# Playing Dominoes

Domino is a game in which players place tiles with matching numbers on each end, and then build chains of dominoes. The tiles are normally double-sided and numbered from 1 to 6 or more. The first person to lay down a full set of tiles wins. The game can be played with just two people, but it is usually more fun with more. Dominoes are a great way to spend time with family and friends, or to teach children the basics of counting.

A set of dominoes consists of 28 tiles, which may be either singles or doubles. Usually, a domino has two alternating sides with numbers of varying values, from six pips to none or blanks. Some sets also have a central line through the middle that divides the domino visually into two equal parts, each of which may have different numbers or values on the adjacent sides. The value of a domino is determined by its rank. A higher rank is usually regarded as more valuable, and some games are based on winning a domino with a high rank.

The most common way to play domino is in a row, with each player taking turns placing tiles in a line across the table. Each player must match the end of the tile he plays to a previous tile, or a set, in order to continue building a chain. A new set of tiles is drawn from the stock as needed. The winner of a hand or the game then makes the first move in the next round.

Another popular type of domino is the multi-player game of concentration, which can be played with one to five players and requires more thought than most other domino games. The simplest version of the game is played with four players and a double-twelve or double-nine set. Each player draws the number of tiles permitted under the rules of the game, adds them to the tiles he holds in his hand and places them so that the other players can’t see the pips on the tiles. The player with the highest double begins play. If the player has no double, he must draw more tiles from the stock until he gets one that is valid.

Domino is often used as a learning tool for younger children, and many schools have dominoes in the classroom. It is an excellent way to introduce counting and basic addition and subtraction skills, as well as color and pattern recognition. The concept of domino is very easy for young children to understand and they will quickly become involved in the game.

Scientists have discovered that standing up a domino against the pull of gravity gives it potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. When the domino is then pushed, much of that potential energy becomes kinetic energy as it falls over and pushes on the next domino in the chain. The physics behind this is fascinating and shows how simple mechanics can create an endless chain reaction. A similar phenomenon occurs in hospitals, with medical professionals passing on infections from one patient to the next, creating a domino effect. This is called a nosocomial infection, and it can be very dangerous for patients.