How to Play Dominoes Like a Pro

Dominoes are a type of tile that can be stacked on end in long lines. The first domino to fall can trigger the next one in line to tip, and so on, causing a chain reaction that can lead to much larger–and sometimes catastrophic–consequences. The same principle can be applied to many different aspects of life. Good dominoes are tasks that contribute to a bigger goal and can have a positive impact when they fall into place. The more you prioritize these types of tasks, the better your ability to achieve success.

Each domino is normally twice as long as it is wide and features a line or ridge in the middle that divides it visually into two squares, or ends. These ends are marked with an arrangement of spots (or “pips”) that is identical to the markings on a die except that some of the squares are blank or 0 rather than numbered. A domino may belong to more than one suit, depending on the number of pips it has on each end.

A set of dominoes typically consists of a core of 91 tiles, with each of the other ends varying in number of pips from six to zero. There are also “extended” domino sets that add more than the basic 91-tile core, to allow for greater numbers of unique combinations of ends. Common extended sets include double-nine (55 tiles), double-twelve (12 x 53), and double-18 (190 tiles).

When playing domino, each player draws his or her own dominoes from the set, and then places them face up on the table. Each player then attempts to play a domino so that it touches at least one end of a previous domino played on the table and adds to the growing chain. The first player to play a domino that does this is the winner of the round.

If a player cannot play a domino, or if the number on the end of a previous tile is no longer useful to the player, he or she may “knock” the table, or “rap,” and play passes to the other players. If the chain is complete, the game is over and the players count up their total number of spots.

Nick developed his own method of making dominoes without any instructions or expensive woodworking equipment, using only the tools in his grandmother’s garage. A drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, belt sander, and welder were all crammed into the small space, but Nick was able to figure out how to use them all. While his process isn’t the only way to make a domino, it provides an example of how anyone can learn by trial and error with a few simple tools and a little imagination. By breaking down a complex task into smaller parts and prioritizing those parts, the average person can succeed at any project. This is the true power of the Domino Effect. So the next time you encounter a large, difficult project, remember to break it down into small, manageable tasks.