjoyable game but it’s not the only way to enjoy domino.

A more complex game, involving strategic positioning and skill, can be played with a full set of dominoes. This is called “dominoing.” When a domino is played so that its end touches the edge of another domino, it is said to be “stitched up” with that other domino. This can be done in several ways, including touching the center of the edge with a finger or a pencil.

Some players, particularly those who compete in domino shows, build extremely complicated domino constructions that take hours to complete and can involve hundreds or thousands of dominoes. These constructions are designed to be impressive and to demonstrate a particular principle of dominoing. The principle is that when one domino falls over, it transfers energy to the next domino, causing it to tip over as well. This process continues until all the dominoes in a line are tipped over.

There are many games that can be played with a domino set, but only a few of them are very popular. The standard domino set has rules for both a blocking game and a draw game. These games are based on the fact that each domino has a value and that two dominoes may match if their values sum to a multiple of five.

When writing, it can be useful to think of the “domino effect.” This is a phrase that describes any action that initiates an unstoppable chain reaction. A domino effect can be positive, such as a successful marketing campaign, or negative, such as a car accident that causes a serious injury to a person.

The most dramatic domino effect occurs when one domino is tipped over and knocks down several others. It can also occur in the natural world. For example, when people change their diets by reducing their fat intake, they often decrease the amount of other foods that contain unhealthy fats as a result. This is a domino effect that can be seen all over the world.