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## The Basics of Dominoes

A domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block, either blank or bearing from one to six pips or dots on each of its four sides. There are 28 such pieces in a standard set of dominoes. A domino is the basic unit used for playing a number of games that involve building lines or angular patterns with them. The word is also a generic term for any sort of domino-like toy.

Dominoes are normally stacked on end in long lines. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in line to tip over, and so on until all of the dominoes have fallen over. This kind of chain reaction is the origin of the phrase, “the domino effect.”

There are many different types of domino games. Most of them fall into two categories: blocking games and scoring games. Blocking games are games in which players attempt to prevent each other from making a play by forming a line that can be extended with the matching ends of two adjacent dominoes. In a scoring game, players try to get the highest score by matching all of their tiles with each other in one or more of these ways.

A player starts a hand by drawing the number of tiles that he is permitted to draw from the stock, depending on the rules of the game being played. The player then places his tiles, face up, on the table in front of him. He may then begin to play his tiles in the order determined by the rules of the game being played. The first player to play his tiles establishes the line of play for the remainder of the hand. Each subsequent player attempts to extend this line with the matching tiles in his hand. If a player cannot make a play on his turn, he passes. The game ends when a player plays his last tile, or when the line of play is blocked and no player can make another play.

Most domino sets have 28 tiles, but larger ones exist for use with more than four players. They are often called extended sets because they contain more than the minimum number of tiles that a set needs to be functional. Larger extended sets have more than one type of end, with each new end type increasing the maximum number of unique dominoes that a set can contain.

In addition to being a fun and educational way to pass time, dominoes can be used to create beautiful works of art. People often use them to draw symmetrical figures, lace patterns, or other shapes. They are also often used to decorate tables and other surfaces.

A common expression used in business is, “that’ll have a domino effect on the whole industry.” This means that one event will lead to another, and eventually lead to bigger effects. For example, if someone steals your work, it can have a negative impact on others in the industry, leading to legal battles and even a takeover of entire companies.