A domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block that is marked with dots or blanks that resemble those on dice. It is twice as long as it is wide and can be stacked on top of each other to form a larger structure or used individually. Dominoes can be found in many different shapes and sizes, but most are rectangular with a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squared ends, each having a value which may range from six pips down to none or blank. The total value of the domino is known as its rank or weight.

Dominoes are most commonly used in positional games where each player in turn places a domino edge to edge against another in such a way that the adjacent faces either match or form some specified total. The result is that the resulting chain of tiles develops a snake-line pattern on the table.

The rules for a particular game of domino are established before play begins. The player who has the highest double in his hand makes the first play. The holder of the next heaviest double then plays, and so on. If no player has a suitable tile to play, he draws one from the stock. Some games allow players to buy tiles from the stock, in which case they remain face down and are available to be played later (See Passing and Byeing).

When a single domino falls, it triggers a sequence of events similar to that of a firing neuron in the brain. The pulse of falling dominoes moves at a constant speed, does not lose energy and can only travel in one direction. This makes it easy to model using a computer program or mathematical equation.

A domino set is usually made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on the surfaces. Polymer dominoes are also available, but they are less expensive and more durable than their natural counterparts.

Some people enjoy arranging dominoes on the floor or table to create works of art. The resulting structures can be straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures or 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. Some people even build elaborate domino tracks for automobile races and motorcycle stunts.

There are many types of domino games, but most of them fall into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games. The basic rules of each category are shown below.

Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or carefully plot out every detail, the end of a story is the same: What happens next? Considering how to use domino in your fiction will help you answer this question in an intriguing and compelling way. To do so, you need to understand the domino effect and how it can be used in various ways.