The Domino Effect


Dominoes are flat, thumbsized rectangular blocks, bearing from one to six pips or dots: 28 such tiles form a standard domino set. Dominoes are often used to play games of skill, chance, and strategy; they are also the basis for a number of other kinds of gaming activities including puzzles and pattern recognition. In addition, dominoes can be used to model other kinds of systems such as financial markets and organizational structure.

The domino effect is the way a single action can cause an entire chain reaction. Hevesh demonstrates this concept in a series of YouTube videos. She begins by setting up a stack of dominoes that are double-sided and affixed to each other with adhesive glue. She nudges the first domino and then watches as it slides and tips over the rest of the row. She does this for every row until she has a large, 3-D arrangement of thousands of dominoes. She then moves them to the table and starts placing them.

As she works, Hevesh takes careful notes about the positions and outlines of each section of her creation. She also films the process to ensure that it all works well. She isn’t interested in the individual dominoes themselves but rather in how they fit together as a whole. This mindset is a key element of what makes a good Dominoes player.

Each domino has a value that is based on the number of dots on its face or blank side. The values of the four sides of a domino are known as suits. Each suit contains a different combination of numbers, and each suit is ranked according to its value, with the suits of sixes and sevens being considered higher than those of twos, threes, and fours. Each domino is also marked with a color or a symbol that distinguishes it from the other pieces in the set.

When a domino is played, it must be positioned so that its matching end touches another domino, usually with the numbers on the ends showing. The resulting chain can develop either in a line or in an angular pattern, depending on the whim of the player and the limitations of the playing surface. In the latter case, the chains can be “stitched up” so that both ends of the domino show the same number.

Hevesh is also careful to shuffle the pieces after each round of Dominoes and before starting a new hand. This ensures that each player has an equal number of matches, and it also gives players a fresh supply of new tiles to draw from. Each time a new domino is played, the total number of pips on its two matching ends are added to a score sheet that each player tallies up between rounds. These scores are used to determine the winner of the game. Similarly, good Dominoes tasks are those that contribute to the achievement of a larger goal and should be easy to break down into smaller steps. For example, writing a financial plan might be a good domino task that would help you achieve your financial goals.