Dominoes are the small, rectangular blocks used in games involving stacking or falling. They can be made from many rigid materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory and a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips (inlaid or painted). In recent times, domino sets have been produced in stone (such as marble, granite or soapstone); other woods, such as ash, oak, maple and redwood; metals, such as brass or pewter; ceramic clay and even frosted glass or crystal.
The word domino comes from the Latin for “flip over,” referring to the way a piece can be flipped over and then replaced on its other side to create a new configuration. They are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to re-stack after use. Most sets have 28 dominoes, although larger ones are available for use in games that require a longer layout. Each domino features an identifying number on one end, usually in the form of a line of dots, known as pips, and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The value of a domino is determined by the total number of pips on both ends, and the lower-numbered end may be described as having more “weight” or being “heavier” than the other.
A domino’s pips can be organized into suits, each of which represents a particular numerical range. The most common set has seven suits, but a variety of extended-suite dominoes have been developed with more than ten different suits, each representing a different number range. A domino can belong to two suits simultaneously, and each suit contains all the numbers from 1 through that number plus 1.
Players place dominoes in a layout and then play against each other by placing the dominoes such that their exposed ends are touching or straddling those of other dominoes in the same layout. When all exposed ends of a domino are connected, the player wins the game. During a game, players draw dominoes from a pile and then take turns placing them on the layout. The remaining dominoes, which are often referred to as the “boneyard,” are left face down on the table and may be drawn later if a player is unable to play from his or her hand.
Despite his lack of training and the relatively limited tools in his garage, Nick devised a way to make dominoes that were small enough to fit in a small workshop but detailed enough to show off his skill and the quality of the material. The resulting pieces were a success and the domino business grew rapidly. One of Domino’s core values is listening to its customers, which has been a key factor in their success. This practice has been carried over to the company’s locations as well, where Domino’s focuses on putting stores near college campuses, where they know students will be looking for fast food.