The Rules of Domino
Domino is a game in which players try to get rid of their tiles by drawing dominoes from a stack. The first player to play a tile wins the lead. There are several variations of the game, each of which has its own rules.
Most common Western domino games involve two or four players. The dominoes are shuffled face down on the table and each player draws dominoes at random to fill their set, usually seven or more. In the United States, a variation of this game is called the block-and-draw game.
There are also dominoes with blank sides (sometimes referred to as “wild” or “none”). When a player chooses a tile, he or she must decide if the other player can play it. If the other player cannot, then that domino is discarded and the next domino in the line is drawn.
In some domino games, a player may be required to make a certain number of moves before he or she can lay down a tile. This rule is designed to avoid players placing the wrong domino in their set, which could cause a loss of points or lead to a draw.
Another rule is that players must play their tile in such a way that the matching faces on both ends of the chain are adjacent. This can be done by playing a tile edge to edge with an opponent or by placing a domino diagonally across the chain. The most popular form of the game is played with the double-six, but the number of pips a tile has can vary widely.
During a Cold War press conference, then-president Dwight Eisenhower cited the falling domino principle as an explanation of the spread of communism in Vietnam. He argued that one small trigger, like a single bomb dropped by the North Vietnamese, would start a series of events that would ultimately cause Communism to take over South Vietnam and the rest of Asia.
While the concept is rooted in politics, it applies to any situation where one event triggers a series of similar events, which in turn leads to a cascade of events that eventually cause a larger change or outcome. The domino effect is a powerful analogy for the power of persistence and the importance of staying focused on one thing until it’s completed.
It’s a valuable lesson for anyone who works on a novel or other long form of writing, especially for writers seeking to craft compelling stories that keep readers turning pages. In fact, a growing number of professional writers are finding this strategy helpful when they’re writing their own work.
If we apply the domino chain to our own work, we can see that the most critical and important aspects of a story can be viewed as dominoes. If we concentrate our energy on these dominoes and complete them in a sustained way, the momentum they generate will eventually knock over larger and more difficult dominoes.