How to Play Dominoes

Domino is a game that involves the placing of a series of rectangular tiles, each marked with one or more dots. Each domino has two matching ends, and when placed properly they form a line that snakes around the table or board in a random fashion according to the whims of the players. Despite their seemingly simple nature, dominoes are an intriguing and versatile gaming tool that can be used for many different games.

The most common use for a domino set is playing positional games where the player in turn places a domino edge to edge against another in order to complete a specified total. In these games, the heaviest tile (the one with the most dots) is played first and its adjacent sides must be equal in number or type of domino. Eventually, all tiles will be played and the domino chain will reach its end.

Some domino games are a little more complex than others, however, and require the players to work together in order to win. To begin with, the domino tiles are shuffled and formed into a pile known as the stock or boneyard. Each player draws a certain number of tiles from the stock and adds them to his hand, keeping track of how many he is allowed to take. If a player draws more than he is allowed, this is called an overdraw and the extra tiles must be returned to the stock immediately.

Once the players have their hands full of dominoes, they are ready to play. Each player will start by placing a domino in the center of the table and then, starting with his left, he will begin placing his tiles across the top of the stack. The last domino is placed on the right edge of the stack and must be a double or single, depending on the rules of the specific game.

When a domino is set up and the stack is pushed, it creates a domino effect where each subsequent domino falls in a smooth cascade of rhythmic motion. It takes a lot of potential energy for each domino to reach its tipping point, so the first one must be positioned just right in order for the whole row to fall without a hitch.

In a similar way, a story must have a good beginning to build up momentum and a strong conclusion in order to keep readers interested and satisfied. The same principle applies to writing; each scene domino is ineffective on its own but, when added to the other scenes in a story, it can naturally influence the next scene.

While this is true for those who write using a traditional outline and tools like Scrivener, it can also apply to those who are pantsters and don’t follow strict plot outlines before they begin writing. But if you’re a pantser, you can still create a domino effect by arranging the scene dominoes into a structure that will give your reader a smooth ride to the end of your tale.