Domino is a generic gaming device, similar to playing cards or dice, in that a wide variety of games can be played using a domino set. The game pieces are small square tiles bearing identifying marks on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. The markings, called pips, are usually colored black or white but can be any color. The tiles belong to one of several suits, a system of ranks established by convention. Each suit has a number from zero to nine.
The smallest domino sets are typically made of wood, although sets have also been manufactured from many other materials, including bone (Silver Lip Ocean Pearl Oyster Shell, mother of pearl), ivory, and a dark hardwood such as ebony, with a contrasting veneer or paint. Other dominoes are made of stone (such as marble, granite, or soapstone); metals (e.g. brass or pewter); ceramic clay; and even frosted glass. Plastic dominoes are also widely used.
A domino is a type of game, but the term also refers to the process of creating an elaborate and complex structure with the help of a series of small steps. A person might build a domino chain as part of an art project, as a way to teach a science or mathematics concept, or just for fun. When the chain is completed, it may be a beautiful or fascinating sight.
Many people enjoy making their own dominoes, either for a game or just for display. They can create straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Some people also make domino art, arranging the pieces to reflect a theme or picture.
Some dominoes have specific meanings, such as the “domino effect,” an idiom that means a small event can cause larger events to occur in a chain reaction. For example, if someone loses their job, this might impact their family’s finances and other life circumstances in a dramatic and unintended way.
For others, the domino effect is a more personal concept. For instance, when Jennifer Dukes Lee began to make her bed every day, she started a small habit that changed how she saw herself. Each time she made her bed, she affirmed to herself that she was the kind of person who kept her home clean and organized. This domino effect gradually grew into a bigger shift in how she viewed herself and her identity.
In business, the domino effect can be a positive or negative. For example, if a company loses its key employee, this might lead to a decline in productivity and ultimately the company’s bottom line. On the other hand, if a company listens to its customers and takes action on their feedback, it can lead to a positive outcome. For Domino’s, this meant implementing new policies that supported their core values. These included a more relaxed dress code and leadership training programs that focused on listening to employees.