I am aware that Mexican Train is a friendly game, often played with friends and family, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is definitely the social part of the game: talking, laughing, and having fun.
Having said that, In addition, i know that there are people who would like to get better at this game. Specifically if the friendly people you have fun with are winning more often than you are and you are starting to become distraught and depressed over it.
Winning this game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not really as hard to do as you might think. There are several simple tips that may have a dramatic effect on the result of this game. Weather you happen to be beginning player, an intermediate player, or perhaps an advanced player, you are going to still take advantage of these strategic tips.
Mexican Train has a lot of rule variations that are used throughout the world, however the majority of my strategic tips pertain to all the most famous rule sets and I’ve noted within the text where the strategy may vary for different rules.
Organize your dominoes into the best possible train
Of course, every hand starts by “dealing” numerous dominoes to every player. Depending on how so many people are playing, this number can differ from 7 or 8 to 15 approximately. The specific number is not relevant. But it is vital to organize your dominoes into the ideal train before starting play.
After the starting double has been played, by you or other people, you create a train together with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value since the opening double and connect as much dominoes as is possible to that particular train.
To truly calculate the best possible way to organize a player’s dominoes, one would have to consider every domino that has been played up to now, and do a substantial amount of math to be able to calculate odds. The best play at any time inside the game is influenced by what has been played as much as that time. Because this is unrealistic, I favor to “approximate” the most effective train by using these 3 basic rules:
The train using the most dominoes is better.
Given 2 trains of equal length, the train using the most points within it is best.
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 anytime you can
Playing an extra is your first order of economic. When there is no possible play from the spares, then play from the train.
If you have spares, then play through the end of your own train anytime you can
This is very important! Your first option is to play from your spares, however, your second options are to experience from your end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find lots of times in which you play through the end of your own train, and suddenly one of many spares can fit to the end. This has the identical effect as playing an extra.
Look for opportunities to modify your caboose
If the last domino within your train is really a 10-4, and one of your spares is 10-2, and you could play either on an opponent’s marked train (when I say “marked train”, I am talking about a players’ train which is open for anyone to experience upon), or on the Mexican train, play the 10-4, and move the ten-2 for the end of your train. If a person is out prior to deciding to do, you may have saved yourself 2 points. This really is this kind of common occurrence, that throughout a full game, you will likely save a large number of points.
In case you have spares, as well as the Mexican (or community) train has not been started, and one of your spares (or perhaps your caboose) can begin it, then start it!
The Mexican (or community) Train is regarded as the common location to dump your spares. You can’t accomplish that when it has not yet been started. So given a choice of playing upon an opponents penny, or starting the Mexican train, start the Mexican train. But this is only for those who have spares to experience. If all your dominoes are in your train, then you don’t require the Mexican train, so don’t start it.
Know when you should play by yourself marked train vs. another train when you have a decision.
Sometimes you will be faced with a selection of playing Adu Q by yourself marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or perhaps the Mexican Train. You don’t want to play on your own train, thus removing your penny, except if you have another domino it is possible to play by yourself train.
For example, let’s say you have only one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is on it), in fact it is your turn. You cannot play the double-6 so you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s say the end of your own train is really a 10 as well as the end from the Mexican Train is actually a 10. So there is a choice. It is possible to play the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.
The correct option is to experience the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not by yourself. This may keep the own train marked and offered to the other players thus boosting the chance which you might take part in the double-6 and go out.
When 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 into it either.
If you have a choice of playing a domino on a single of two opponents’ marked trains, select the opponent with increased dominoes to play.
If you do not possess spares, so that you are just playing from the train, and the end of your own train would fit upon an opponent’s marked train, don’t play it. Why unstick an opponent?
If you’re having fun with the principles that say doubles do not have to get covered, is another tip: Play doubles at the earliest opportunity – even from the train.
You ought to play a double as quickly as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the middle of your train will not destroy the integrity of your train. It merely lowers the idea total of your hand. When somebody else quickly scans the blogosphere, you don’t wish to be caught with a double within your hand that you could have played earlier in the hand.
There certainly luck involved with Mexican Train, but luck has a tendency to even out with 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 actually do promise to boost your game and most likely, improve it to the point that you will be winning more often than the other players.