The Meaning of Dominoes

Gambling Feb 29, 2024

In the game of domino, a person or group takes turns placing domino pieces, or tiles, on a surface until all of them are in place. Then one domino is pushed over, and this triggers the domino effect, with each subsequent domino causing other pieces to fall in a rhythmic cascade. The word domino also has a more general meaning, referring to any series of events that have the potential to affect other events in a similar way. For example, when a politician or organization makes an action that could have unintended consequences, they may risk creating a domino effect by not thinking about the implications of their actions.

Dominoes are rectangular blocks of wood or clay that are typically twice as long as they are wide, with a line in the middle to visually separate them into two squares, called ends. Each end has a number of spots, or pips, from six to no spots at all. A domino’s value depends on the number of pips it has on each side. A domino with more pips on an end is considered to be heavier than a domino with fewer pips.

A domino set consists of one or more sets of dominoes, with each set having a different number of sides and a different pattern on the pips. Some games are played with a fixed number of dominoes; others allow players to take turns picking from the remaining set until they find an “opening” double, usually a domino that matches one of the open ends in another player’s hand. Once found, this domino is placed on the end of the table and the other dominoes in that player’s hand are then arranged so that their values match the domino being laid.

Depending on the type of game being played, the pips on each domino may be used for scoring purposes, or for blocking other players from taking their turn. Some games use a single domino to form a line across the bottom of the table, and other games involve the movement of pieces along that line, which is called a chain.

The term domino has been applied to political events as well, including the United States’ intervention in the Dominican Republic in the 1970s and 1980s. Richard Nixon defended this intervention in his Frost/Nixon interviews, arguing that a Communist Chile and Cuba would entrap Latin America between them—a “red sandwich”—and that the United States needed to destabilize both countries before they reached that point.

Writing Tip for Today: The concept of the domino effect is an excellent way to think about scene structure in your story. If you’re a pantser, or write your novel without using an outline or software like Scrivener, the idea of the domino effect can help you avoid scenes that don’t have enough logical impact on the scenes before and after them. If you think of each scene in your story as a domino, you’ll be more likely to create scenes that advance the plot and keep the story moving forward.

By admin