Domino is a game of skill and chance in which pieces of a rectangular block are placed on end to form long lines. Each domino has a number of dots or spots, similar to those on a die, that determine its value when played against another piece in a line. If one domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in line to tip over and so on, creating elaborate and colorful patterns that are fun for children and adults alike. This concept of a chain reaction is the origin of the term domino effect, which refers to a situation in which one event leads to a greater, more dramatic consequence.

The game of domino is a great way to develop logical thinking skills, as well as hand-eye coordination and dexterity. It has been enjoyed throughout the world, and many variations of the game exist, each with its own rules and strategy. Domino is also used to teach math concepts, such as addition and subtraction. The game of domino is often referred to as a “tabletop activity,” as it can be enjoyed both alone and with others.

While the precise origin of the game of domino is unknown, it likely arrived in Britain toward the end of the 18th Century from France, possibly through French prisoners of war. The word Domino, most likely derived from the Latin dominus (master), originally referred to a type of monastic hood. It later referred to a hooded masquerade costume with a small mask, and eventually became the name of a specific type of domino tile.

There are several different types of domino games, ranging from simple matching or counting to blocking games, such as matador, bergen, and muggins. Some domino games also use cards, and a few are duplicate card games. Most of these games are characterized by a certain amount of luck, but the rules can be made more complex to increase challenge and difficulty.

A domino is usually made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl or MOP), ivory, or a dark wood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. Some sets are made of other natural materials, including stone; metals (e.g., brass or pewter); ceramic clay; and even frosted glass.

In the early 1960s, Dominick “Domino” Monaghan opened the first Domino’s Pizza location in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His successful business model centered on placing his pizzerias near colleges, a strategy that helped him to rapidly grow the company. This was the beginning of the domino effect that continues to drive Domino’s worldwide expansion today.