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Mexican Train» Forums » Rules

Subject: Our Take on Rules and Variations rss

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Jack North
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There are plenty of variations of Mexican Train, but here's what we've found to make it challenging, and how we deal with certain situations:

Only one train may be started per turn; your own train, the Mexican Train (unless one has already been started) or another player's train (see below.)

When you start your own train you can play as many tiles as possible from your hand to your train on that same turn. Note that this is only applicable when you start your own train.

If you cannot start a train even after drawing a tile from the boneyard, you must place a marker on the space where your starting tile would normally be placed. This allows other players to start your train for you! Why would a player choose to start your train? Because it denies you the opportunity to start it and play multiple tiles! Vicious!

Only one Mexican train may be created per round. Once a player has started it, any player may add to it on their turn, but no other Mexican Train may be created.

When you play a double tile you must immediately play a second tile anywhere on the table where a legal move is allowed! You need not "satisfy" the double you just placed! As long as you can play a second tile you have fulfilled the requirement of the double tile. If you cannot play a second tile, you draw a tile from the boneyard and either play it or keep it in your hand if it is not playable. The next player MUST now satisfy the double. If unable to do so, he/she draws a tile from the boneyard and if possible satisfies the double, or, if unable to do so, adds the tile to his/her hand. Play passes to the next player who must attempt to satisfy the double the same way. This continues until the double has been satisfied. No other play is possible by any player until the double has been satisfied. As always, if you are unable to play you must place a marker on your own train, if it is not already there.

And get this: After playing a double your second tile can be another double! Yes, you can play another double on another train (Mexican train, or another player's open train.) This fulfills your requirement of playing a second tile! In this case, the next player must attempt to satisfy the first double as described above. Only after the first double has been satisfied must players attempt to satisfy the second double!

(NOTE: The second double does not require you to immediately play another tile, as does the first. So there will never be three doubles in play, thank goodness.)

Once the boneyard has been depleted play continues as long as players are able to play tiles. It is only when a player must draw from the empty boneyard that the round is immediately ended. NOTE: if the boneyard is depleted a player may not play a double tile unless he is able to play a second tile from his hand, since there are not tiles in the boneyard to draw from.

We have recently re-discovered this fun game, after almost a decade of having it sit on a shelf. (We're hoping it's called Mexican Train because it was begun in Mexico!)

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