The Domino Effect is the way a single event can affect multiple outcomes in a predictable, often cascading manner. It can be seen in politics, economics, sports and business — and even personal life. For example, you might plan an ambitious project that has a domino effect if you do not complete it on time, or you might get into a fight with your partner that will influence your relationship in the long run.

You can also use the term to describe a domino game, a variation on cards or dice that is played with small rectangular wooden blocks shaped like tajine tiles with an arrangement of dots on one side resembling those on dice. The other sides are blank or patterned identically (and in some sets only half of each tile is populated with dots; the rest are blank). A domino set consists of 28 tiles. In games, dominoes are placed end to end in a line, with one player claiming each exposed end by playing a tile that has on its exposed face a number matching the total of the adjacent ends of the domino chain. The first person to touch both ends of a domino chain wins the game. There are many different variants of this basic game, some of which were devised to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.

A famous domino effect was the series of accidents that followed when a Texas refinery exploded in 1995, sending vapor clouds into the air and injuring more than 1,000 workers. The accidents caused a fire that spread throughout the plant, eventually causing the entire complex to be destroyed.

This type of domino effect can be a problem for businesses, particularly those in highly regulated industries. In such cases, a single accident can have far-reaching consequences and can trigger a cascade of events that result in costly legal battles, fines and other penalties. To avoid this, companies must develop a plan that includes measures to identify potential hazards and the steps they can take to mitigate them.

Physicists are fond of using the word domino when describing a physical phenomenon. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy that can be converted to kinetic energy when the force of gravity causes it to fall over. Once it does, that energy is transmitted to other dominoes in the row, which then fall over and start a chain reaction.

Dominos can also be used to create art. Domino artist Hevesh has created a number of amazing designs, including straight lines that form pictures when they fall, grids that form patterns and 3D structures like towers. You can watch a video of Hevesh creating her designs here.

For instance, you could use a domino to break down the process of writing a book into several good tasks. Each task would have a domino impact on the next, so it is important to prioritize and focus your efforts on the most valuable work that will yield the best results.