A domino is a small wooden or plastic block, with one face blank and the other marked by dots resembling those on dice. Dominoes are used in a wide variety of games for children and adults, as well as in educational settings to develop problem-solving skills. The word “domino” also refers to a chain of events or activities, and may be applied to a sequence of events that leads to some desired outcome.

The word is a combination of two Latin roots: dominum (“rule, supremacy”) and nunc (“now”). The word is often associated with the game of dominoes, which involves laying tiles in rows to form long chains that fall over when the first tile is knocked off. A player can win by achieving certain goals, such as scoring points or blocking the opponents’ scores.

Dominoes are a cousin to playing cards and are used for a wide variety of games, from professional domino competitions to simple family-style board games. They are most commonly played with a set of dominoes (also known as bones, cards, men, or pieces) that feature ten or more squares on the face and are double-sided. Each square is numbered, from one to six, with each side featuring two adjacent ends that match; the number on each end is called its value. A domino with more pips is considered to have a higher value than a domino with fewer pips.

Despite the large variety of games that can be played, many games use the same rules. For example, the first player to score points in a game must play a domino with a value of 12 or more to begin the chain. Then, each subsequent player must play a domino with an ending that matches the previous piece, for instance, a 6-6 to follow a 5-5 or vice versa. Depending on the game, a domino that is matched to a double may be placed either at a left or right angle to the previous tile, but a tile must always be placed adjacent to an existing piece with matching ends.

Dominos can be arranged in straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Artful arrangements can be as simple or complex as a writer wishes. For example, in fiction, each scene domino might be a point to advance the story or illustrate an argument, while nonfiction could use scene dominoes as examples to prove a specific fact.

As a brand, Domino’s has worked hard to build a positive culture that promotes the company values. This includes listening to employees, which can lead to changes in the way business is done. For example, when Domino’s CEO Steve Doyle saw an issue with the pizza chain’s delivery drivers, he listened and quickly implemented changes including new purpose-built trucks. The result was a domino effect—a change that positively affected the whole organization. This kind of listening also extends to customers, as Domino’s has a strong social media presence and takes a proactive approach to addressing customer complaints.