42 is a form of trick-taking game that is played by using a customary set of double-six dominoes. The game is also known by the name of Texas 42. It is frequently referred to as being Texas' national game, and it continues to enjoy a high level of popularity across many parts of the state. Gaming tournaments of 42 are regularly held in various towns, and every year on the 1st Saturday of March, the State Championship tournament is organized in Hallettsville, Texas. In 2011, 42 was designated as Texas' official State Domino Game.


Rules of 42


A game of 42 is played among 4 individuals divided into 2 teams of 2 each. The players sit opposite to each other on the gaming table. The main objective of this game is being the 1st team to attain 7 "marks" or points. The game comprises of several hands, which may be worth of 1 or more marks. The mark or point value of a hand depends on the bid. It is however important to remember that just like many other games, the game of 42 has been modified or changed by particular families or groups, and this has resulted in the development of countless variations of the original game.

The Bid

Before the game commences, each of the players is going to bid the point number that they will attempt to obtain by catching the tricks. The bidder is going to determine what he should bid by calculating how many tricks is going to get lost as well as the count dominos that is going to get lost. 30 is the minimum available bid. An individual player may also choose to pass or make no bid at all. In case all the players pass their option to bid, the dealer will be either bound to bid or dominos will be shuffled again by next dealer. As the total points in this game is 42, the maximum possible bid is 42 except in only 1 exception: a player can also bid 84. This means that like in 42, the player has to catch all the tricks, and the eventual results of these tricks is going to be stacked one above the other as they are being played. This prevents the players from knowing what has been already introduced into the game. The advantage of bidding "84" instead of "42" is that in case the bidder is successful, the bidder gets to win 2 marks instead of only 1. As the bid winner declares the trump, 1 strategy is bidding high if 1 has got most of the dominos in 1 particular suit.

Scoring in 42

Each trick in a game of 42 is worth 1 point. There are 5 "count" pieces that total up to that point number: the 2-3, 1-4, and 0-5 are worth 5 points each; the 6-4 and 5-5 are each worth of 10 points. The total of the count pieces comes to 35, which when taken with the 7 tricks equals 42. This is the maximum number of points present in 1 hand from which the name of this game has been derived.

A typical game of 42 is played for 7 marks, as 7 marks can create capital letters ALL on paper.