# The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are small squares of wood or clay with a pattern of dots on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. They are usually arranged in rows or columns and are linked by lines or ridges that connect adjacent pieces to form a larger shape, such as a tower or pyramid. Dominoes are also used to make art, such as straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures. Artists use Domino Art to express their creativity, and many artists share their designs on social media.

Dominoes have a history of both being played for fun and as tools of strategic warfare. They are commonly used for gaming, and many games have similar but slightly different rules. For example, a domino that has the same number of dots on both halves is called a single domino, while a double with different numbers of pips on each half is a combination domino.

Most domino games are positional in nature, where each player takes a turn putting down a domino edge to edge against another in such a way that the pips on the two faces match or form some specified total. In some games, dominoes are played in pairs or groups to form a larger structure. For example, a domino set can be used to construct a house or other building, and the winner of the game is the first person to complete the structure.

The most basic domino game involves a double-six set. A stock of 28 dominoes is shuffled and then a player draws seven tiles from the stock. This forms the hand, and play then proceeds clockwise around the table. Each player must play a tile when his turn comes up, and he cannot hold back a playable domino for strategic reasons.

If a player does not have a matching pair of dominoes in his hand, he may draw new hands until he finds a pair. He must then play the pair, and he is not allowed to draw more than his remaining turns allow. In addition, he must open the next round by playing his heaviest double domino.

Another common scoring method for a hand or game of dominoes is to count the total number of pips on all losers’ hands at the end of a hand or the game and award that sum to the winner. This scoring method is sometimes agreed upon in informal settings to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards.

When writing a story, authors can use the image of dominoes to help them ensure that their scenes logically flow one after another. For example, if a character is emotionally shifted by the events of a previous scene, the writer should make sure that the next scenes logically follow from the emotional shift. A faulty or disconnected sequence of scenes can confuse readers and weaken the credibility of the story. This is often the problem when writers write by the seat of their pants and do not create detailed outlines of plot ahead of time.