# The Basics of Domino

Domino is a common table game that originated in Europe. It is similar to playing cards but with the added feature of having a line down the middle which divides each domino into two squares, called ends. These squares are either blank or marked with a number of spots on each end, called pips. The number of pips on each end determines the rank or weight of the domino; in the most common set (known as “double six” sets), the pieces with the highest value have six spots on each end.

The most basic domino game is block-and-draw, played for two to four players and requiring a double-six set of 28 tiles. Each player draws seven tiles from a stock or boneyard, which is placed on-edge in front of the players to make it easier to see the tiles they hold but not to see their opponents’ tile values.

Once the players have drawn their dominoes, the leader (determined by the drawing of lots or by who holds the heaviest hand) places the first tile on the table. The next tile is placed by the second player, and so on.

A player can play a domino from any direction, but must place it adjacent to a neighboring domino in such a way that its two matching ends are touching. A domino is also considered to match a tile if its total pips equals the value of one of the tiles in the chain.

In most Western domino games, the first player wins by playing the domino with the most pips on it. If no one plays a domino with the most pips, the game continues as in the draw game until one player has the same number of pips on all their dominoes or none.

There are many different variants of the game, including “spinner” and “five-up” dominoes that use multicolored pieces. These are usually played with a double-six set but can be used with any other set of dominoes, and are not as commonly played as the more traditional versions.

Most modern domino sets are “extended” by increasing the number of pips on each end. This increases the number of unique combinations of dominoes and makes it easier to create new types of games. The largest extension is a “double 18” set, which contains 190 dominoes.

The domino effect is an idiom that means any situation in which a single small trigger may set off a cascade of events. It is most often used to describe a political situation, but can be applied in other situations as well.

Using the domino effect in your novel, however, requires some careful planning. It’s important to think about how you’re going to tie the plot together, and to consider how each event will cause the other characters in the story to react.

A good writer will know when to pause and take the time to consider all possible outcomes. When writing a plot, keep in mind that the best stories have a good beginning, middle, and end.