I know that Mexican Train is really a friendly game, often played with friends and family, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is the social part of the game: talking, laughing, and having fun.
Having said that, I also know there are individuals who will like to become better at this game. Particularly if the friendly people you have fun with are winning more often than you happen to be and also you are beginning to become distraught and depressed over it.
Winning the game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not as hard to do as you might think. There are some simple tips that could have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the game. Weather you happen to be beginning player, an intermediate player, or an advanced player, you may still benefit from these strategic tips.
Mexican Train comes with a lot of rule variations which can be used around the world, however most of my strategic tips pertain to all the most famous rule sets and I’ve noted inside the text in which the strategy may vary for different rules.
Organize your dominoes into the perfect train
Needless to say, every hand starts by “dealing” several dominoes to each player. Depending on how lots of people are playing, this number may differ from 7 or 8 to 15 approximately. The specific number is not relevant. But it is vital to set up your dominoes into the best possible train before beginning play.
Once the starting double continues to be played, on your part or anyone else, you build a train along with your remaining dominoes that starts with the exact same pip value because the opening double and connect as much dominoes as you can for that train.
To really calculate the best possible approach to organize a player’s dominoes, one would have to consider every domino that has been played to date, and do a substantial amount of math in order to calculate odds. The very best play at any time within the game is influenced by what has become played approximately that point. Since this is unrealistic, I like to “approximate” the very best train by using these 3 basic rules:
The train with all the most dominoes is better.
Given 2 trains of equal length, the train with all the most points inside it is most beneficial.
Given 2 trains of equal length and equal point value, the best train has higher point value dominoes placed as far forward in the train as is possible.
Play your spares first whenever you can
Playing an extra is your first order of business. If there is no possible play from your spares, then play from your train.
If you have spares, then play from the end of your train anytime you can
This is very important! The first option is to experience from the spares, however your second option is to play from the end (caboose) of the train. You’ll find plenty of times in which you play from your end of your own train, and suddenly one of the spares can fit on the end. It has exactly the same effect as playing a spare.
Watch for opportunities to change your caboose
If the last domino within your train is really a 10-4, and one of your spares is 10-2, and you can play either upon an opponent’s marked train (when i state “marked train”, I mean a players’ train which can be open for anybody to play upon), or on the Mexican train, take part in the 10-4, and move the 10-2 for the end of your train. If a person is out before you do, you may have saved yourself 2 points. This can be this type of common occurrence, that throughout a complete game, you will probably save lots of points.
If you have spares, and the Mexican (or community) train is not started, and one of your spares (or your caboose) may start it, then start it!
The Mexican (or community) Train is regarded as the common location to dump your spares. You can’t do that if this has not yet yet been started. So given a selection of playing upon an opponents penny, or starting the Mexican train, start the Mexican train. But this really is only if you have spares to play. If all your dominoes are in your train, then you certainly don’t require the Mexican train, so don’t start it.
Know when you ought to play on your own marked train vs. another train if you have a decision.
Sometimes you will be faced with a selection of playing Domino Qiu Qiu by yourself marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or perhaps the Mexican Train. You don’t wish to play on your own train, thus removing your penny, except if you have another domino it is possible to play all on your own train.
For example, let’s say you may have just one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is onto it), which is your turn. You can not play the double-6 so you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s repeat the end of your personal train is a 10 and also the end in the Mexican Train is really a 10. So there is a choice. You can play the 10-8 on either your very own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.
The proper options are to play the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not all on your own. This may keep the own train marked and accessible to one other players thus boosting the chance that you might take part in the double-6 and head out.
If the Mexican train is stuck, i.e., nobody is playing into it, and there is no need any spares, then don’t play on the Mexican train through the end of the train. You want it to remain stuck and so the other players cannot play onto it either.
If you have a selection of playing a domino using one of two opponents’ marked trains, pick the opponent with additional dominoes to play.
Unless you possess spares, so you are just playing from the train, and the end of the train would fit upon an opponent’s marked train, don’t listen to it. Why unstick an opponent?
If you’re playing with the principles that say doubles do not have to get covered, the following is another tip: Play doubles as quickly as possible – even from your train.
You should play a double as quickly as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the middle of your train fails to destroy the integrity of your train. It simply lowers the point total of your hand. When someone else goes out, you don’t desire to be caught using a double in your hand that you might have played earlier inside the hand.
There certainly luck involved with Mexican Train, but luck has a tendency to even out over time, with everyone getting their share of great luck and bad luck.
So, although my strategic tips won’t guarantee a win each time, they do promise to boost your game and most likely, improve it to the point that you will be winning more frequently than the other players.