Mexican Train is an entertaining, social domino game that can be enjoyed by a group of players.  Dominos are played into the middle with matching numbers on open trains.  Keep your score low to win the game.  Find the video tutorial and explanation below.

Mexican Train Tutorial:


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Needed: Domino Set; 2-10 players; pen and paper for scorekeeping

Setup: The first round starts with the double 12.  The second round starts with the double 11 and so on down to the double zero starting the last round.  The beginning double domino is set to the side while players are drawing dominos.  Players draw the following amount of dominos based on how many players are playing.

  • 2-4 players: 15 dominos each
  • 5-6 players: 12 dominos each
  • 7-8 players: 10 dominos each
  • 9-10 players: 8 dominos each

The extra dominos are pushed to the side to create the boneyard.

Objective: The objective of the game is to have the lowest score at the end of the game.  Each round ends when a player has played all his dominos into the middle. Players score the total value on their unplayed dominos at the end of each round. 

Game Play: Dominos are played into the middle by matching dominos together with the same number.  Play begins by matching one of your dominos with the middle double domino number.  Each player is allowed to play as many dominos as he/she wants on the first turn of a round.  Starting with a player’s second turn only one domino can be played during a turn, except when playing a double domino.  When a double domino is played,  an additional domino has to be played on the double domino.  When a player is unable to play onto an open train he/she must draw a domino from the boneyard.  The drawn domino is played if possible.  If the drawn domino cannot be played, the player must open his/her train by placing a marker (such as a penny) on top of the last domino of his/her train.  The train remains open until the owner of the train plays a domino on to it.  A player on his/her second turn or later can start the Mexican Train.  The Mexican Train is started by placing a matching domino onto the middle double domino again.  Only one Mexican Train can be started each round, and any player can play on it.

Scoring:  At the end of a round each player scores the sum of the points on his/her unplayed dominos.  The player with the lowest score after all the rounds have been played wins the game.

  • If the boneyard is empty and a player cannot play that player’s turn is skipped.
  • When a player with an open train plays on another player’s open train, his own train stays open.   A train is only closed when played on by its owner.
  • A double must be played on before any other dominos are played.
  • Each player gets at least one turn even if a player is able to play all his dominos on the first turn.  Once all the players have taken their first turn the score is updated based on each players unplayed dominos.