Texas 88

This is six player version of Texas 42, which used two sets of Double six tiles. These rules were included in domino sets manufactured by Puremco Manufacturing.

Equipment

The game uses two double six domino sets. The players should divide themselves into two teams of three players each, and sit around the table in alternating order. The rules much like Texas 42, but with some exceptions.

The Deal

Both sets of Double Six tiles are mixed together as one set and dealt to the players as hands of nine tiles. This leaves a widowed hand of two tiles, known as the kitty. The kitty is left face down on the table until after the bidding.

The Play

The game consists of a bidding phase followed by a trick taking phase.

Bidding begins with the player to the dealer's left, and goes around once. Bids start at 60 and increase to 88 in steps of two (i.e. 62, 64, 66 ..., 88) and include the suit that goes with the bid. In order to bid in a particular trump suit, the bidder must have at least one domino of that suit in his hand. Bids above 88 must be in multiples of 88, that is 176, 264, or 352.

The winner of the bid examines the two tiles in the kitty and may exchange both, one, or neither of the kitty tiles with tiles from his hand, but he must replace any count in the kitty with non-count tiles from his hand. The winner of the bid does not have to display or disclose the contents of the kitty, either before or after the exchange, although he may do so if he wishes.

After the kitty has been examined, the winner of the bid leads the first tile. Trumps for the hand are the suit declared by the winner as part of his bidding.

Suits must be followed, and the highest domino of the suit led or the highest trump catches the trick, just as in Texas 42. There are two copies of every tile, so if both duplicates are played in the same trick, the first of the identical tiles to be played is considered to be higher than the second duplicate.

Scoring

All count tiles are worth the same point value as in Texas 42 -- that is, a tile whose pips total to five ([5-0], [4-1], [2-3]) count one point each, and those pips total to ten ([5-5], [4-6]) count two points each. Each trick is worth 2 points, regardless of the number of counters in it, for a total of 88 points in each round of play. The kitty does not contribute any points, since all count tiles must be removed before play begins. The first team to reach 500 points wins the game.

Scoring may also be done by marks, in which case the first team to score 7 marks is the winner. A mark is a victory in one round.

Comments & Strategy

There is no Nel-O, Plunge, or Forced Bidding. If you do not know what these exotic bids from Texas 42 are, then do not worry about it.