Domino is a small, rectangular block used as a gaming object. Also known as bones, cards, men, pieces, or tiles, a domino is normally twice as long as it is wide and has an arrangement of spots (or “pips”) on both sides. These pips indicate values, similar to those on dice, but there are also blank and zero faces. Dominoes can be stacked in a variety of ways to form patterns, and they are used for many different games of chance and skill.
Historically, the game of domino has been associated with gambling, but it has also served as an effective tool to teach mathematics and other skills. In fact, domino is so versatile that there are numerous variations of the game, each incorporating unique rules and strategies. Generally, a player scores by placing a domino edge to edge against another in such a way that the adjacent ends match (e.g., one’s touching two’s, or three’s touching four’s). The resulting set of matching squares then forms a “domino chain,” and if the last tile is a double, that tile is placed perpendicular to the line of play so that additional tiles can be added from all sides.
Most dominoes are played as blocking or scoring games, and some duplicate card games, which were used in areas where religious prohibitions against the playing of cards existed. The word domino itself has its roots in the Italian and French words for a hooded cloak worn by a priest over his surplice, but it was probably more popularized as a result of its use on the chessboard in the famous Argentinian horse race, where the winner claimed the entire table.
A basic Western domino set consists of 28 tiles. Before a game begins, they are shuffled and then arranged on a table in a layout called a “boneyard,” where the unused tiles are stored. The leader, determined by the heaviest piece or by random draw, plays first. During the course of play, players may add their tiles to the boneyard as necessary.
Domino’s success can be attributed to the company’s commitment to listening to customers and making changes quickly. In the early 1960s, Domino’s founder, Dominick Monaghan, emphasized putting Domino’s pizza stores near college campuses to appeal to students and other young adults who wanted pizza quickly. This approach helped the business grow to over 200 locations by 1978. In 2004, the company faced challenges when its leadership changed, and it began losing money at a rapid rate. To reverse its fortunes, Domino’s focused on introducing new items and expanding beyond pizza delivery. The company also worked hard to improve employee relations by implementing a relaxed dress code and leadership training programs. By 2010, the company was again profitable and had more than 300 locations. The company’s current CEO, Steve Brandon, has continued to promote Domino’s value of championing employees and focusing on customers. These changes are helping the company to rebound from its recent slump.