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​ Opening Tile Strategy for Mexican Train Dominoes

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Opening Tile Strategies for Mexican Train Dominoes

There are several strategies for opening in Mexican Train dominoes. If you have only one matching domino for the opening color, then there isn’t any decision. Here are some strategies to think about:

1. First lay out your hand in your rack. Put all the tiles together as you would play them. If 12/12 is in the train hub. And you have a 12/11 and a 12/9, for example, lay out your hand in order.  For example, 12/11, 11/3, 3/5 and so on on one side and 12/9, 9/9, 9/4 on the other. 

2. Play the tile that goes the farthest. In our example above, if you have six tiles you can play in order with the 12/11 and four with the 12/9, play the 12/11, unless:

3. Play the tile that matches up to a double quickest. It's always great to play a double quickly. That way, you get more options to play as fast as possible. And, you force other players to have to play on your hand, hopefully, messing up theirs! 

4. If you don't have a matching tile beyond the first one, start the Mexican Train. Let's say you only have one tile (12/9)  that matches the opening double and you don't have a match for it. You have no other 9s in your hand. The best play is to start the Mexican Train. Other players will play on the train, so you can play there without picking from the bone yard. If you are in a tight game, you might want to not do this and play the 12/9 on your hand. You can then pick from the boneyard and hopefully get a 9. But this strategy is usually very effective. We've played many games where someone has never played on their train and still won. 

Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts.

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