When you think of the word domino, you might think of a small rectangular game piece that has anywhere from 0 to 6 dots. In the popular game called dominoes, players match up the ends of the domino pieces, and then stand them up in lines and angular patterns. When you knock over one domino, it can cause hundreds and even thousands of others to fall in succession. This use of dominoes inspired the term domino effect, which describes situations where one event inevitably leads to others.

Dominoes are cousins to cards and dice, and have a long history of use for a variety of games. They are also popular in a set-up and knocking down competition called domino shows, where skilled builders can create complicated sequences of dominoes that look impressive to the crowd.

Each domino is marked with a value on each side. The most common variant has a value of six pips, but there are many other possibilities as well. Often, there is a line across the center of the domino that divides it visually into two squares. Each of the squares has a number on it ranging from zero to six, or blank. The values on either side of the line indicate how a tile is to be played—it may have a number that points ahead, or it may be blank to stop any further play.

In the game of domino, the first player begins by placing a domino in a spot that will advance the chain in the most advantageous way. The next player then plays a domino that adds to the chain. When the players are ready, the last domino is placed to bring the entire chain to a conclusion. The first player to reach the end of their hand wins the round.

Most domino games involve emptying out one’s hand, but there are many other formats. Some games determine scores by counting the pips in opponents’ hands; blocking games include bergen and muggins. Other types of domino games include a domino puzzle that involves matching the ends of the pieces, or playing tiles based on arithmetic properties such as totals of lines of tiles and tile halves.

Dominoes also serve as an excellent learning tool for children. They are a great way to teach children numbers, shapes and colors. They are also an effective teaching aid for early reading and writing.

Whether you’re plotting your novel off the cuff or following a careful outline, you can use the concept of the domino effect to help you write. This idea is based on the fact that each scene in a story acts like a domino—it’s ineffective by itself, but it has the potential to affect the subsequent scenes.

The CEO of Domino’s Pizza is using the strategy of domino to get to the bottom of the issues that have been causing employee turnover at the company. In a recent episode of the television show “Undercover Boss,” Domino’s CEO Don Meij goes undercover at several stores to study how employees handle their work. He takes part in the same training that every new Domino’s employee must go through and talks directly to workers to learn what they want from their job. He finds that Domino’s is doing well in general, but it has some serious problems that need to be addressed.