I understand that Mexican Train is actually a friendly game, often played with family and friends, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is the social part of the game: talking, laughing, and getting fun.
With that in mind, I also know there are people out there who would like to be better at this particular game. Specifically if the friendly people you have fun with are winning more often than you are and also you are beginning to become distraught and depressed over it.
Winning the video game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not really as difficult to do you might think. There are several simple tips that could have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the video game. Weather you are a beginning player, an intermediate player, or even an advanced player, you are going to still benefit from these strategic tips.
Mexican Train does have lots of rule variations that are used around the world, however most of my strategic tips apply to all the most famous rule sets and I’ve noted within the text where the strategy can vary greatly for many different rules.
Organize your dominoes into the ideal train
Needless to say, every hand starts by “dealing” several dominoes to each and every player. Depending on how lots of people are playing, this number may differ from 7 or 8 to 15 or so. The actual number is not really relevant. But it is vital to organize your dominoes into the perfect train before beginning play.
When the starting double has been played, on your part or anyone else, you create a train with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value since the opening double and connect as many dominoes as possible to that train.
To truly calculate the perfect method to organize a player’s dominoes, one would need to consider every domino that has been played up to now, and do a substantial amount of math in order to calculate odds. The most effective play at any point in the game is determined by what has been played up to that point. Since this is unrealistic, I like to “approximate” the very best train by using these 3 basic rules:
The train using 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 most effective train has higher point value dominoes placed as far forward within the train as possible.
Play your spares first whenever you can
Playing a spare is the first order of economic. When there is no possible play from the spares, then play from your train.
If you have spares, then play from your end of your own train whenever you can
This is important! The initial options are to try out from your spares, but your second choice is to experience through the end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find lots of times where you play through the end of your own train, and suddenly among the spares can fit onto the end. It has exactly the same effect as playing a spare.
Watch for opportunities to modify your caboose
In the event the last domino within your train is really a 10-4, and your spares is 10-2, and you may 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 try out upon), or on the Mexican train, take part in the 10-4, and move the 10-2 towards the end of your own train. If a person quickly scans the blogosphere before you do, you might have saved yourself 2 points. This can be such a common occurrence, that over the course of a complete game, you are likely to save lots of points.
If you have spares, and also the Mexican (or community) train is not started, and one of your spares (or maybe your caboose) may start it, then start it!
The Mexican (or community) Train is easily the most common place to dump your spares. You can’t do this if it has not yet been started. So given a choice of playing on 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 all of your dominoes will be in your train, then you definitely don’t need 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 may be up against a choice of playing Tembak Ikan Uang Asli on your own marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or the Mexican Train. You don’t wish to play all on your own train, thus removing your penny, unless you have another domino you are able to play by yourself train.
For example, let’s say you have just one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is onto it), in fact it is your turn. You cannot take part in the double-6 so that you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s say the end of your train is really a 10 and the end of the Mexican Train is actually a 10. So there is a choice. You are able to play in the 10-8 on either your personal train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.
The proper option is to experience the ten-8 on the Mexican Train, not by yourself. This may keep the own train marked and available to another players thus improving the chance which you may play in the double-6 and go out.
In the event the Mexican train is stuck, i.e., nobody is playing onto it, and you do not have any spares, then don’t play on the Mexican train from the end of your train. You want it to remain stuck and so the other players cannot play onto it either.
For those who have a choice of playing a domino using one of two opponents’ marked trains, select the opponent with additional dominoes to try out.
Should you not possess spares, which means you are simply playing from the train, and the end of your own train would fit upon 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, is another tip: Play doubles at the earliest opportunity – even out of your train.
You should play a double as quickly as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the middle of your train does not destroy the integrity of your own train. It simply lowers the purpose total of the hand. When someone else quickly scans the blogosphere, you don’t desire to be caught with a double in your hand that you might have played earlier in the hand.
There certainly luck involved in Mexican Train, but luck has a tendency to even out as time passes, with everyone getting their share of good 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 a lot likely, improve it to the point that you will be winning more frequently than your opponents.