I understand that Mexican Train is actually a friendly game, often played with friends and relations, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is definitely the social part of the game: talking, laughing, and getting fun.

Having said that, I also know there are individuals who will like to become better around this game. Particularly if the friendly people you play with are winning more often than you might be and you also are beginning to become distraught and depressed over it.

Winning this game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not really as hard to do as you may think. There are some simple tips that could have a dramatic effect on the results of the game. Weather you happen to be beginning player, an intermediate player, or even an advanced player, you may still take advantage of these strategic tips.

Mexican Train does have lots of rule variations that are used around the world, however almost all of my strategic tips affect all the most famous rule sets and I’ve noted in the text in which the strategy can vary greatly for various rules.

Organize your dominoes into the perfect train

Obviously, every hand starts by “dealing” several dominoes to each and every player. Depending on how so many people are playing, this number can differ from 7 or 8 to 15 approximately. The specific number will not be relevant. But it is vital to set up your dominoes into the perfect train prior to starting play.

Once the starting double continues to be played, by you or anyone else, you create a train together with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value since the opening double and connect as numerous dominoes as possible to that particular train.

To really calculate the perfect approach to organize a player’s dominoes, one will have to consider every domino that has been played up to now, and do a substantial amount of math so that you can calculate odds. The best play at any point in the game is dependent on what has been played as much as that time. Because this is unrealistic, I prefer to “approximate” the best train by using these 3 basic rules:

The train using the most dominoes is better.

Given 2 trains of equal length, the train with all the most points within 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 in 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 the spares, then play out of your train.

For those who have spares, then play from your end of your train anytime you can

This is extremely important! The first choice is to experience from the spares, but your second options are to try out through the end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find lots of times where you play through the end of the train, and suddenly one of many spares can fit to the end. This has the same effect as playing an extra.

Watch out for opportunities to change your caboose

In the event the last domino inside your train is actually a 10-4, and one of the spares is 10-2, and you can play either with an opponent’s marked train (when i state “marked train”, I am talking about a players’ train which can be open for everyone to play upon), or on the Mexican train, play the 10-4, and move the 10-2 towards the end of the train. If a person is out before you decide to do, you have saved yourself 2 points. This can be this kind of common occurrence, that during the course of a complete game, you will probably save yourself dozens of points.

For those who have spares, and the Mexican (or community) train is not started, and one of the spares (or your caboose) may start it, then start it!

The Mexican (or community) Train is the most common place 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 really is 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 you should play all on your own marked train vs. another train once you have an alternative.

Sometimes you may be confronted with a choice of playing Domino Qiu Qiu on your own 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, unless you have another domino you are able to play on your own train.

As an example, let’s say you might have only one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is into it), which is your turn. You cannot take part in the double-6 so you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s say the end of your own train is a 10 and also the end in the Mexican Train is really a 10. So you have a choice. You can play the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.

The proper options are to try out the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not all on your own. This will keep your own train marked and available to another players thus enhancing the chance which you might take part in the double-6 and go out.

Play Ruthlessly!

If 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 through the end of the train. You want it to remain stuck therefore the other players cannot play onto it either.

If you have a selection of playing a domino on a single of two opponents’ marked trains, choose the opponent with additional dominoes to play.

Unless you have spares, so you are only playing your train, and also the end of your own train would fit with an opponent’s marked train, don’t listen to it. Why unstick an opponent?

If you’re messing around with the principles that say doubles do not possess to be covered, here is another tip: Play doubles as quickly as possible – even out of your train.

You should play a double as quickly as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the midst of your train does not destroy the integrity of the train. It just lowers the purpose total of your hand. When somebody else quickly scans the blogosphere, you don’t desire to be caught with a double inside your hand that you could have played earlier in the hand.


There certainly luck involved in Mexican Train, but luck has a propensity to even out with time, with everyone getting their share of good 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 level that you will be winning more often than the other players.