- 91 Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes
- 8 Small Train Markers
- 1 Train Hub
Object of the Game
To be the first player to play all of your dominoes, or to have the lowest number of points at the end of the game. The lowest total score after all rounds is the winner.
Place the dominoes facedown on the table and mix them together. Players draw their initial hand from those mixed dominoes. The number of dominoes drawn by each player depends on the number of players in the game:
Each player should arrange their dominoes so they can see the color dots but other players cannot. After all players have drawn, the facedown dominoes remaining on the table become the "boneyard" from which players will draw dominoes during the game.
Each player selects one train marker and sits it in front of them on the table next to their dominoes. The train hub is placed in the center of the table.
The player who has the highest double domino in their hand begins the game by placing that domino in the center of the train hub. If that player has another domino in their hand with one end that matches the center double domino they can also begin their personal train on the same turn.
To begin their personal train, the player places the domino in the empty train station that is closest to them on the train hub. That player's turn is now over and play continues to the left.
Fig. 1 - A game is started with a double
domino in the center of the hub.
All players must try to begin their personal train on their first turn. Each player may only have one personal train. If a player is unable to match one of their dominoes to the center double domino, they must take one domino from the boneyard.
If they are able to play that domino immediately they may do so and their turn is over. If they are not able to play it immediately they must add the domino to their hand and place their train marker in their train station.
Other players who have already started their personal trains may now start that player's personal train by following the rules explained in the Train Markers section below.
Any time a domino is played it must have a side that matches the open end of the last domino on a train. The matching end must be placed so it touches the open end of a domino. Players can only play one domino on each turn unless they are playing a double domino.
Fig. 2 - How to place a new domino
When a double domino is played, it should be placed perpendicular to the last domino on the train. If a player plays a double domino they must immediately "satisfy" that double domino by playing a second domino that has one end that matches the double domino.
If that player does not have a matching domino in their hand they must draw a domino from the boneyard. If they are still unable to satisfy the double domino, that player places their train marker on their train and their turn is over.
Fig. 3 - Placement of a double domino
The next player must then try to satisfy the double domino. If they cannot satisfy it with a domino from their hand they must draw a domino from the boneyard. If they are able to use the drawn domino to satisfy the double they must do so and their turn is then over.
If that player is still unable to satisfy the double domino, they must place their own train marker on their own personal train and their turn is over.
The game continues in this "doubles" phase until a player is able to satisfy the double domino. Regular play resumes with the player to the left of the player who satisfied the double.
If a player is unable to play a domino on their turn they must place their train marker on their train. The train marker should be positioned on the last domino on that player's personal train, or on that player's train station if they have not started their personal train. That player's turn is now over.
Fig. 4 - Placement of a train marker.
As long as the train marker remains on a player's personal train, other players may play dominoes on that player's train. If that player is able to play a domino once again on his/ her personal train, the marker is removed and other players are no longer able to play their dominoes on that train.
After a player has started their personal train they may choose to start a "Mexican Train" by placing a tile with one end that matches the center double domino anywhere on the table.
Only one Mexican Train can be started during the game. Any player can start the Mexican Train on their turn, and it can be started at any point during the game. The Mexican Train should not connect to the train hub and should not interfere with players' personal trains. Any player can play on the Mexican Train.
Fig. 5 - A mexican train
On a player's turn, they can make any one of the following plays:
The player can play on their personal train, or they can begin their personal train if they have not already done so.
The player can play on the Mexican Train, or they can begin a Mexican Train if another player has not already started one.
The player can play on another player's train if that player has their train marker on their train.
End of the Game
When a player has played their last domino, they are the winner. If the last domino played is a double, it does not have to be satisfied with another domino.
If a player cannot play a domino from their hand and cannot draw a tile because the boneyard is empty, he or she must place their train marker on their personal train and pass. If all players are forced to pass, the game ends at that point.
At the end of the game, players add up the dot value of their remaining tiles and the player with the lowest score is the winner.