Mexican Train Dominoes vs. Regular Dominoes – No More Confusions

Mexican Train Dominoes vs. Regular dominoes is expected when you surf the dominoes topics. Mexican train dominoes are a variant of regular dominoes. It becomes popular daily for its greatness. You can also play traditional dominoes for a huge get-together.

Therefore, there are some significant differences between these two games. To learn them, you can read our article.

Mexican Train Dominoes vs. Regular Dominoes
Mexican Train Dominoes vs. Regular Dominoes


You may seek the definition of Mexican Train Dominoes vs. Regular Dominoes first. Below is the information to know “why is it called Mexican train dominoes?”. You may also get an introduction to regular dominoes, which you play as indoor games.

Mexican Train Dominoes

What is the “Mexican Train Dominoes” game?

The first mention of Mexican Train was in an article.  The article’s name is “Mexican Train is on its Way “. firstly, the article was published in Volume 3, issue 1 (Jan-Feb 1971) of Games and Puzzles.

The definition of “Mexican Train” is a variation of the standard dominoes game. In this version, each player plays from a hand of double-six dominoes. This game’s goal is to play all dominoes from one’s hand onto the trains of matching colors. It should be done before another player plays.

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Domino sets of Mexican Train Dominoes are different from regular domino sets. Most sets will have 28 tiles instead of the standard 28 tiles plus 6 jokers (42 tiles total).

There may not be a “double blank” tile. It is removed as it simply has no matching train. But, some players may substitute another existing pip for this purpose. Otherwise, they can remove two pips from another tile to compensate for removing the double-blank tile.

Regular Dominoes

Regular domino sets are made of plastic or wood. You can play with dominoes which have 28 tiles. Again, these tiles contain 28 black dots and 2 “blank” white. Some players remove the blank to make it an even 30.

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Regular Dominoes do not contain any train marks at all, instead having only the consecutive pips along each side of each tile which help aid in placement during gameplay.

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Who invented the Mexican Train Dominoes? Who first introduced standard dominoes? Responses to these questions are available here:

Mexican Train Dominoes

Robert C. Daley invented Mexican Train Dominoes in 1971. He modified other forms of games that were played with dominoes. Gradually, he made it entertainment for families to enjoy.

Children got a huge interest in playing the game. It helped them in learning dominoes in a newer way. Besides, this game can improve social interaction among family members.

There used to be many similar games played with dominoes. It may be a variant of a Chinese game called Congkak. There is a saying that it evolves from a commercialized version of Conquian. But this theory lacks evidence to support it.

However, the word “dominoes” derives from the closeness to a carnival costume worn in 16th-century Venice.  It means that this game is one of the few domino games to have a dimly credible (if unproven) etymology.

You may find another game very interesting, just visit : How to Play Gin Rummy 5000

Regular Dominoes

Many people believe regular dominoes originated in China during the 12th century. In some cases, Egypt or Arab origins are also correct.

In Italy, this game first appeared in the early 1700s. The rest of Europe became increasingly familiar with this phenomenon. It turned into a fashionable game in places like home and pubs.

Setting Up

How to set up regular dominoes? How can you set up Mexican train dominoes? How to Play Mexican Train Dominoes? – Well, these questions are answered here:

Mexican Train Dominoes

Sitting opposite each other next to one another, you can start the Mexican train game. You can also form teams for more fun.

First, you need to shuffle all dominoes together. Then, you place them face down into two separate piles. However, the number of tiles is based on the number of players in the game.  This is what we call the “train” pile for this game.

You should arrange sufficient dominoes. It ensures that each player has a pile at their end. The number of dominoes is as follows:

  • 2 players = 28 bones (28 tiles)
  • 3 players = 42 bones (42 tiles)
  • 4 players = 56 bones (56 tiles)
  • 5 players = 70 bones (70 tiles)
  • 6 players = 84 bones (84 tiles)

Europeans call the tiles “bones” in this game. Anyway, 7+ player types and amounts vary per person’s preference.

Regular Dominoes

Players should sit opposite each other at a table, with partners or teams next to one another. After shuffling the tiles face down, each player draws seven tiles.

If doubles are allowed on both ends, then all players draw 14 tiles. Everyone draws seven tiles if only one end enables doubles.

Drawing this many tiles ensures that every player receives an equal number of high-scoring tiles. It can be like sixes and nines.

Players get an initial score for the gameplay. They score by putting the tiles in a row or column in front of them. It helps everyone to see their tiles.

Playing Methods

How to play Mexican train dominoes? How can you win regular dominoes?” – we answered them here:

Mexican Train Dominoes

You need to follow two special rules to play Mexican Train.

The first one is any player drawing the double-blank must use it as one tile. They can use it either towards themselves or other players. The second rule is any doubles played must be placed on top of a matching singleton.

For example, the only single tile matches double three to another three. Then, you can put the double three on top of it to make a melded triplet. It should be done before playing others.

You can start playing by drawing a tile. If there is no tile, you can skip it. Then, you should play one tile on the train end. You can also start your own train if there is none to play.

Later, you must draw another tile. Similarly, place it to connect to any tile along the route or one of its dominoes. After playing a tile, it is safe from playing again by any player till the game finishes.

How to Play Mexican Train Dominoes
How to Play Mexican Train Dominoes

Regular Dominoes

Each player draws seven tiles after shuffling. You should remember that only matching pips count during the draw from a double-six set.

You should not mix with all 56 playing tiles after drawing them from the board.

Suppose a player fails to play a matching bone. They must draw a new tile and add it to their hand.

After each turn, if a player has no tiles, they must draw a new tile from the stockpile. Then, add it to their hand.

Mexican Train vs Regular Dominoes Comparison Chart

FactorMexican Train DominoesRegular or Standard Dominoes
TeamsTwo teamsTwo or more teams
PartnersTwo in each teamUnlimited in each team
Best for4-6 playersAny number
Played betweenTwo teamsIndividually
Set upBoth groups have separate pilesPutting dominoes face down
Mexican Dominoes vs Regular Dominoes Comparison

If you feel the article contains sufficient information, you are invited to read other writings of Lawnsportsgear too. Have a great day!

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