# The Basics of Domino

Domino is a generic game piece, similar to playing cards or dice, that can be used in a variety of ways. Games using domino typically fall into two categories: blocking games and scoring games. A small set of dominoes can be used to play a number of different games, while larger sets are often reserved for longer, more complex games.

While domino is most commonly used in a gaming context, it is also often seen as a metaphor for power and authority. A person with domino has the ability to influence others in a positive way and can change the outcome of a situation. The name Domino has also become synonymous with a type of physics that is often referred to as the domino effect, which refers to the way in which one domino can cause another to topple.

A domino is a tile that features dots or numbers, and can be made of any material including wood, ivory, glass or plastic. The number of dots or pips on a domino can range from zero to nine. Each domino is divided into four suits, which are designated by the number of dots on each corner. A single domino may belong to multiple suits, but only one suit is considered to be dominant.

When a player places a domino on the table, it becomes part of the line of play, which can be either lengthwise or crosswise. The direction in which the line of play is played is determined by the rules for the particular domino game being played. In some cases, the first domino placed is called a spinner and can be played on all four sides; in other cases, only two of the sides are valid for play.

Once the dominoes have been shuffled and are in the hand of each player, the players draw the number of tiles permitted under the rules for the game being played. The player who draws the heaviest tile (or, in some cases, the winner of the last game) begins play. The heaviest tile may be either a double or a single.

The heaviest double is generally played on the left, while the heaviest single is usually played on the right. The player with the heaviest double or single starts the game by placing a domino on the board, then plays other tiles in sequence according to the rules of the game being played.

When a player cannot place a new domino on the board, he must “knock” or “rap” the table, which signals that the domino has been placed and that the other players must make their move. In most cases, a player will continue to knock until one of his opponents cannot proceed with a play, although some games allow players to chip out, which ends the game.