I know that Mexican Train is actually a friendly game, often played with friends and family, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. The most important thing is the social aspect of the game: talking, laughing, and getting fun.

With that said, I also know that we now have people out there who will like to become better around this game. Especially if the friendly people you play with are winning more frequently than you are and also you are starting to get distraught and depressed over it.

Winning this game of Mexican Train Dominoes will not be as hard to do you might think. There are several simple tips that may have a dramatic effect on the results of the video game. Weather you happen to be beginning player, an intermediate player, or even an advanced player, you may still benefit from these strategic tips.

Mexican Train comes with plenty of rule variations that are used throughout the world, however the majority of my strategic tips affect all the most popular rule sets and I’ve noted inside the text where the strategy can vary for many different rules.

Organize your dominoes into the best possible train

Needless to say, every hand starts by “dealing” a number of dominoes to each and every player. For the way so many people are playing, this number can vary from 7 or 8 to 15 roughly. The actual number will not be relevant. But it is very important to organize your dominoes into the ideal train prior to starting play.

After the starting double has become played, by you or someone else, you create a train together with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value as the opening double and connect as much dominoes as is possible for that train.

To actually calculate the perfect method to organize a player’s dominoes, one would have to consider every domino that has been played up to now, and do quite a bit of math so that you can calculate odds. The very best play at any time inside the game is determined by what has been played as much as that time. Because this is unrealistic, I like to “approximate” the most effective train by using these 3 basic rules:

The train with the most dominoes is most beneficial.

Given 2 trains of equal length, the train with the most points inside it is better.

Given 2 trains of equal length and equal point value, the very best train has higher point value dominoes placed as far forward inside the train as you can.

Play your spares first anytime you can

Playing a spare is the first order of business. If there is no possible play through the spares, then play out of your train.

For those who have spares, then play from the end of the train whenever you can

This is important! The initial option is to try out from your spares, however your second option is to try out through the end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find a lot of times where you play from the end of your own train, and suddenly one of the spares can fit on the end. This has the identical effect as playing an extra.

Watch for opportunities to change your caboose

In the event the last domino within your train is actually a 10-4, and one of your spares is 10-2, and you may play either upon an opponent’s marked train (when i state “marked train”, I am talking about a players’ train which is open for anyone to experience upon), or on the Mexican train, play the 10-4, and move the ten-2 to the end of your train. If someone is out before you do, you have saved yourself 2 points. This really is such a common occurrence, that during the course of an entire game, you are likely to save a large number of points.

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

The Mexican (or community) Train is the most common spot to dump your spares. You can’t do this if this 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 your dominoes have been in your train, then you don’t need the Mexican train, so don’t start it.

Know when you ought to play by yourself marked train vs. another train when you have an alternative.

Sometimes you will be confronted with a choice of playing Judi Tembak Ikan on your own marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or even the Mexican Train. You don’t wish to play all on your own train, thus removing your penny, except if you have another domino it is possible to play on your own train.

For instance, let’s say you might have just one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a cent is on it), in fact it is your turn. You are unable to take part in the double-6 which means you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s repeat the end of your own train is a 10 as well as the end of the Mexican Train is actually a 10. So there is a choice. You can play in the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.

The right option is to experience the ten-8 on the Mexican Train, not all on your own. This may keep your own train marked and available to one other players thus improving the chance that you might play in the double-6 and head out.

Play Ruthlessly!

When 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 through the end of your train. You would like it to remain stuck therefore the other players cannot play on it either.

For those who have a selection of playing a domino on one of two opponents’ marked trains, choose the opponent with increased dominoes to play.

Should you not possess spares, which means you are only playing out your train, as well as the end of the train would fit on an opponent’s marked train, don’t play it. Why unstick an opponent?

If you’re playing with the guidelines that say doubles do not have to get covered, the following is another tip: Play doubles as quickly as possible – even out of your train.

You should play a double as soon as possible. Playing a double lewnqd the midst of your train will not destroy the integrity of your own train. It simply lowers the purpose total of your hand. When another person goes out, you don’t want to be caught using a double within your hand that one could have played earlier inside the hand.


There certainly luck involved in Mexican Train, but luck has an inclination to even out as time passes, with everyone getting their fair share of great 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 most likely, improve it to the stage that you are winning more often than the other players.