I am aware that Mexican Train is actually 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 aspect of the game: talking, laughing, and getting fun.
With that said, I also know that we now have people who would like to be better at this game. Particularly if the friendly people you have fun with are winning more frequently than you might be and you also are starting to be distraught and depressed over it.
Winning the game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not really as hard to do as you might think. There are some simple tips that may have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the game. Weather you are a beginning player, an intermediate player, or even an advanced player, you may still reap the benefits of these strategic tips.
Mexican Train does have plenty of rule variations which can be used around the world, however most of my strategic tips apply to all the most famous rule sets and I’ve noted in the text where the strategy may vary for various rules.
Organize your dominoes into the best possible train
Needless to say, every hand starts by “dealing” numerous dominoes to each player. Depending on how lots of people are playing, this number can differ from 7 or 8 to 15 approximately. The specific number is not relevant. But it is very important to organize your dominoes into the perfect train prior to starting play.
Once the starting double continues to be played, on your part or someone else, you create a train together with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value as the opening double and connect as many dominoes as possible to that particular train.
To truly calculate the perfect method to organize a player’s dominoes, one would need to consider every domino which has been played to date, and do a substantial amount of math to be able to calculate odds. The most effective play at any time within the game is dependent on what has been played up to that time. Because this is unrealistic, I prefer to “approximate” the most effective train by using these 3 basic rules:
The train with all the most dominoes is most beneficial.
Given 2 trains of equal length, the train using 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 inside the train as you can.
Play your spares first whenever possible
Playing a spare can be your first order of economic. If you have no possible play from your spares, then play from your train.
In case you have spares, then play from the end of your own train whenever you can
This is important! The first choice is to play out of your spares, however your second option is to experience from the end (caboose) of the train. You’ll find lots of times where you play from your end of your train, and suddenly one of many spares can fit on the end. It has the identical effect as playing an extra.
Watch out for opportunities to change your caboose
If the last domino inside your train is actually a 10-4, and one of the spares is 10-2, and you may play either on an opponent’s marked train (when I say “marked train”, After all a players’ train which can be open for everyone to experience upon), or on the Mexican train, take part in the 10-4, and move the 10-2 for the end of your train. If somebody goes out prior to deciding to do, you may have saved yourself 2 points. This can be this kind of common occurrence, that during the course of a full game, you are likely to stay away from dozens of points.
In case you have spares, and also the Mexican (or community) train has not been started, and your spares (or maybe your caboose) can start it, then start it!
The Mexican (or community) Train is regarded as the common location to dump your spares. You can’t do this if it has not yet yet been started. So given a choice of playing upon an opponents penny, or starting the Mexican train, start the Mexican train. But this can be only in case you have spares to play. If all your dominoes have been in your train, then you don’t require the Mexican train, so don’t start it.
Know when you should play on your own marked train vs. another train when you have a decision.
Sometimes you will be faced with a selection of playing BandarQQ by yourself marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or the Mexican Train. You don’t wish to play by yourself train, thus removing your penny, unless you have another domino you can play all on your own train.
For example, let’s say you have just one single domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is into it), which is your turn. You can not play in the double-6 so that you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s repeat the end of your train is really a 10 and also the end in the Mexican Train is a 10. So you do have a choice. You can play in the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.
The correct option is to play the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not all on your own. This may maintain your own train marked and available to another players thus boosting the chance which you might play the double-6 and head out.
When the Mexican train is stuck, i.e., nobody is playing into it, and you do not have any spares, then don’t play on the Mexican train from your end of your train. You want it to remain stuck so the other players cannot play into it either.
In case you have a selection of playing a domino on one of two opponents’ marked trains, select the opponent with additional dominoes to experience.
Unless you have spares, so that you are simply playing from the train, and also the end of your own train would fit on an opponent’s marked train, don’t listen to it. Why unstick an opponent?
If you’re having fun 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 soon as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the center of your train fails to destroy the integrity of the train. It just lowers the idea total of your own hand. When someone else is out, you don’t wish to be caught with a double in your hand that one could have played earlier inside the hand.
There certainly luck involved with Mexican Train, but luck has an inclination to even out over time, with everyone getting their fair share of excellent luck and bad luck.
So, although my strategic tips won’t guarantee a win every time, they are doing promise to boost your game and most likely, improve it to the level that you will be winning more often than your opponents.