When people think of domino, they usually think of a game in which players place dominoes edge to edge against each other. A player then tries to knock over the other dominoes in front of them. The first domino to fall causes the next one in line to tip over, and so on. Very complex designs can be made by arranging the dominoes in lines. Children often play this game with their friends, but adults can also use it to make a very intricate pattern.
Dominoes are commonly made of wood, but they can be made of other materials as well. In some sets, the pips are painted on or inlaid with different colors to distinguish them from other dominoes. Other pips are etched into the surface of the domino, which gives them a more elegant look. Dominoes can also be made of marble, granite, soapstone, and other stones; metals (such as brass or pewter); ceramic clay; and even frosted glass. Natural materials tend to be more expensive than plastic or polymer dominoes, but they are more durable and often have a more attractive finish.
Hevesh starts each of her domino installations with a concept, and then brainstorms images or words that might be related to that idea. She then draws or sketches out her design in a notebook, and sometimes even records videos of the setup in slow motion to get an idea of how it will work. Once she has a general idea of the layout, she begins putting together pieces. The biggest 3-D sections go up first, then she adds flat arrangements and finally the lines that connect the sections.
As each domino is placed, it gets a bit more and more force applied to it until it reaches its tipping point. When that happens, all of the potential energy in the domino converts to kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion. Some of this energy is transferred to the next domino, which then gives it a little push and so on. The process continues until all of the dominoes have fallen.
In the United States, most dominoes are used for playing positional games for two or more players. These games require each player to place one or more dominoes in a row so that the adjacent faces match or form some specified total value, and then try to win by completing this pattern before the other players. Players may also play positional games with a single domino, and these games are generally referred to as “head-to-head” games.
In addition to traditional dominoes, many manufacturers produce specialized dominoes for different games and uses. For example, some sets are designed for tournament play and have larger pieces with a greater number of pips. There are also extended sets that include more than four sides, increasing the maximum number of pips on each end to allow for a larger total. These specialized dominoes are not normally sold individually, but only in a larger set.