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Subject: Rule Question: How many Mexican Trains? rss

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Li'l Ronnie Post
United States
Seattle
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We have the Cardinal version which appears to have slightly different rules than the rules linked to in the links section.

That said, do most people play that a player can start any number of Mexican Trains (assuming they have a match for the hub domino), or that there can be only one?
 
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Re:Rule Question: How many Mexican Trains?
We play only 1 mexican train. Starting any number of mexican trains seems like it would be too easy to get rid of all your tiles.
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Bryan Jensen
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Layton
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Re:Rule Question: How many Mexican Trains?
We've been playing Mexican Train since the mid-90s, so I don't know how "authentic" our rule is:

There is one "main train" that is started out by the double for the prevailing round number. Each person can also have a train, headed by any tile featuring a number of the dominant hand number. Before the hand commences, each person can unload, if they choose, as many tiles as they can from their hand into their own train. This speeds up the hands, in general, but winning the hand doesn't always favor those who start with a long train of their own.

When a person has to draw a tile from the boneyard, and cannot play, then their train (we use poker chips) becomes open to others to play upon it. A person can only close their train when they again play upon their own train.

The main train can always be played upon by anyone.

Playing with only one central train makes for very long hands.
 
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Re:Rule Question: How many Mexican Trains?
I didn't mean to imply that we play with only 1 train, period. Just one "Mexican" train which you call the "main train." Each player still has his or her own "personal" train, but you can't make as many "Mexican" trains as you have tiles for.

AFAIK the "play as many as you can" at the beginning of your hand is a variation and not in the "original" rules, as a lucky player could domino on his or her first turn.

Nick
 
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Bryan Jensen
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Re:Rule Question: How many Mexican Trains?
NickB (#50071),

Yes the "get rid as many as you can" is a variation we tried out to see if it could speed up play. It was not in our original rules. And we don't force anyone to unload their opening draw into a train. The variation worked but does not guarantee a winner to the player with the longest starting train. Occasionally someone will domino on first draw, but rarely. (Really exciting when it happens, see limit rule below.) And someone with a long personal starting train does not usually win, as one has few bones with which to play on other trains or the Mexican train. But in general the variation does speed up the game.

We've also tried, rather than the conventional "lowest score wins" approach to letting the winner accumulate all the losers points. Actually this rarely changes the winner but does shake up the usual second or third place winner.

Also to speed things up, a person losing with a lot of bones can take a flat 100 point limit. If they add their pips and it exceeds 100, though, they must take the higher score.

We've played a few variations about "hanging" a train which freezes play. The way we originally played has any "hung" tile (unfilled double) freezing play till filled. We only play that rule as applying to the Mexican train.

Can you tell that we like a faster paced Mexican Train game??
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