Domino – A Game of Strategy and Patience

Domino is a game that requires strategic planning and the ability to anticipate consequences. It also teaches patience and the value of working cooperatively with others. In fact, these are skills that can be applied to many aspects of life. The word domino is actually a Latin phrase meaning “flip over.” In the early 20th century, the game gained popularity and it became known as a fun pastime for children, but it has since grown to become an important business strategy.

Dominoes are rectangular blocks of wood or other material that are typically twice as long as they are wide. They have a line in the middle to divide them visually into two squares, each with an arrangement of spots or dots, called “pips,” on one side and a blank or identically patterned other side. Each domino has a set of numbers that indicate the value of either end, which must match the values on adjacent sides of other tiles to form connections and sequences.

The most common dominoes are made of clay or polymer, but other materials include bone (e.g., ivory), silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), dark hardwoods such as ebony, and metals like brass or pewter. Traditionally, these sets have been more expensive than their polymer counterparts. The dominoes are inlaid with pips and often painted with a contrasting color.

Most domino games require a double-six set, which contains 28 tiles. The remaining tiles are shuffled and formed into a collection, usually referred to as the stock or boneyard. When a player is allowed to bye a tile from the stock, it is added to his or her hand of available dominoes.

Players draw dominoes from the stock according to the rules of the particular game. Some games allow a player to draw all the tiles in the stock, while others require that only certain types of dominoes be drawn. Generally, when a player draws a domino that is not permitted to be played according to the rules of the game, it must be discarded without effecting the score of the play.

Many games of domino involve scoring points by laying down one or more tiles end to end so that their exposed pips total a multiple of five, a condition called going out. When this happens, the points earned are counted and the other players may begin a new turn.

The word domino is used in other contexts as well, including the term for a series of events or activities that leads to greater—and sometimes catastrophic—consequences. For example, if one person leaves a job, it could lead to another person leaving, and the chain effect can be quite dramatic.

Whether you are a pantster who writes off the cuff, or you plan out your manuscript in detail using an outline tool such as Scrivener, you’ll likely run into scenes that don’t quite fit with those that came before them. You can weed out these dominoes by considering the scene’s logical impact on the next.