Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic with a number of pips (markings) resembling those on dice on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. They are used to play a variety of games. When one domino is laid down on top of another, it sets off a chain reaction that causes the entire line to fall. The resulting sequence can be simple, like a straight line of dominoes, or more elaborate, such as a 3D structure, or even a musical performance.

The word “domino” originally denoted a long hooded robe worn with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade, and later also the game played with these hooded robes. The earliest English usage of the term dates to around 1750. The word “domino” entered French around the same time.

In addition to being used for games, dominoes are also widely used for education and learning in schools. They provide a way to engage students in the physical and social sciences, as well as for math and language arts. Dominoes can be a valuable tool for teaching counting, number writing and early addition. They can be used to demonstrate the properties of gravity and momentum, as well as the laws of physics.

Dominoes can be made from a variety of materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting colors to distinguish one type from the other. In the United States, most dominoes are made of clay-based ceramic. The size of dominoes varies, but the most common are small rectangles with a single color on one side and a corresponding single color on the opposite end, or small squares that are glued together to form larger rectangles.

The most popular way to play domino is in positional games, where a player places a tile on the table edge-to-edge against another so that the exposed ends match each other, either by being identical or by forming some specified total. In these games, players score points when they complete a domino chain. The player who plays a piece that causes all of his or her opponent’s tiles to fall is said to go out.

The popularity of dominoes has led to the creation of many different designs, such as curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Some artists have also created a style of art called domino art, in which they use straight and curved lines of dominoes to create patterns. For example, Domino artist Lily Hevesh has created a YouTube channel that features videos of her creating domino artworks. For some, this kind of art is relaxing and therapeutic. However, other people find it tedious and time-consuming. In this article, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of domino art, as well as offer some tips to help you become a more successful domino artist.