Domino – A Game and a Mathematical Concept


Domino is a small, flat rectangular block used as a gaming object. A set consists of 28 such blocks, and each one is marked on one side with from one to six pips or dots. The other side is either blank or identically patterned. The term domino also refers to the various games played with them, which involve laying them down in long lines or angular patterns. In the game All Fives, for example, a player must place a tile on the edge of the board so that its matching end touches another one of the tiles on the left or right, and the chain of matches continues outward from there.

Domino can also mean the way a person arranges or prioritizes tasks to accomplish goals. For instance, when a company’s CEO decides to launch an ambitious new business initiative, he may rank the tasks to prioritize their impact and timeliness. Then he’ll assign each task to a team member. That team member would then work on the task first, until it was completed. Other tasks could be added or modified to fit the company’s priorities as needed.

In the realm of science, Domino is also a mathematical concept. A domino is a two-dimensional square with equal area on both sides and marked with one or more dots. In addition, the number of dots on each domino is always equal to its area. This property, which is called the commutative property of addition, allows students to add a number and its complement without changing the total amount of dots on the domino.

As a result, students can use Domino as a visual representation of the commutative property and its applications in algebra and other subjects. A teacher can introduce the concept by letting students choose a domino at random and draw its dot pattern on a blank piece of paper. Then the class can write an equation using the dots on the chosen domino.

Another common application of Domino is in risk assessment. When a disaster occurs, such as an earthquake or a fire, analysts can apply the Domino Theory to predict how the event might affect other areas. This analysis helps organizations to identify the potential “swing” in the “domino effect.”

The term Domino also relates to the political theory that a domino effect might lead to a series of events that eventually destabilize a nation or region. The theory was most widely used in the 1970s and early 1980s to justify American intervention in Latin America and other parts of the world. The 1977 Frost/Nixon interviews featured Richard Nixon discussing the theory, saying that the United States must stop the spread of communism by stopping communist Chile and Cuba from encircling the region.

Finally, the word Domino is sometimes used as a pun, with the meaning of “little black one.” This use dates back to the 17th century and was originally referring to the black hooded cloak worn by a priest over his white surplice.