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How To Run A Mexican Train Dominoes Tournament

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Running a Mexican Train Dominoes Event

We have been running train meet and greet events throughout the country and they have been great fun for everyone.

There is no greater delight than watching someone play for the first time and see the light go on when they like the game. It’s been our experience that it takes three rounds of play before the light goes off in their head and they feel comfortable playing on their own.

Here’s some tips:

Divide Player By Skill Level

Put the beginners at one table. Have a seasoned player or coach sit next to them and view their tile racks and advise them on moves.

Different Rules

There as many variations of dominoes as there are players. Some people are very resistant to playing any way then their way.

Let them play with a group of people who also play with their rules. We run our tournament with the chickenfoot answering three on a double and people seem to love this version.

It also adds an element of strategy with the doubles.

Who Goes First?

This is a common question and we let each table choose how to best do this. Some people play that the winner goes first. Others that the person to the right of the winner starts. For our starting round, we let the person who drove or walked the furthest open the game.

Best Table Set-up

We found rectangular tables of six with the beginners sitting in the middle seat and a coach on either side works best. It also isn’t too long of a table and no one has to reach.

Making it Easy

We definitely recommend having racks and tile bags. The boneyard can be confusing for beginners and reaching across strangers can be intimidating. Tile bags make it much easier.

The racks really save on space and there are no dropped tiles.


On non tournament train meet-ups, we give a prize for the lowest and highest score for each table.

On tournaments, we give a first second and third prize for lowest score for the entire group. If there is a fee for the tournament, we divide it up with first prize getting 40% . Second prize -30%, Third Prize -20%.

The other 10 % pays for refreshments.


We are crossing the country this summer and running tournaments on the way, please let us know if you would like us to help with your tournament. Our goal is to have fun and to teach as many people as possible the game


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