# How Dominoes Are Used

A domino, or dominoes, is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with an identifying mark on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. The identifying mark, which is called a pip, is an arrangement of dots that resembles those on dice. Dominoes are used to play several different games.

A player begins a game by placing his or her first domino on the table and starting the line of play. The first domino played may be either a double or a single; it is called the “leader” or “the down.” As players add tiles to the line of play, it becomes a configuration known as the layout, string, or line of play. The order in which players play their tiles is determined by the rules of the specific game being played.

Once the line of play is established, players alternately place matching tiles on it and extend it with additional lines if possible. The number of matching tiles on each end is known as the domino count or total. When the domino count reaches a specified limit, often 61, the game ends. A player scores when his or her dominoes match an open end and are exactly divisible by 5, 3, or both (i.e., 4-4 counts as only 4 points).

Lily Hevesh is an artist who specializes in creating 3-D installations using dominoes. She uses fractions when preparing her designs to help determine the number of dominoes needed for each section and how they will be arranged. This also allows her to plan ahead for the inevitable small accidental topples that occur during installation.

Before becoming popular as a game, dominoes were widely used for construction purposes, especially in the United States, where they were made of ebony blacks and ivory faces. Their name comes from the Latin dominum, meaning ‘to rule.’ An earlier sense of the word referred to a long hooded robe worn with a mask at a carnival or masquerade.

When play reaches the point at which no player can continue, that player will either “chip out” or draw new dominoes from the stock. Alternatively, the winner of the last hand may begin play. Occasionally, a tie is broken by counting the total domino count on the losers’ hands and adding that number to the winning player’s score.

Domino’s growth strategy is based on a strong commitment to listening to their customers. This value is evident in their company culture and is reflected in the way that they treat their employees, a practice that has been recognized by the Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces survey. Listening to their customers has helped the company grow and remain competitive in a market that is crowded with fast-food options. As they continue to expand their presence worldwide, we look forward to seeing more of the world enjoying the flavor of Domino’s!