The Domino Effect

Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with one face divided into halves, each half being blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. The word is also used to refer to a game played with such blocks or a system of rules for games played with them.

The term domino effect is often used metaphorically to suggest a series of events that follow each other as if by domino, either literally (observed series of actual collisions) or figuratively (causal linkages within systems such as global finance or politics). In fiction, the domino effect provides an effective way to develop the plot of a story by showing how a character’s actions will affect other characters and, eventually, the whole situation.

The domino principle is an important one to keep in mind when designing a website or launching a business. If a website receives a significant amount of traffic, it can have a ripple effect, causing other websites to become more popular. This is why it’s crucial for website owners to ensure their sites have a strong foundation.

Hevesh, a 20-year-old YouTuber from the Philippines, is a domino artist whose creations involve thousands of pieces. She creates intricate domino setups for movies, TV shows, and events. Some of her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but once they do, they’re spectacular. Hevesh explains that all it takes is a tiny nudge to trigger the first domino and set off a chain reaction.

In Western domino games, the dominoes are shuffled and each player draws at random the number of dominoes required for the game—usually seven. The first player then plays a domino, usually the heaviest one in their hand—in most cases, a double (the highest). Players then draw from the remaining dominoes—also called the boneyard or stock—until they have enough to play a domino. If they do not have any of the heaviest doubles, the next highest is chosen, and so on.

In an earlier sense, domino meant a long hooded robe worn with a mask at a masquerade or carnival. The earliest evidence for the word’s association with dominoes is from around 1750. In English, it replaced the old word tetrarchy, which was applied to a hooded cloak or cape worn over a priest’s surplice. In French, domino may have been derived from the Latin verb domini, meaning “to rule.”