Domino, or dominoes, are a type of flat, thumb-sized, rectangular tile bearing from one to six pips (or dots) that serve as the basis for various games played by matching adjacent ends. 28 such tiles form a standard set. Dominoes are renowned for their intricate designs and detailed craftsmanship, and they can be seen in many different forms, from the simple, straight lines of a classic 28-piece set to 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. The game is popular around the world and has spawned several variations, including double-nine, double-12, and double-18 sets, as well as a variety of special tiles.
As a young girl, Lily Hevesh began her love affair with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents had the classic 28-piece set, and she was fascinated by how the pieces could be arranged in straight or curved lines, then flicked to fall one after another.
Hevesh, now 20, has turned her obsession into a career as a domino artist. She has worked on projects involving hundreds of thousands of dominoes and helped set a Guinness record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017 dominoes. She is also a prolific YouTuber, creating shows on her channel with intricate domino creations that take viewers through her thought process as she builds them.
The design and engineering behind Hevesh’s amazing domino art involves a lot of science, and there is one physical phenomenon in particular that makes her work possible: gravity. When a domino is standing upright, the force of gravity pulls it toward Earth and stores energy in its structure. When a domino is knocked over, this energy is converted to kinetic energy, which causes the next domino to topple and trigger a chain reaction.
To make a domino design, Hevesh first draws the pattern on a piece of paper. She then adds arrows to show the way she would like the dominoes to fall. She then calculates how many dominoes she needs to complete her design. If she is working with a larger track, she will also draw a grid on the paper to help her determine the layout.
In most domino games, each player draws a hand of dominoes that may or may not include any doubles. The player who draws the highest double goes first. Players then arrange their dominoes on the table, placing each so that its end matches one of the ends of a previously played domino.
If a player cannot play a domino from their hand, they must draw another from the unused dominoes in the stock and then place it on the table perpendicular to the existing domino chain or in an open line that is not connected to any other existing domino.
In some games, the number of pips on a domino that has not been played is added to the winner’s score. However, this is not an essential feature of most domino games. In some games, the entire stock of dominoes is available for purchase, in which case the winner would buy all the remaining tiles with a certain number of pips.