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# Texas 42

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### Texas 42

1. 1. Texas 42 http://www.pagat.com/pointtrk/42.html Introduction Forty-two is a trick taking game played with dominoes. It is especially popular in Texas, USA. The following description is based on information from David Dailey, Kit McKormick, John Rhodes, Adam Hauerwas, David Fimble and others. There are basically two forms of 42: it can be played for points or for marks. The version for marks will be described first. The version for points is similar except in the bidding and scoring - the differences are described later. Players and equipment There are four players in fixed parnerships - players sit opposite their partner. A double-six set of dominoes is used - that is 28 dominoes, one for each possible pair of numbers from 0 (blank) to 6. A domino with the same numer at each end is called a double. Rank and suit of dominoes There are 7 suits: blanks, ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes. The highest domino of each suit is the double. Normally one suit is trumps. Every domino containing that number is exclusively a trump, and apart from the double, they rank in order of the other number on the domino. For example if threes are trumps, the trump suit from high to low is: The remaining dominoes, apart from the doubles, belong to the two suits corresponding to the two numbers on them. Within each suit they rank in order of the other number on the domino. So if threes are trump, the members of the fives suit from highest to lowest are:
2. 2. Values of Dominoes Each domino with 10 pips - - is worth 10 points to the side that wins it in their tricks. Each domino with 5 pips - - is worth 5 points to the side that wins it in their tricks. In addition each of the seven tricks is worth one point to the side that wins it. There are therefore 42 points available in each hand. The Deal The first dealer is selected at random. Thereafter the turn to deal passes clockwise. The dealer "shuffles" the dominoes by mixing them thouroughly face down on the table. Then each player takes seven dominoes and sets them on edge so that the owner can see their values, but the other players cannot see them. The dealer's opponents should take their dominoes first, then the dealer's partner, and finally the dealer. The Bidding Each player has just one chance to bid or pass, starting with the player to dealer's left and going clockwise round the table. Each bid must be higher than the previous one. The lowest possible bid is 30, meaning that the bidder's team undertakes to win at least 30 points in tricks. Then come 31, 32, 33, etc. up to 41, then 1 mark (which is equivalent to 42), 2 marks, 3 marks etc. Bids of 1 mark and above require the bidder's side to win all the tricks (i.e. all 42 points) or take on one of the special contracts (Nello, Plunge, Sevens) described below. The highest opening bid allowed is 2 marks (unless the declarer intends to play a Plunge). Once someone has bid 2 marks a subsequent player can bid 3 marks, and so on. To play Plunge it is necessary to bid 4 marks, or 5 if the bidding had already reached 4. If all four players pass, the dominoes are thrown in and the next player deals. The Play The highest bidder (the declarer) names trumps, or may name one of the special contracts if the bid is 1 mark or more. The declarer leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if possible. A player unable to follow suit may play any domino. The trick is won by the highest trump in it, or if it contains no trump, by the highest domino of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next.
3. 3. When a non-trump domino is led, it counts as a member of the higher numbered suit, but when you are required to follow suit, each non-trump domino you hold counts as belonging to both suits. For example if threes are trump and the 6-5 is led, it counts as a 6 rather than a 5. But when following suit the 6-5 can be used to follow to a lead of either sixes or fives. If threes are trumps then the 5-3 when led counts as a 3 not a 5, because trumps are trumps and nothing else. Notice for example that if blanks are not trump, and you hold the double blank, although it is the highest card of its suit the only way it can win a trick is if you lead it. Any other blank which is led counts as the lowest domino of some other suit. Tricks are kept face up to the right of one member of each team, in the order that they were played, and can be viewed by all the players. For example after two tricks one side's captures might look like this: this trick is worth 11 points, and was won by the 6-6 (sixes are trump) this trick is worth 16 points and was won by the 6-2, a trump. When playing a contract to win all the tricks, declarer can elect to stack the tricks. In this case the third trick is stored on top of the first, the fourth on top of the second, and so on, leaving only two previous tricks visible at one time. This saves space and reduces the players' opportunity to check back to see what has already been played. Special Contracts A player who wants to play a special contract does not name their contract as part of their bid; they simply bid the appropriate number of marks. Only after everyone has bid, the high bidder names the contract. Nello A declarer who has bid 1 mark (42) or higher can announce Nello, which is a contract to lose every trick. Declarer's partner turns all her dominoes face down and takes no part in the play. The declarer leads to the first trick, and there are no trumps. Doubles form a suit of their own ranking from 6-6 (highest) to 0-0 (lowest). Rules of play are as usual, and a lead of a double calls for doubles. If a non-double is led the larger number determines the suit to be followed, and a double cannot be played to the trick unless no dominoes of the suit led are held. Plunge The declarer must hold at least 4 doubles to announce Plunge. Declarer's partner chooses trump: the partner must make this choice on the basis of his own hand, without any hints from the Plunge bidder. When the partner has announced the trump suit, the declarer leads. The declarer's team must take all seven tricks to win. To play a Plunge, the bidder must have bid at least 4 marks. In order to play a plunge, you are allowed to open the bidding with 4 marks, or jump to 4 marks over any lower bid, or bid 5 marks over a previous bid of 4. This is the only case where a jump bid or opening bid higher than 2 marks is allowed. A subsequent player could overcall 4 marks with 5 marks, and play a normal contract to win all the tricks, or Nello. 5 marks can be overcalled by 6 marks, and so on.
4. 4. The Scoring The scoring is in marks. For any bid from 30 to 42 (1 mark), the declarer's team score 1 mark if they win. For higher bids they score the number of marks bid. If the declarer is unsuccessful, the contract is set, and the declarer's opponents score as many marks as the declarer's team would have scored. The game ends when one team reaches a total of seven marks or more. The marks are drawn to form the word "ALL" - the first mark is drawn as the left side of the "A", the second is the right side, the third the crossbar, the fourth the vertical of the first "L", etc. The winning team is thus the first to complete the word "ALL". Some players like to say: ""That's it, that's ALL, there ain't no more" at the end of a game. When playing for money, the winners are paid an agreed amount for each mark the losers were short of 7, plus an amount for each time the losers were set. If the winners end up with more than 7 marks any excess over 7 is ignored. Also it does not matter how many times the winners were set - they lose nothing for this. For example if A & C agree to play B & D for \$0.25 per mark and \$1.00 per set, and A & C win 7 - 4, with each team set once, then B & D pay A & C \$1.75. Variations No Trump (Follow Me) The high bidder, instead of naming a trump suit, can choose to play without trumps, and has the choice between two versions: • Doubles high - the double is the highest domino of each suit (as usual) • Doubles low - the double is lowest in each suit (so for example the double 6 is beaten by all dominoes of the six suit, even the 6-0) The rules of play are as usual, except that as there are no trumps, a trick is always won by the highest domino of the suit led. Some players only allow the bidder to choose No Trump when playing for all the tricks - that is, having bid 42 (one mark) or higher. Others allow any bid from 30 up to be played in No Trumps. Doubles trump Instead of naming a suit as trump, the bidder can choose doubles as trumps. In that case doubles are a separate suit of their own, ranking from 6-6 (high) down to 0-0 (low). If a double is led, the other players must play doubles if they have them; a player who has no doubles is allowed to discard any tile - for example if you have no double you can throw your 3-2 on partner's 6-6, even if you also have sixes. If a non-double is led, you cannot trump with a double unless you have no dominoes of the suit led. For example if the 6-5 is led and you have the 6-6 and the 6-4 but no other sixes, you have to follow suit with the 6-4; you cannot trump with a double. If the 6-5 is led and you have no sixes, you can trump if you wish using any double (not necessarily the 6-6). Rank of Doubles in Nello In Nello, some people give the bidder several options as to how doubles are treated. The bidder chooses and announces one of these before leading to the first trick.