How To Play Mexican Train Dominoes?

How To Play Mexican Train Dominoes?

Do you know how to play Mexican train dominoes? Mexican train dominoes, also known as Trains. This game is primarily played in the United States. It is one of the most famous domino games and can be played with 2 to 14 players. So no matter how small or big your family is, everyone can participate. 


In this game, each player is dealt an equal amount of dominoes, and the goal is to get rid of as many as possible and have the lowest score, which is based on the dominoes remaining. So here is a complete set of rules for this fun game.


Tip: There is no official set of rules to play Mexican Train Dominoes, as there are several slight differences, depending on the origin.


Game Requirements


  • Players: Best with 4 to 8 players

  • Equipment: Generally, Mexican train dominoes is played with the standard set of double (12-12) dominoes with 91 dominoes. However, the size of the position can be adjusted depending on the count of players. Every player needs a maker like a penny. The station is set in the middle of a table is optional and might be included in a commercial game sets. After that, you will need paper and a pencil to use as a score pad.

  • Goal: This game’s goal is to be the first player to lay down all of the dominoes in each round and earn the overall least point total when all the rounds are complete.


How To Play Mexican Train Dominoes


Set Up The Game


Pick a set of dominoes appropriate for the number of players:


  • For two to three players, use the double-9 (9-9) set; every player takes 8 dominoes.

  • For four to six players, use the double-12 (12-12) set; and each player takes the 12 dominoes.

  • For seven to eight players, use the double-12 (12-12) set; and each player takes the 10 dominoes.

  • For nine to twelve players, use the double-15 (15-15) set; and each player takes the 11 dominoes.

  • For thirteen to fourteen players, use the double-18 (18-18) set; each player takes 11 dominoes.


Search the double domino to serve as the engine for the game. The double domino will be the highest in the set being used. If you are playing with the 12-12 set recommended for four to eight players, the initial engine will be the 12-12 domino.


After that, turn the remaining dominoes face down on the table and mix-up them thoroughly.


Draw Dominoes


All the players draw their dominoes without revealing the other players. The number of dominoes can be drawn depending on the number of players in this game.


Every player then stands their dominoes on the edge so that players can see their faces, but their opponents cannot. Then rest dominoes are left on the table face down. This supply is known as the boneyard.


Begin Play


To determine the beginning player, every player draws the individual domino from the boneyard. The domino with the highest place(pip) total indicates the beginning player.


Player #1 begins to play by building the series of dominoes out from an engine, beginning with the domino that has the pip number matching the domino engine. Every domino in the order must be executed, so the pip-counts match the open end of the previous domino.


If the player has no play, then they must draw the domino from the pile. If it meets the engine’s pip count, then it might be played instantly.


The player now play continues clockwise, with every following player attempting to build the drain stretching out from an engine. If players are unable to start the train, then they must take out the domino from the bone pile (it might be played immediately if the pip count matches the engine domino).


Play Second Round


In the second turn, throughout the playing table, every player must try to play another domino. There are many possibilities that play here. The player may:


  • Play the domino, which matches the pip-count of the revealed half of the previous domino played on their train. For example, if 1 player has played the 12-5 domino in the first round, then they can now play the domino, which has 5 pips on the end of the train. If player 1 has the double domino matching the disclosed pip-count, then it is played perpendicular over the revealed half of the previous domino.


  • If player 1 has no ways to play on the own train, then they might alternately begin the “Mexican Train.” It can start if only they have another domino that matches a pip-count of a central engine. This new Mexican train is a “public” train free for all the players to play on for the game’s span.


  • Player 1 has no play, then they must draw 1 domino from the pile. If the spot count matches the clear end of a player’s train, then it might be put instantly. If not, then player 1 places the marker at the end of the train. It also signifies that the train is open for other players to play. The player 1 train will now stay free to use by the other players until such point as they can again play the train. So at this time, the marker can be excluded, giving the train defended from other players again.


The game now moves to player 2 and the following players, who have the same choices:


  • Play the domino with the point count that matches the point count revealed at the end of the own train.


  • Begin the Mexican Train if it has not been started. 


  • Play the domino on other player’s train, which has been shown to public use with the marker.


  • If there is no play, then the player must draw the domino and place the marker at the end of their train, meaning that it is a public train and other players can play on it.

Playing Doubles


Suppose the player has the double domino that matches the open end of a train. In that case, the player announces “double” and instantly puts the domino perpendicularly across the open end of the train. The player needs to play the second domino on any available train—either achieving their own double or playing the domino elsewhere on board.


If the opened double domino is not “answered” by the player who played it, then it must be answered by the following players before the domino can be performed anywhere. When the player cannot answer the double, then the player must draw the domino from the bone pile and put the marker at the end of the train, giving it public.


End the First Round


Round 1 ends when any of the players play the last domino in hand. Now, the other players total up the pips on the dominoes still kept in their hands. A single-player assigned as the scorekeeper records all the players’ scores—whoever has the low number has won the round.

Also Read: Freestyle Wrestling – Rules, Scoring, and Facts

End the Game


When the full round has been played with a final double domino (the 0-0) working as the engine, the counts for all rounds are calculated, and the player with the lower point total announced the winner of the game.



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