Domino Games: Train Family

Train Family

These domino connecting games take their family name from the feature that the players build their own private line of tiles ("train") instead of playing on a shared layout. These are shedding games - the goal is to 'domino', i.e. to go out, since scores are based on the tiles left in the other players hands.

Games of this family are usually played with a larger domino set, say double nine or double twelve, but it is possible to play them with a double six set for a faster game. A smaller set and fewer players is not as good a game, however. You would need to adjust the size of the hands accordingly.

Given a double twelve set, you can make smaller non-traditional sets to adjust the games to either less time or a smaller number of players. If you decide to build a smaller set, you should consider the problem of whether or not a single train exists (i.e. whether it is possible to connect the entire set of dominoes into one train), since it will affect the game. This problem is discussed on the Mathematics of Dominoes page.

Here is a list of traditional and invented domino games of the train family on pagat.com.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

GamePlayersEquipmentGame type
Honest John 3–8  [9:9] [12:12] connecting:star equal end matching shedding
Mexican Train 2, 3, 4–8, 9, 10  [9:9] [12:12] connecting:star equal end matching shedding
Number 9 Train 2–5, 6  [9:9] connecting:star equal end matching shedding
Slosh 4  [6:6] connecting:cross equal end matching shedding
Trains 4–10  [9:9] [12:12] connecting:disconnected equal end matching shedding

Notes on the index

Invented games, mostly submitted by readers of pagat.com, are listed in italics.

Players
The preferred number of players is shown in bold. Other numbers with which it is possible to play are shown in grey.
Equipment
Western domino sets are indicated by the highest number of pips on a tile end - for example [6:6] is a standard double 6 set of 28 tiles, [12:12] is a set of 91 tiles with up to 12 pips on each end.
Game Type
Indicates other families to which the game belongs.
This page was contributed by Joe Celko (jcelko212@earthlink.net).   © Joe Celko 2001. Last updated: 2 August 2020

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