Most people think of Dominoes as a game for children or old people, or worse yet, not as a game at all, but instead just tiles that were created to be lined up in interesting patterns then knocked down. Mexican Train is a fun game for anyone with a group of at least three people. This game requires strategy to play well, and if you're really smart, you'll figure out how you can screw the other players over, making the competition a little more lively and fun!


What you need:

  • center piece(usually rounded with a rectangle hole in the center for the starter tile and notches around the edges for other tiles to fit in)
  • set of dominoes that has double twelve
  • a penny for each player

The Rules:
  • All tiles are placed facing down on the table or floor and mixed up.
  • Each player draws fifteen tiles, not to be shown to the other players.
  • The center piece is placed in the middle of all of the players, and the left over tiles are pushed to the side as a drawing pile.
  • Whomever has the double twelve starts the game. The starting tile is placed in the center of the center piece, and the turns proceed clockwise from that person.
  • Each player must start with a twelve, the twelve can either be placed in a notch on the center piece (twelve butted against the double twelve), or a side car can be started.
  • Only one side car can be started per game. Anyone can play off the side car, but players can only play on their own train.
  • If a player can't put a tile on their train or the side car, they must draw a tile. If they still can't play then the penny is placed on their last tile in their train. Now their train is open for any other player to play off of. The penny can be removed from their train as soon as they are able to play on the last tile in their train.
  • If a double is played, then the person gets to lay a second tile down. If the person is unable to play off of any available train after placing a double, and has drawn, then they must penny their train and the next player must play on the double. If they can not, they must penny their train, and it goes to the next person. Once it has gone around once, if no one could play on it, then the players can resume playing the other available trains.
  • The object is to get rid of your tiles before anyone else, or with as few points as possible. Points are added up from the collective number of dots on your remaining tiles when a game has ended.
  • After the double twelve game is completed, you start with the double eleven. Eventually you'll play down to the double blank tile. Once you've made it through all of the doubles the game is over. Add up the complete score and whomever has the lowest is the winner!

Tips:
  • If you can play more than one double you will be able to place three tiles down on one turn, getting rid of your tiles faster.
  • Try organizing your tiles before you begin placing them, that way you can strategize better, and make sure you dump your large tiles as fast as possible. By arranging your tiles in the order you can place them in your train you will know how many extra unusable tiles you have to that can be played in the side car, and have a firmer plan for your own train..which the other players can't play off of.


Adding an alcoholic component.
I have discovered that if you take a shot every time you play a double (double blank is a community shot, double one is a double shot) you end up getting pretty damned drunk. I've played drunken dominoes and managed to be unfit for putting tiles on the table before we got to double six. It's fun for all! I recommend you give it a try.

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