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Official Texas 42 Rules

Texas 42, also known as Forty-Two or Four-Hand Texas, is a popular domino game that combines trick-taking, bidding, and point scoring for a dynamic and strategic challenge. Here's a breakdown of the essentials for playing Texas 42:

Objective: The objective of Texas 42 is to be the first team to reach a pre-determined number of points, usually 250.

Equipment:

  • A standard double-six domino set (28 tiles)

Setup:

  1. Players:

    • Texas 42 is played by four players, divided into two teams. Teammates sit opposite each other.

  2. Shuffling and Drawing:

    • Shuffle the dominoes face down.

    • Each player draws 7 tiles.

Gameplay:

  1. Bidding:

    • The player to the left of the dealer starts the bidding. Bids represent the number of points a team believes it can score in that hand, starting from 30 and going up to 42 in increments of one.

    • Players can either bid a higher number or pass.

    • Bidding continues until three players pass consecutively. The highest bidder names the trump suit (suit with the highest value in that round).

  2. Naming Trump:

    • The highest bidder declares a suit (e.g., 5s, 3s) as trump. All dominoes containing the trump number are considered trump tiles.

    • The highest bidder leads the first trick.

  3. Playing Tricks:

    • The player leading the trick places a domino in the center of the table.

    • The other players must follow suit if they can (play a tile with the same number as the leading tile).

    • If a player cannot follow suit, they may play any domino.

    • The highest trump tile wins the trick if any are played. If no trump is played, the highest tile of the lead suit wins the trick.

    • The winner of the trick leads the next trick.

  4. Scoring:

    • Each trick is worth 1 point.

    • Additionally, there are five special tiles worth extra points:

      • 0-5 (worth 5 points)

      • 1-4 (worth 5 points)

      • 2-3 (worth 5 points)

      • 3-2 (worth 5 points)

      • 4-1 (worth 5 points)

      • 5-0 (worth 5 points)

    • A team needs to win tricks and collect these special tiles to meet their bid.

  5. Winning the Hand:

    • If the bidding team meets or exceeds their bid, they score the amount of their bid.

    • If the bidding team fails to meet their bid, they lose the amount of their bid.

    • The non-bidding team scores the number of points they won in tricks.

Winning the Game:

  • The game continues until one team reaches or exceeds the predetermined winning score (commonly 250 points).

Additional Rules:

  • Reneging: A player must follow suit if they can. Failing to do so (reneging) results in losing the hand.

  • Doubling: In some variations, players can double the stakes after the highest bid by declaring "double."

Texas 42 is a unique and exciting domino game that combines elements of bidding, trick-taking, and strategic play. It offers an engaging challenge for players familiar with both dominoes and card games.

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