# Domino – A Game of Chance and Skill

Domino is the name of a line of small squares used to play games of chance or skill. Each domino is usually twice as long as it is wide and has a line or ridge running through its center to divide it visually into two squares, called ends. The dominoes are marked with an arrangement of spots or “pips” (in most variants, there is a single pip on each end) and some squares are blank.

Dominoes are arranged so that each player has an equal number of tiles to begin the game. The first player, determined either by drawing lots or by whoever holds the heaviest tile, places a domino on the end of the line. Additional dominoes are placed on top of the existing dominoes in a sequence. Each new domino must touch one or both ends of the previous tile. If a tile is played so that the chains connecting the ends show the same number, that is, the players are said to have “stitched up” the ends of the chain.

The term domino, also sometimes called a dominion or a dominica, originally denoted a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask at a carnival masquerade or for other special occasions. It is thought that the use of the word as a name for a game in which pieces are arranged to form such a cloak was inspired by a similar hooded garment worn by priests with their surplices during Mass or at other ceremonies.

There are many different types of domino games, but the most popular ones involve a series of layouts in which each player, taking turns, adds tiles to a growing chain. These chains can be used for scoring or to block other players’ play, and each game requires its own particular set of rules. The most common domino sets sold commercially contain either double six or double nine tiles. Larger sets, containing more than 60 or 55 tiles, are available for use with several players or for those wanting to construct very long domino chains.

Whether you compose your novel off the cuff or follow a meticulous outline, writing your story often comes down to plotting what happens next. A good writer understands that, just like a domino effect, one thing leads to another, and that what happens in one scene naturally impacts the events in the next scene. Thinking of scene dominoes in this way can help you write a better story.