Domino is a game of matching pieces edge to edge so that the pips form a total specified by the players. The traditional domino set contains 28 unique tiles that represent the possible combinations of two ends having zero to six spots, and the seven different faces of a dice, which allows for a total of 21 outcomes of throwing two dice (not counting doubles). The tiles are generally stacked in long lines, called chains, with each subsequent tile playing to either the left or right of the previous one in a way that is determined by the whims of the players and limitations of the playing surface. The pattern of play can be quite complicated, forming snake-like lines and creating patterns that would be difficult to reproduce on paper.

In addition to being fun and challenging, domino is a great learning tool. It helps children to develop a number of skills including: math, writing and counting. The fact that each new piece must be placed on top of a matching end to continue the chain is also a good way of teaching children the importance of being careful when handling fragile items and of not dropping things accidentally.

Unlike the traditional dominoes made of ivory or bone, modern sets are often produced from polymer materials such as plastic or cardboard. They are also available in a wide range of finishes and colors, and are often more affordable than high-end sets made of wood or other natural materials. However, many people prefer to purchase sets made of natural materials as they offer a more traditional look and feel. Traditional European-style dominoes are typically made of silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), bone, ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. In addition, sets can be made of other materials such as marble, granite, or soapstone; metals such as brass or pewter; ceramic clay; or even frosted glass.

When creating a mind-blowing domino setup, Hevesh follows a similar process to the engineering-design method she uses in her work. She starts with a theme or purpose and brainstorms images that she might use to illustrate it. Once she has a concept in mind, she begins to build the dominoes. She is especially careful to place each domino on a hard surface as this will allow it to stand up straight and provide a better platform for the next domino to fall against.

Standing a domino upright gives it potential energy, which is stored as a result of its position. As the first domino falls, much of this potential energy converts to kinetic energy, the energy of motion, which is transferred to the next domino and causes it to tip over. The process continues, with each domino causing the next to fall, until all of the dominoes have fallen. This is the underlying principle behind the popular phrase “domino effect,” which can be used literally to describe a series of collisions, or metaphorically to refer to a chain reaction within systems such as global finance or politics.