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Old 08-10-2019, 05:35 AM
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Monty is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 23,506

Domino Games of Skill


Recently, I've been killing some time by playing dominoes against various apps/sites. The two games that've been sapping the most time are Texas 42 and Mexican Train. So a few questiosn come to mind.

42:
  1. How would you weight it for skill vs luck?
  2. What do you consider the best variations?
  3. How do I determine the value of a hand and thus what bid to make?
  4. Are there any bidding conventions as in Bridge?

Mexican Train:
  1. The standard game is with a double 12 set; however, I've seen special sets with more pips. Have you ever played the game with a set with a higher double than 12-12? If so, what value and how many people?
  2. How do you decide the best move to make?
  3. I've heard really good, very observant players can determine to a great deal of accuracy what bones you have in your hand by how you organize them when you have to draw and from where you pulled the bone you're playing on your turn, so it's best to keep your tiles "as dealt". Are you one such master observer or have you tried the "as dealt" method?
  4. Finally, how would you weight it for skill vs luck?

I prefer games that require more skill than luck. That's one of the reasons I'm addicted to Chess and its recognized variants (Xiangqi/Janggi/Shogi). I know a fair number of card games, including trick-taking games, and I think I have a feel for which games are more skill than luck. For games using Western dominoes and games using Chinese domines, I really don't know. So, a few more questions
  1. Western Dominoes
    1. Which games do you play?
    2. Of those, which do you prefer?
    3. Which game do you consider to require the most skill/least luck?
    4. Is there a good Android app for the game?
  2. Chinese Dominoes
    1. Which games do you play?
    2. Of those, which do you prefer?
    3. Which game do you consider to require the most skill/least luck?
    4. Is there a good Android app for the game?

Thanks for any answers!