Domino – A Game of Strategy and Timing


Domino is an elegant game of strategy and timing. When it’s done well, it can lead to spectacular displays that can take hours to set up and then topple at the nudge of just one domino. In Domino Shows, builder competitors create amazing, domino-themed reactions before a crowd of fans. It’s almost as captivating as watching a professional Lego artist set up a scene in a way that makes the pieces seem to come to life.

Domino games were first played in Europe in the late 18th Century, probably in inns and taverns. The game arrived in China sometime after that and was probably an imitation of Western games rather than an indigenous invention. The Chinese referred to the games by different names, including “mung” and “chai.”

In Domino, players place tiles in careful sequence until a player can make a play that will knock all other tiles over. The winning player gets a score equal to the sum of the numbers of dots in the opponents’ unplayed dominoes. The winning team also wins a point if they get a number that is a multiple of five in the end of a double.

The basic game requires at least four dominoes, which may be taken from a double-twelve (91 tiles) or a double-nine set (55 tiles). The more dominoes in a hand, the higher the score. Some sets also offer “extended” ends that increase the maximum number of unique combinations by three, which allows for more players to join the game and a faster pace of play.

A Dominoes aficionado called Hevesh has become an Internet sensation with her YouTube channel, which features videos of her setting up amazing domino arrangements. She works on individual projects, like an album launch for Katy Perry, as well as teams assembling massive domino setups for movie premieres and other events. Her largest arrangements are meticulously constructed and can take up to several nail-biting minutes for all the dominoes to fall into place.

When you’re writing a novel, it helps to think of the scenes as dominoes that will naturally fall into place. For example, if a character has an idea in one scene that could change everything in the next, then you need to set up scenes that allow her to act on it. Those scenes might be in the form of dialogue, action, or an item that is important to your story.

Whether you are a pantser who writes off the cuff or use an outline program like Scrivener to help you plan your novel, understanding how to use scene dominoes can improve your work. Consider this: if a scene doesn’t have enough impact on the one before it, then that scene may not be necessary to your narrative. Just like the Domino effect, each scene is important when placed in context. It all comes together to make a meaningful whole. And a meaningful whole is what readers want to read about.