# Domino’s Wonder of the Day

When many people think of domino, they envision a game in which players try to create long rows of the black and white tiles. However, there are many other uses for the domino pieces. For example, domino can be a tool for teaching math and science concepts to children. In addition, the individual pieces can be used to build structures that mimic the structures of real-world objects. Today’s Wonder of the Day explores the history of this versatile and popular game.

A domino is a rectangular tile with a number of pips on one side and a blank or identically patterned side. Each side is also marked with a line or ridge that separates it into two squares. The pips are arranged in groups of three, five and seven, with each group corresponding to the number of sides on the domino. Depending on the game, some sides may be blank or “wild,” allowing players to ascribe any value they wish. Dominoes have an illustrious history and have been known by many different names. The word is believed to have been derived from the Latin, dominus (master of the house). It later became dominie, Scottish and English dominie, and finally the French and then the American term, Domino.

The earliest mention of domino in history is from Song dynasty China, in a manual called Xuan He Pai Pu >> (Manual of the Xuanhe Period). This text discussed several games similar to modern dominoes. The game is believed to have spread from China to Italy via missionaries, and then to France where it was played in the 18th Century. From there it was taken to Britain where it quickly became a popular game in inns and taverns.

Today, domino is a popular pastime for people of all ages. Some play domino in small groups or with large families, while others participate in competitive or organized leagues. The most successful players will be able to achieve a set number of points, often 61. To score, a player must be the first to lay a domino with an open end. Then, all of the other ends must match — for example, all of the one’s must touch each other or all of the two’s must touch each other. The total number of pips on the exposed ends is then counted.

While domino can be played on any flat surface, it is best to use a hard floor or table so that the tiles will stand up straight. It is also helpful to place the tiles close together so that they can be stacked easily. The player who is closest to achieving the score will win. In some cases, a player can even score points by merely touching a single domino to another without playing it. This is referred to as the Domino Effect. This strategy can be especially useful for players who are competing in a game with a high score.