Texas 42 Domino

Texas 42 Domino

Texas 42 Domino Overview

It seems lovers for card games will never run short of choices when it comes to choosing the most popular and interesting games for their entertainment. Indeed, the list is endless and in this section of our website, you will have the rare chance to know all about Texas 42 Domino. We are unveiling rules on how to play it besides some essential game tutorials, which will make you learn how to play it like a pro. Stay with us and continue reading the rest of the text to be insights of this exhilarating game. We are going the rules simple and straightforward by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Introduction
  • Brief history
  • Game objective
  • Equipment
  • Game preparation/set up
  • Tricks and Honors
  • The bidding
  • Gameplay and rules
  • Scoring and winning
  • Conclusion

In the end, hopefully, you will have these rules at your fingertips, you can try as well to play it, but for now, sit back, relax, and digest what we have in store for you!


Texas 42 is an incredibly popular trick-taking game played with using a standard set of double-six dominoes. Unlike many other domino card games, there is no domino connection at all in this game, making it the simplest yet the most entertaining. Although it is played across the world, it is very popular in Texas, USA. In fact, it is often called ‘the national game of Texas.’ Elsewhere, it is known by other names such as 42, Domino Rounce, and Four-Hand Texas.

A set of double-six dominoes

42 Brief History

It is believed that 42 originated in Texas. The game was developed by two local boys in Garner in response to a general disapproval of various card-playing games by a bunch of Protestants during that time. The two boys managed to add the element of dominoes in their game, which had trick-taking mechanics. The game later received great applause and spread throughout Texas and other parts of the world since it did not depict the negative stigma of card-playing.

Game Objective

Two to seven players best play Texas 42, but in a team of two. However, the best experience is derived when played by four players (which is the common version, and of course, the one we are describing here), forming two teams of two members each. Players sit diagonally opposite their partners. The primary objective of 42 is to be the first team to reach 250 points or get seven marks.

Arranging dominoes to get 42 points


To play this game, you will require a double-six set of dominoes. A domino with a similar number at each side is referred to as a double.

Game Preparation & Setup

Before playing the game, all the dominoes are shuffled, face down, and one player is selected at random to be the dealer. The dealer proceeds to deal an equal number of dominoes to all players. In the case of four-player version, each player is required to draw up to seven dominoes.

Tricks and Honors

Before looking into the gameplay and rules, it is essential to know some of the terms used in this game, and one of them is tricks & honors. Typically, in Texas 42, each hand is played as a series of 7 ‘tricks,’ and each trick is valued at one point. Besides that, each of the dominoes whose pips amount to five, or a multiple of 5, have designated values, which are often referred to as ‘honors.’ The 0-5, 1-4, and 2-3 are worth five points each, while the 4-6 and 5-5 are worth 10 points each. It interesting to note that the honor points are won by the team taking the trick in which they are played. In general, the five honors and seven tricks add up to forty-two points, hence the name of this game!

Tricks and honors in 42

The Bidding

Before starting each hand, each player in a team will have one chance to bid to win the choice of trumps; otherwise, he/she can pass. Bidding starts with the player seated to the left of the dealer and it goes clockwise around the table. As a rule, each bid has to be higher than the previous one, and it must be a number between 30 and 42. However, if the bid is maxed out, it may be doubled severally. That is to say, bids of 42 or more are made only by taking all the 42 points. In the event that no player bids, the dominoes are shuffled and dealt again. The highest bidder proceeds to name the trump suit, which can be zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, or doubles.


The winning bidder is the one who leads a domino. S/he is required to play a trump and must call out which of the number on his/her domino is the trump suit. All other players, moving clockwise, must follow the suit as much as possible. Otherwise, if the next player cannot maintain the suit (perhaps he/she does not have a domino containing the trump suit), then they have the freedom to play any other domino. The heaviest trump wins the trick, and trick’s winner leads the next. Often, a double is the heaviest domino in its suit.

In the next tricks, the lead can be a non-trump or trump. If the lead is a trump, then as explained above, the other player has to play trump cards if possible. If the lead is a non-trump, the suit is considered the higher of the two ends, which means the other player can play a trump or play from that suit. A trump is won by the heaviest trump, or by the heaviest domino of the suit lead.

Texas 42 Domino game in progress

Scoring & Winning 

The score is calculated and determined by awarding one point for each trick as well as adding the values of the honors. If the highest bidding team meets their bid, they win one mark. Otherwise, if they fail to make their bid, then the other team wins with one mark.

The first team or player to earn seven marks wins the game. Alternatively, if we are talking about points, then the team/player who hit 250 points first is the winner.

Game Variations

Rules of Texas 42 Domino are immensely diverse, and therefore, we have many variants of this game. For instance:

  • 84 is a variant played by six to eight players with two sets of dominoes
  • Shoot the Moon is another popular variant played by only three players. That is, no teams and no domino with exceptional value. All tricks are worth one point.
  • Geezer is another great variant of 42 that uses double-seven dominoes, and each player is dealt with up to nine tiles.
  • 3-Handed 42 is played by three players where each draws nine tiles. The blank-ace is removed from the set.

The list of Texas 42 Domino variants is just endless. However, we highly recommend you stick to the four-player version explained in this website.

Game over

  • Texas 42 Domino Rating


That is Texas 42 Domino at its best! Overall, it is an entertaining game worth a trial and time. It is indeed a perfect game for people who are trying to sharpen their minds and have the twist of some tricks. It is suitable for playing with a family and friends. Play it today and have fun!