Tabletop Games for Older People Part 1 | Mexican Train Dominoes


Table Top Games for Older People

Hey everyone! Guest blogger ‘D’ here with suggestions and ideas on board games for older people. That’s right, I said it, “older people.” We like to play a good game as much as the younger ones. I’m here to go over some of my favorite tabletop games for older people with the first one being, 12-Sided Mexican Train Dominoes!

Before we get into the game, here is a little bit of a back story. I’ve played many games with my kids throughout the years. Everyone remembers Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders and Go Fish. These were fun for a while, but I have to admit that I was not disappointed when we graduated to board games like Sorry, Clue and The Game of Life. These board games were a bit more challenging for the tots and a lot more fun for us parents! 

It was after this stage that I kind of stopped playing games with my children. They were in their late teens and the go to games were more in the line of Pictionary, Scattergories and Monopoly, which I have to admit, while fun for some, these were not my favorite games as an older board gamer.  

This is when playing games with the kids became less and less. This was also when they started their famous ‘game nights.’ These game nights were always hosted at our house, which didn’t bother me at all since it got me out of playing the games that I really wasn’t into.  

Move forward about five years and there we were, a family of five who loved to spend our saturday nights together, but with not much to do. Yes, my children actually like to hang with their parents, but my husband and I weren’t big on going out. That’s when our Saturday Family Game Night came about.

A Tabletop Game For Older People – Mexican Train Dominoes

Going back to our first game night, we were trying to decide which game to play. One of my daughters suggested Dominoes. After she said this, I looked at her like she had five heads. 

I all too well remember the countless nights they were running out the door telling me they were going over their friend’s grandmother’s house (Mema) to play Dominoes. I also remember always thinking, really, how much fun can that be?

So now that the game of Dominoes was suggested I just looked at my daughter and said that I didn’t think their father and I were really into building dominoes and knocking them down. It just didn’t sound like the kind of thing we’d be into. 

This is when my daughters looked at me like I had five heads and started laughing. They asked if this is really what I thought they were playing all this time at “Mema’s” house and when I stated, “well isn’t it?” they laughed some more.

That was the day I learned about my all time favorite game. My daughter ran to her room and came back with a game that said 12-Sided Mexican Train Dominoes. They told me that this is what they had played at Mema’s house and that it was really fun, really easy to learn, and that we would love it.  

Well they were right on all accounts. 12-Sided Mexican Train Dominoes was easy to learn and was really fun. It still is really fun to this day. We have been playing it for about a year now.  We even have a notebook that we keep score in and keep track who wins each game.  

While I’m not the number one winner in our family, I have my fair share of wins. For those of you who have never played the game, or maybe never even heard of the game, it definitely is worth a look into.  

How to Play 12-Sided Mexican Train Dominoes

The object of the game is to play all the dominoes from your hand onto one or more chains which emanate from the main hub, which is the station. When one of the players has played all their dominoes that they had on hand, everyone else adds the face values on their remaining dominoes. These figures are kept track of and at the end of the game, the player with the lowest score wins.  

The dominoes are labeled with numbers up to twelve. In the first round each player starts their train with the number 12. There are 13 rounds played, starting with 12 and ending with 0.  Each player must start their train with the number of which round is being played.

There are a few options during the game, that of playing on your own train or that of the mexican train which is a chain that comes off the main station along with each player’s trains.  Each player has the option of starting the mexican train. If it is your turn and you cannot play on your own train or that of the mexican train, then your train becomes open to others to play on until you can again play on your train and “close” it. 

This in turn gives you the option as well to play on your opponents trains if they are open. There is certainly strategy involved as you want to get rid of your higher numbered dominoes as soon as possible, especially when you see someone getting down to their last few dominoes.  

There are also ways to derail a player and this along with strategy and a little bit of luck makes for a really awesome game. Dominoes might sound confusing for some, but, if i was able to grasp it very quickly, then I think most of you will be able to as well.

For those of you who have never tried Dominoes and love to challenge yourselves with a new game to play, I urge you to give it a try. This game definitely gives us middle agers who love to play games a new adventure with games and gaming.  

The Perfect Table Top Game for Older People

Of course, you don’t have to be “older” or “middle aged” to love this game. We play with our children who range in age from 25 to 28 and the five of us have a whole lot of fun. 

We bought our Dominoes game at Amazon which came with a case to keep everything intact.  Amazon does offer different options for this game, all reasonably priced. 

While I still continue to play Dominoes on a regular basis, since quarantine due to this awful Covid-19 virus, I have stumbled on a few other gems that I am now hooked on as well.  

Dominoes continues to be my all time favorite, but it’s always nice to try new games once in a while. Being home bound even more than usual, I have found other games that are certainly worth a try too.  

Check back next time to see what other great games are out there for us fun older people and be sure to check the link on how to host an awesome game night. Stay safe, be well and play lots of games!!!

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