The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are small, rectangular blocks with a line down the middle that visually divides them into two squares, each marked with an arrangement of dots that resemble those on dice. The dominoes may be blank or numbered with values from 1 to 6, or, as in the most common variant of the game (double-six), each end is marked with a value of six pips. Normally, only the pips on each end of a domino are used in play, but some games permit the players to use any of the tiles.

Generally, each player draws at random the number of dominoes needed for the game they are playing, starting with the heaviest piece (generally the one with the most pips). The remaining pieces form the stock, often called the boneyard, and the first player to draw seven tiles wins.

Lily Hevesh first played with dominoes as a child and soon began posting videos on YouTube. Now, at 20, she is a professional domino artist and creates spectacular setups for movies, TV shows, and events—including the Katy Perry album launch.

For Hevesh, domino art is a way to express her creativity and challenge herself. She uses different shapes and sizes of dominoes to create curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, 3D structures like towers and pyramids, and more. She also uses a variety of techniques to bring the pictures to life, including drawing arrows, adding borders and shadows, and coloring in the background.

In addition to creating her own art, Hevesh helps others build their own sets by selling templates on her website. These downloadable files allow users to plan out their own layouts, figure out how many dominoes they will need, and calculate the resulting total cost of the set. She also offers workshops on how to make domino art and how to plan out a layout before beginning.

Dominoes are a fun and educational way to teach children about numbers, patterns, shapes, and colors. They are also a great way to practice dexterity and hand-eye coordination. For older children, they can be used to practice math and problem-solving skills.

The most basic of all domino games is a block-and-draw game for two players using a double-six set. The 28 dominoes are shuffled and placed face down on the table. Each player draws a domino from the stock and places it on the table, positioning it so that its open ends connect to other adjacent dominoes in some fashion. A domino is considered to be “open” when both ends match the same number.

The most important thing to remember when designing a domino layout is that the dominoes should be placed in such a way that additional dominoes can easily fit into the existing chain, without disrupting it or blocking its progress. This is especially important when playing a doubles-only game. When a player plays a domino that creates an empty space in the existing chain, the domino must be discarded and the next tile added to fill the gap.