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Number 9 Train

Contributed by Steve Shafer , who writes: This domino game is similar to mexican train except that a double nine set is used. We use a small backpack [to hold the undealt dominoes] instead of having the dominoes laying on the table. That's not a rule - it just makes it easier for short armed people to draw if they need to.

Players:
2-5 players with a tournament version for 6 players
Equipment:
Double nine set of dominoes and a mexican train hub.
Drawing:
Using a double 9 set of dominoes each player draws one domino to see who draws first, with closest to double 9 [highest spot value] drawing first. each player draws 11 dominoes up to 5 players, in which case the set is exhausted, so the double nine starts all 5 player games. With 2-4 players the holder of the highest double starts.
Play:
The highest double is played to the hub and if able that player plays as many dominoes as they can in a train from the hub. If the starting player cannot play on the double on his first turn, play simply passes to the next player. Subsequent players play either starting from the hub or on by extending existing trains (if any). If they cannot or do not wish to play they can either pass or draw (if any dominoes are left in the boneyard / backpack). When drawing, only one domino is drawn; this domino can be played if it fits [and if this makes further dominoes playable, these can be added to it].
Object:
The player with the highest score after agreed time limit wins, so to get the highest score is the object.
Scoring:
Playing the starting double only (with no train), 7 points (2 for the domino and 5 for getting the double).
Playing the starting double with a train, 2 points for each domino plus 5 for starting a train and 5 for getting the double.
Playing on the hub, 2 points for each domino and 5 for starting a train.
Playing on an existing train, 2 points for each domino played.
Bonuses:
Grand slam: if a player gets the starting double with a complete train that player gets32 points for the entire train, plus 25 points for getting a grand slam. Each remaining player going around the table back to the grand slam plays and scores points for as many dominoes as they can play. Also, a player with a sweep played after a grand slam only gets 27 (for playing from the hub) or 22 (playing to an existing train) and the ten points for the sweep, no bonus for captured dominoes. After all have played as many as they can the grand slam gets a point for each domino left in the other players hands (captured dominoes).
A Sweep: if a player gets and can play a complete train it is similar to a grand slam only they get either 27 (for starting at the hub) or 22 (playing to an existing train), plus 10 points for the sweep and a point for each unplayed domino in the other players hands. Note: it is up to the players to agree what rule to play about whether other players get to play after a sweep.
Going out; the player who first runs out of dominoes gets the score for their final play plus a point for each "captured" domino remaining in the other players' hands.

True number 9 train (or tournament play)

6 players are needed. The double 9 is placed and remains in the center for all rounds. The players draw 9 dominoes each.

Scoring:
Playing from the hub, 2 points for each domino and 5 points for playing from the hub.
Playing to an existing train, 2 points for each domino played.
Bonuses:
A sweep in this case gets 23 (for playing from the hub) or 18( for playing on an existing train) plus ten points and a point for each remaining domino in the other players' hands (after any other players play according to the rules agreed).
Going out:
Score for final play plus a point for each "captured" domino remaining in the other players' hands.

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Last updated 4th July 2009