Train is 90% skill when you win and 90% luck when someone else wins.
Train is meant to be fun and train trash talking is part of the game.
- Set up your beginning hand trying to maximize unloading the most tiles.
- Set up the tiles end to end. It’s easiest to see with a tile rack.
- In building your personal train, consider that it might be best to build a train with fewer tiles but with more points, especially toward the front of the train. If you play, you must immediately answer a double, there is a greater chance you might have to break up your train to satisfy a double. If you have high pip tiles at the back of the train in your hand, you might then have a harder time playing those remaining tiles.
- Arrange the tiles in your hand in such a way that other players cannot easily tell the how many tiles you have in your train. Use fake breaks to let them think it’s not continuous.
- Use the Mexican Train and other eligible trains to unload high-point tiles. While you might be inclined to make it a priority to rid your hand of all extras (including low-point tiles) early in the round, optimistically assuming your train is a sure play, consider that you could be forced to break it up to satisfy a double. This could leave you with high point tiles that are not a sure play!
- When you have a choice of plays, consider what possible advantage or disadvantage your play will have for other players, especially those who are leading in the scoring. For example, if you play a double and are able to either satisfy it or play a non-double on another eligible train, consider which play will likely be most favorable for you.
- Since playing a double from any location in your personal train does not break up the train, be open to playing it at any time it is playable.
- Monitor how close the other players might be to ending the round, and adjust your strategy if needed, e.g., if you can play a double and leave it unsatisfied, they might be forced to draw and put their markers on their trains.
- Open doubles must be satisfied in the order they were played. If you are going to play two or more doubles during your turn and you want to satisfy one of them to end your turn, play that double first.
- If you are obligated to satisfy a double and you suspect that all 13 tiles of the needed denomination have already been played, count before you draw, lest you unnecessarily acquire an extra tile.
- Although it's fun ending a round with your last tile, remember: The low total score wins the game. Too much risk in trying to end rounds can defeat you in the end. IF you are holding low tiles and you don’t go out, it doesn’t matter.
- A good bluff on your part might lead another player to make a poor choice in play. Train is a lot like poker, keep them guessing or you can always complain even when you have a good hand.