Mexican Train

Mexican Train is a game which is played using dominoes. It is also known simply as Trains. The main objective of this game is to play with all the domino pieces from his hand onto 1 or more chains called "trains," that emanate from one central spot or "station". The name of the game, Mexican Train, is derived from an optional special train which belongs to all the players. However, Mexican Train can also be played without using this train; such variants of the game are commonly known as "Domino Trains" or "Private Trains". The game of Mexican Train is closely related to another game called Chicken Foot.

Mexican Train

Objective of the game

The main objective of all games belonging to the Trains family is to end as the 1st player to place each and every domino that the player has in his hand. Dominoes can be placed on the player's train or on Mexican Train if it is available or even on other players' trains under special circumstances.

Mexican Train Setup

Mexican Train is normally played by two to eight players, although a much larger domino set can even support players up to 16 or more. A set of double-six may be utilized by up to 4 players; however, the extended sets that are described below are normally recommended to permit a considerable boneyard and starting hand:

  • 13 players or more can use a double-eighteen set;
  • If the number of players ranges between 9 and 12, a double- fifteen set can be utilized;
  • If the number of players ranges between 4 and 8, a double-twelve set can be utilized;
  • If the number of players is only 2 or 3, a double-nine set is used

A game of Mexican Train also requires:

  • 1 marker or token for each player and 1 additional token
  • 1 special spacer, which is called the "station," is used to space the trains evenly around central domino
  • A pencil and a paper for keeping score

Many domino sets also include a station as well as special train-shaped tokens that are used as markers. Packaged games that come with one central "station" as well as custom tokens are also available. However, it is important to remember that it is not strictly necessary to have the station piece, and various materials such as coins, poker chips, or even candy pieces and paper slips can be used for markers.

At the beginning of each and every round, the dominoes have to be shuffled and placed facing them down; they are then drawn by the players to built their hands. With one double-six set, 4 players can each draw 7 dominoes. While using extended sets, the players can draw in the following manner:

  • 7 or more players can draw 11 dominoes each
  • 2 to 4 players can draw 15 dominoes each
  • 5 to 6 players can draw 12 dominoes each

Any leftover dominoes are kept at one side to form the "boneyard".