A small rectangular wooden or plastic block, each of whose faces is marked with an arrangement of spots or pips resembling those on dice. Dominoes are usually stacked on end in long lines and, when one is knocked over, it causes the next domino in line to tip over, and so on in a chain reaction. Often, dominoes are used to create elaborate designs such as arcs or circles. A person who is able to set up such a design is called a domino artist.

The word domino most likely comes from the Portuguese word for “flip.” The term may also be derived from a French verb, domi-non, which means to put in place or cause to stand up. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it was common for Europeans to refer to pieces of wood that had been “flicked.” It is believed that the game was first introduced to England in the late 1700s.

Dominoes are played by two or more people. The object is to score the highest number of points in a given time by placing tiles on the table, positioning them so that each has a matching end touching another tile that is either a single, double, or triple. Each subsequent tile must touch a matching end of an adjacent tile, or the whole chain is broken and play passes to the opposing player. Depending on the rules of the game, different types of tiles are counted differently (a double counts as one, and a double-blank as zero). A player must be careful to place his or her tiles so that the chains develop into snake-line arrangements according to the limitations of the playing surface.

A well-known domino game is double-sixes, in which players compete to see who can play a double first and have it impact the most opposing tiles. The game ends when no player can continue or when both players have played all of their remaining tiles. The winner is the player whose combined total of all the spots on their remaining dominoes is the lowest.

In a business context, the idea of a domino effect is widely used to refer to a situation in which a small event leads to much larger and more significant consequences. For example, if an organization fails to provide adequate customer service and customers are unhappy, the company’s reputation will likely suffer and it may experience a downward spiral. In order to prevent this, it is important for organizations to address the issue quickly.

In the case of Domino’s, it is believed that the chain’s growth was facilitated by its founder, Tom Monaghan, who realized that his pizzerias should be located close to college campuses where many students would be likely to buy pizza. This strategy allowed Domino’s to get established as a quick pizza delivery option and build a strong brand identity.