A domino is a rectangular tile marked with two groups of dots on each end, used for playing games. The most common set contains 28 tiles, each with a number from 0 (or blank) to 6. Each additional domino adds three to the total of possible numbers on an end, and thus, to the number of unique tiles in the entire set. The most popular type of domino is a double-six. Other types of dominoes are available as well, with a variety of pips on each end. For example, some sets use the digits from zero through eight, while others may have different pips or even Arabic numerals on each end.
Most domino players begin the game by drawing tiles and placing them on edge before them. The first player (determined either by drawing lots or by who holds the heaviest hand) places a single domino on the table. Each subsequent player then matches the pips on adjacent ends of the domino they have in their hand with those on the exposed end of the previous domino. If the total of all the pips on both ends of the domino is equal to or greater than some specified amount, such as five, then that player scores that number of points.
The game continues until one player wins by playing all their tiles. The winner may also win by reaching a predetermined goal for the number of points they score, such as 100 or 200 points after a certain number of rounds.
Many people enjoy lining up the dominoes in long rows, and then knocking them over. Each time a domino is knocked over, much of its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, the energy that causes it to move. This energy travels to the next domino, providing the push needed for it to fall as well. This chain reaction continues, causing the entire row to tumble over in succession.
Domino is also used as a metaphor for something that has a positive effect when it spreads. For example, if one person begins exercising more regularly, it could cause a chain reaction that results in other healthy lifestyle choices. Similarly, if a football team wins a few games, it can create an atmosphere that inspires the whole team to improve their performance.
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