# The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are small rectangular wood or plastic blocks that feature a line down the center and are marked on each face with an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. They come in many different shapes, sizes and colors and are used for a variety of games. A domino has a value that can range from zero to six, with most having two values: the number of spots or pips on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other.

When a domino is struck, it triggers a chain reaction that builds upon itself in an ever-increasing length. When the last domino is played, the chain reaches its end and the game ends. Dominoes can be a fun and engaging way to spend time with family and friends, as well as a great learning tool for children.

The rules for playing domino vary from place to place. However, there are a few basic rules that are universal to all games. The simplest form of the game is to have each player choose a domino from the boneyard, and then play it in turn by placing it edge-to-edge with another domino that has a matching value, either single or double. The player then “knocks” or raps the table to signal that play has been made, and the next player may begin.

If a player can’t play the chosen domino, he or she must take it back and draw new dominoes from the stock until they have one that can be played. In addition, some games require that all players must chip out when the chains reach a point at which no further plays can be made. The winning players are those who have the lowest combined sum of the number of pips on their remaining dominoes.

While there are many variations of the domino game, most fall into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games. In bidding games, the goal is to win by laying the last domino on the board before your opponent can do so. In blocking games, the goal is to prevent your opponents from playing a tile that will give them an advantage. In scoring games, the winning player is determined by the total number of pips left in his or her hands after the losing players have all played their tiles.

While the domino effect isn’t an exact science, thinking of each plot beat in a novel as a falling domino can help writers to make their novels more compelling. Whether the story is an action thriller or a romance, a writer can use the domino effect to drive a reader’s interest by answering the question, What happens next?. Using the domino effect will also ensure that the novel’s events occur in a coherent and interesting manner. The key is to plan the plot carefully and to be prepared for anything that can happen. This is a valuable lesson to learn for any genre of writing.