Skip to Content

Lessons from Dominoes: 17 Crucial Lessons We Can Learn from This Game

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Parents of young children often utilize dominoes to work on fine motor development and teach numbers. The pieces can also be used as tiny, portable blocks to keep the little tykes occupied when not at home. But playing real dominoes is more like poker, where strategy requires people reading skills. Of course, constructing and knocking a chain over has lessons too.  

Dominoes’ most famous life lesson is The Domino Effect, popularized by Harry S. Truman. But the game teaches players how to pivot, read other people’s body language, strengthen memory, and devise strategy in-real time. Using dominoes to stack, balance, or topple also teaches perseverance.

Dominoes is an ancient game, often compared to dice. But playing the tiles requires more than luck. Like life, it requires taking chances, staying calm, and revealing as little about the “cards” you hold. But the pieces also allow you to set personal construction challenges, turning them into a STEAM exercise for all involved. 

These are 17 important lessons we can learn from playing dominoes:

1. The Domino Effect: Lesson By Truman & Eisenhower

The Domino Effect was a lesson to the US nation by Harry S. Truman and later by Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was used to justify war by the theory that one fall of a communist government would lead to a fall of them all. 

Politics aside, the falling dominos is to demonstrate that the action of one leads to a chain of events. If nothing else, it is an excellent lesson on how highway pileups occur: one car brakes, setting off a series of events.  

2. Playing Dominoes Improves Strategy

Dominoes require strategy regardless of playing it as a game or designing a chain to topple. It teaches you to think about the pieces, strengths, and weaknesses and how to use them to create the desired results.

3. Dominoes Teaches How To Pivot

Playing dominoes teaches people how to pivot. For example, during a game, a person might have been bluffing about not having specific numbers, and the realization will require other players to rethink their strategies. 

Also, when creating a chain design, some aspects of the initial strategy might not work in reality, requiring a reassessment.  

4. Creativity Comes From Playing Dominoes

Dominoes is a lesson on creativity, from developing new playing strategies to brainstorming unique chain reaction designs. Playing safe makes it dull, and bringing creativity to dominoes will keep it an engaging and challenging activity. 

5. Playing Dominoes Is A Lesson In Reading Body Language

Playing dominoes is like poker; people bluff to throw the other players off. Also, there are tells when somebody is excited about a particular play that reveals their pieces. The more a person plays dominoes, the better they get at reading body language. 

6. Dominoes Shows How To Seize Opportunities

Dominoes is a game of opportunity. But how to seize them is an art: too slow, you lose the chance, but too fast, and you might reveal your hand. So, Dominoes is a lesson on successfully making the most of the opportunities available. 

7. Patience Is Learned Through Dominoes

Dominoes require patience. You give away your hand when playing the game if you get frustrated or greedy. 

Also, when creating designs with dominoes, you have to have patience. A quick, hurried move could cause a collapse well before you were ready. 

8. Playing With Dominoes Teaches Kinetic Energy

Toppling dominoes is an excellent lesson in kinetic energy. As one domino strikes the other, energy is transferred down the chain. 

9. Dominoes Is A Lesson Of Perseverance 

Dominoes is a lesson of perseverance. Creating chains and intricate kinetic designs requires testing, setbacks, accidents, and learning from the time before. The chains improve their complexity and wow factor by trying over and over again. 

10. Creating Domino Chains Teaches Commitment

Creating domino chains teaches commitment. A person has to use focus, even when working as a team, to get the job done without causing the entire thing to collapse prematurely. 

11. Dominoes Demonstrates The Value Of Timing

Playing dominoes is all about timing. Knowledge is power; if you make certain plays too soon, you’ve revealed your hand, and now the other players can block you. Knowing when to bluff and how to time opportunities is an excellent lesson in real-world business negotiations. 

12. Playing Dominoes Is A Lesson On Planning

Planning is essential in making challenging and engaging toppling designs. Trying to wing it can be fun and an excellent way to kill some time. But true greatest with domino chains is impossible without some advanced planning, much like an architect creating a blueprint. 

Even playing the game requires forethought. What’s your persona going to be? Are you going to pretend to be ignorant? Act quiet and mysterious? Or do you plan to bluff everyone, acting excited over moves that don’t mean anything to you, throwing the rest of the scent? 

13. Dominoes Teaches Us How To Control The Moment

A top dominoes player controls the table, just like in poker. They can combine the elements, from planning to reading people, and use these skills to control the game. It isn’t luck if you meant for it to happen. 

14. Importance Of Details Is Learned Through Dominoes

Dominoes is all about noticing the details: who passed, who sighed, who just grinned, and who keeps holding their tiles too far away, flashing glances. Of course, it takes sheer brain power to remember all the details. But learning how to categorize the information will allow you to put these clues to work for you.  

15. Playing With Dominoes Teaches Teamwork

Creating intricate chains teaches teamwork. Rarely do these fabulous designs happen alone (although some do). However, the brainstorming and problem-solving within a team can take ideas to new heights. 

But the many hands also raise the stakes in somebody knocking things over prematurely, requiring everyone to start all over again. Thus, dominoes demonstrate both the positives and negatives of teamwork. 

16. Dominoes Is A Lesson In Staying Calm

Dominoes is a lesson in staying calm regardless of playing the game or trying to position the fiddliest piece in a chain. But those that can remain calm in the storm of stress will have the greatest success. 

17. Playing Dominoes Teaches Consequences

Dominoes teach consequences. When playing the game, revealing your hand too soon will weaken your game. Likewise, a player’s actions or lack of action has ramifications on the result. 

Creating chains with dominoes also demonstrates how far up a line our consequences can have an impact. Sure, you just knocked that one piece, but the aftermath of that choice goes on and on. 

Last Word

Domino tiles may look like flattened dice. But they have more to teach than chance. It’s about planning, timing, and learning to read the room.

+ posts

This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.