A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with a surface bearing markings resembling those on dice. When used in a game, a domino is placed so that its ends touch other adjacent ones, forming a chain of dominoes which may be turned over one at a time to produce an outcome specified by the rules of the game. Dominoes are also often used to simulate events such as explosions or other dramatic effects in films.

Dominoes have a long history. The oldest known dominoes date from the mid-18th century, though they probably appeared much earlier. The word domino (or dominoes) derives from the Latin dominus domi, meaning “lord of the estate.” In early times, they were usually made of bone or ivory with a black or dark brown surface; later, wood was used. In modern times, many sets are manufactured from polymer materials such as plastics. However, a number of other natural materials are used for some sets. In some cases, a set is made in the form of a block of rock (such as marble, granite or soapstone); other types of wood; metals such as brass or pewter; or ceramic clay.

Some games use only a single domino, while others, called positional games, require a chain of multiple dominoes. When playing a domino game, each player in turn places a domino on the table positioning it so that its edge touches one end of another domino already placed on the table. If the domino has upon it a number which is either useful to the player or distasteful to his opponents, he may then “stitch up” the two ends. In this case, the other players count the number of pips showing on both ends of the domino and add the sum to the winner’s score.

Other rules vary between different games, but most involve some sort of scoring system based on the number of tiles left in the losing player’s hands after each hand or game. For example, if a player wins the game by placing a tile on the end of a line of play that includes a double, he scores points for the entire domino chain. The same is true for a domino that has a side of the double showing on both ends, which is called a spinner.

Domino is a great way to teach children about counting and the concept of sequence. It’s also a good way to develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity. It’s a fun and educational activity for kids of all ages.

After years of declining sales, Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon realized something had to change. So he started listening to customers. He relaxed the dress code, revamped leadership training programs and implemented a college recruiting system. These changes were all designed to make Domino’s a more customer-centric company. The strategy paid off. In the years that followed, Domino’s was ranked as a top workplace in America by the Detroit Free Press.