I know that Mexican Train is a friendly game, often played with family and friends, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is the social aspect of the game: talking, laughing, and getting fun.
With that said, I also know that there are people out there who will like to get better at this particular game. Specifically if the friendly people you play with are winning more often than you might be and you are beginning to become distraught and depressed over it.
Winning the game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not really as hard to do as you may think. There are some simple tips that may have a dramatic effect on the result of this game. Weather you are a beginning player, an intermediate player, or even an advanced player, you are going to still take advantage of these strategic tips.
Mexican Train comes with plenty of rule variations which are used throughout the world, however the majority of my strategic tips affect all the most popular rule sets and I’ve noted inside the text in which the strategy can vary for various rules.
Organize your dominoes into the ideal train
Obviously, every hand starts by “dealing” numerous dominoes to each player. For the way so many people are playing, this number may differ from 7 or 8 to 15 or so. The particular number will not be relevant. But it is crucial to organize your dominoes into the ideal train before beginning play.
Once the starting double continues to be played, by you or anyone else, you develop a train together with your remaining dominoes that starts with similar pip value since the opening double and connect as many dominoes as you can to that particular train.
To actually calculate the ideal way to organize a player’s dominoes, one would have to consider every domino which has been played up to now, and do quite a bit of math in order to calculate odds. The best play at any point in the game is dependent on what has been played up to that point. Since this is unrealistic, I favor to “approximate” the best train by making use of these 3 basic rules:
The train with the most dominoes is better.
Given 2 trains of equal length, the train with the most points in it is better.
Given 2 trains of equal length and equal point value, the best train has higher point value dominoes placed as far forward within the train as possible.
Play your spares first anytime you can
Playing an extra can be your first order of business. If there is no possible play through the spares, then play from the train.
For those who have spares, then play from your end of your train whenever you can
This is extremely important! Your first options are to experience from the spares, but your second option is to experience from the end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find a lot of times that you play from the end of your train, and suddenly one of many spares can fit to the end. It has the same effect as playing an extra.
Watch out for opportunities to change your caboose
When the last domino inside your train is a 10-4, and your spares is 10-2, and you may play either upon an opponent’s marked train (when I say “marked train”, After all a players’ train which can be open for anyone to experience upon), or on the Mexican train, play the 10-4, and move the 10-2 for the end of the train. If someone is out before you do, you have saved yourself 2 points. This really is this kind of common occurrence, that over the course of a complete game, you are likely to stay away from dozens of points.
If you have spares, and also the Mexican (or community) train has not been started, and one of your spares (or maybe your caboose) can begin it, then start it!
The Mexican (or community) Train is regarded as the common place to dump your spares. You can’t do this when it has not yet been started. So given a selection of playing with an opponents penny, or starting the Mexican train, start the Mexican train. But this can be only if you have spares to try out. If your dominoes are in your train, then you definitely don’t need the Mexican train, so don’t start it.
Know when to play on your own marked train vs. another train if you have a decision.
Sometimes you will end up faced with a choice of playing Domino 99 Online on your own marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or even the Mexican Train. You don’t wish to play on your own train, thus removing your penny, except if you have another domino you can play on your own train.
As an example, let’s say you have just one single domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is onto it), and it is your turn. You cannot take part in the double-6 so you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s repeat the end of your train is a 10 as well as the end of the Mexican Train is a 10. So you have a choice. You are able to take part in the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.
The proper choice is to experience the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not by yourself. This may keep the own train marked and offered to one other players thus enhancing the chance that you might play 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 from the end of your train. You want it to remain stuck therefore the other players cannot play onto it either.
In case you have a choice of playing a domino using one of two opponents’ marked trains, choose the opponent with more dominoes to play.
If you do not possess spares, so that you are just playing from the train, as well as the end of your own train would fit on 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 possess to be covered, the following is another tip: Play doubles at the earliest opportunity – even from your train.
You need to play a double as soon as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the middle of your train will not destroy the integrity of your train. It just lowers the purpose total of your own hand. When somebody else goes out, you don’t want 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 as time passes, with everyone getting their share of great luck and bad luck.
So, although my strategic tips won’t guarantee a win every 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 your opponents.