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There is an article in the newspaper Wills Point Chronicle of July 15, 1915 (copied from the Temple Telegram) that gives a different originator of the game of 42. This article attributes the originator to have been a resident of Temple, Texas by the name of Giescke, a brakeman on the Santa Fe Railroad. He had been in ill health and had gone to Mineral Wells, Texas for their water treatment. It was in a Mineral Wells hotel that he is supposed to have invented the game of 42. ... It was interesting he first was going to name the game 35.
Newspaper article provided by contributor.   - PP

Whist is a card game very similar to Texas 42. We frequently played Whist in the Boston area before moving to Texas in 1970. Here are the rules: Knowing how to play Whist (which I always thought of as a simplified form of bridge) made it easy to learn 42. I would love to see Texas 42 as an app for the iPad or playable on my iMac.
It's here: Texas 42 HD (excellent iPhone/iPad/iPod touch app).   - PP

We play 42 at the Friendship in Conroe Texas, it would be nice to see the group grow. The present players are only about 7.
Check out www, Three other Conroe players have already signed up in the players directory.   - PP

(After learning 42 from a book and teaching friends) ... I was attending a software conference held in Dallas. One group of software engineers from a Texas firm was holed up in their hotel room most of the time playing 42 and drinking long necks. I joined them. They couldn't believe someone from Chicago knew how to play 42! I wasn't any good compared to these lifers but it was at least fun to shock them with proof that I knew the basics. Part of what I like about 42 is that it allows all different levels of players to have fun together. What a great game.
It's intriguing that a Chicagoan learned the game on his own and then taught others how to play.   - PP

I have been playing Texas 42 since I was a young child, many times during the long power outages we had in North Texas after a devastating ice storm, when we would play next to the Coleman lantern. I am now 72 years old and continue to love the game. When I was young, I can remember that many of the elderly retired guys, or possibly unemployed guys, would play for hours in the local pool halls for a penny per point. They would set the game winning score at 500, so for a full game, there was 5 bucks at stake, although no one ever scores zero, so a winning partnership might win 50 cents each if the score was something like 500 to 400. Great memories; great game.
Thanks for sharing the interesting memories.   - PP

When I married a Texan sixty-six years ago, I had never heard of 42. I thought all of my in-laws were crazy because they would rather play 42 than eat or sleep. Guess what? It wasn't long before I was as crazy as they were.
No doubt about it. The game is addictive!   - PP

This is a great Website. I am trying to find some rules for Texas 84. My husband and I have played 42 sporadically during the 54 years of our marriage. We have a group of friends who have started playing 84 and are trying to find some rules for the game.
Thanks. Here are some rules for 84   - PP

My parents and their friends used to get together Saturday nights in southwestern Oklahoma and play 42. Much laughter; good memories!
My wife and I learned in Warrenton, VA from an Army couple that came from Killeen, TX.
Perfect design. Thanks.
Glad you like it, El Paso.   - PP

Very nice site!
Thanks.   - PP

Have not played since I was a child. Played with my father and just lately with friends.
My informal research tells me you have to have lived in Texas to know about this game. Played it all my life as did our neighbors. They were homesteaders in Colorado from Texas.
Interesting! If you wrote this, please e-mail me for an info exchange.   - PP

Really enjoyed finding your website. Bookmarked it. Haven’t come anywhere near digesting all of it yet.
Instructions are very helpful. Have not played for 30 years. Thank you.
You're welcome.   - PP

I enjoyed the web site. Great job!
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.  - PP

I am an Aggie and have played 42 for over 25 years. Now I live in Qatar, the Middle East and am about to use your website and booklet to teach young Aggies how to play 42. Texas A&M has a branch campus here. Thanks for the great job of explaining the game. Now I am going to look for free software on which they can practice.
You're welcome. You can download Cameron's software to practice playing 42.   - PP

I double-dated with my Aunt and Uncle last night. They introduced us to 42... They were more confusing than helpful, but they have been playing for over 20 years! I felt LOST!! Vowed I'd do some research for next time!! *smile* Your explanation was great! Thanks!!
You're welcome.   - PP

Your explanation was much more simple than other sites I have looked at. Makes sense now. I will ... know the game before playing with friends.
Thanks. Glad I could help.   - PP

I love this game. I’ve been playing with my grandmother since I was about 10. I’m 45 now. She’s really good. I struggle.
Start the kids on strait dominos, then 42. I really don't know when I started playing 42, I just don't remember not being able to play the game. We occassionally play 88, if we have 6 people and two decks of dominos.
That's good advice to teach children straight dominos first.   - PP

I grew up in St. Louis playing a "forced-to-trump" rule when a player cannot follow the suit being led. It changes the dynamics of strategy and might be fun variation for others to try. It's this version that I am teaching to others in Portland, Oregon where we like to keep things weird...
If all agree in a social game to do this, it's okay (but unorthodox).   - PP

Trying to learn to play, on the computer.
That's a good way to learn if experienced players aren't available on-site to learn from.   - PP

1. I want to play online, please tell me how to bring up people to play with. Thanks, Dot
2. Is there a website I can go to to play 42 as a kinda beginner to relax a few minutes during the day?
Dot & Ray: See Q&A #16 for links to three sites where you can play online.   - PP

I used to watch my Dad's family play 42 when I was a little girl. My dad is the only sibling left of his family and he does not know how to play. His 2 older sisters and brother and parents used to play. I thought for Christmas I would learn how and give him a set of dominos and teach him how.
That is a very nice gift you are planning for your dad.   - PP

I really did enjoy visiting your site and have learned a couple of things. I am joining some new friends to play "42" tomorrow and hope that I can enjoy myself and not get all tensed up!!! I am 65 years old and retired and hope to start playing a little more 42 in our area of Texas.
You'll do fine. Have a good time.   - PP

Was happy to be reminded how to play as I use to play it many years ago in Texas and will now play it in California.
Excellent site. Just wanted to comment on an error in Dennis Roberson's example, In the first round, Ella is required to play the (3|5). By throwing the 5-count, she reneges. Her sequence should most likely be (3|5), (5|0), (1|2), (6|5), (2|0), (5|1), (2|2).
You're absolutely correct, and we fixed it. Thanks.   - PP

I love 42 and learned as a small child in the early sixties. Picked up variations in college. After moving, we always have to teach someone how to play. Outside of Texas, we never find anyone already familiar with it.
Great comment! If you know how to play 42, but you can't find other players in your area to make a foursome, teach your friends how to play the game.   - PP

Excellent website!!!
I would love to get into a 42 Club in the Austin area.
Margaret: Check out the Austin 42 Club. It might be just what you're looking for.   - PP

I grew up with my grandparents playing 42. I never learned to play, now that I am 45. I have learned and sweep the table with the people that taught me. 42 rocks...
This is a very informative site. Thanks!!!
We used to play 42 with my husband's parents whenever we visited together. They were in Texas and we were in PA. I want to get back into it again - it was so much fun.
Will play for the 2nd time in 2 days from now......following reading this procedure.
Go get 'em, Tiger! :-)   - PP

Thank you for the refresher. I recently returned to live in Texas and, of course, must pick up the game again.
I believe your site has the best How to Play section of all the sites I read.
Thanks, Jerry, and congrats on your big win in Hallettsville.   - PP

I LOVE 42 and want to find a site that I can play! There are very few people that have even heard of the game. Please help me !!!
Click the "Playing online" link in my Q&A web page (Q/A #16).   - PP

My mother is from Honey Grove, TX. She always loved to play board, card and domino games, and taught me and my husband how to play Texas 42. We could stay up until the very early hours of the morning playing.
Keep rattlin' them bones in Missouri, Susan.   - PP

Wow! My great-grandma was born in Waxahachie, and we played 42 for my entire childhood! I'd almost forgotten about it... and my great-great grandpa was a Parker County Minuteman, fighting the Comanches, until he became a Texas Ranger! No wonder this Virginian plays so well...
Thanks for sharing this in my guestbook, Carol.   - PP

FW born and raised so moving to Tucson was a wrench. Imagine my delight when I found you guys here in town. My dad played 42 all my life but I never learned. Do play and understand bridge, but looking at the tutorial for 42 it seems really daunting. ... I'd love to learn this game.
Have no fear, Betty. Most wannabes can learn this game in one sitting.   - PP

Thanks so much for this information. I want to learn to play so that I will be able to play this game with my father when he retires. He has played for many years and just loves it. Your hard work will allow me to make some precious memories with my father.
You're welcome, Leah. Your father must be very proud of you.   - PP

Thanks for the information!!!
I would like to play 42 against the computer for free. How do I get started?
Check out my Q&A page (Q/A #9). Send e-mail for questions (so I can respond to you).   - PP

Finally someone to explain this (42) in details I can understand. Thanks. This was helpful and very easy to understand.
Glad you like it, Patricia. Go get 'em now and show your stuff. :-)   - PP

Thanks for the site. We played it in our family when I was young and our daughter learned to play when she was young. Now she's married and wants to share it with her husband and family.
I like the game.
Learned to play 42 as a very young lad. Played with my 92 yr. old G'Dad who was x Texas Ranger and Cattleman. Beat me most the time, but I did learn to play. Thanks, Pappy.
Thank you for putting this together. I live in FL now and want to teach my Grandchildren how to play like I was taught by my Grandfather in the 1950s.
You're welcome. Good luck in getting them to set aside their video games. :-)   - PP

I am learning to play. I found the bidding and play examples very helpful. Thanks for taking time to put this out there.
You're welcome. Enjoy the game. - PP

This is really a game of skill and strategy, some partners just can't be beat at all.
I have to protest the wording of question 8 in the quiz. I agree that there are eight possible trumps to bid, but you specifically asked how many trump "suits" there are. The suits are blanks through 6. To call the doubles a suit is not correct.
The high bidder may declare doubles a trump suit of their own. I added clarification in my web pages. Thanks. - PP

"42" THE favorite game of my family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and my parents... I grew up playing 42. Most of the "Old folks" are gone now and I don't get to play much anymore but still love the game.
Nice website. I sent the link to my girlfriend because she won't listen to me and she's dragging our game down but hopefully she will read this and learn so we can win more often.
I used to go to sleep at night hearing my Grampa and his friend "shakin' up the boneyard" in Edinburg, TX. I now live in NJ but my son, who's working in New Orleans and coming home soon, has found the game! He knows I played in TX years ago and he's challenged me when he gets home. I'm on this site brushing up! Wish me luck!
Good luck! If your son learned the game in Louisiana, watch out for the Cajun strategy. - PP

... I am 19, the youngest of four, we range in ages 36-19. My father taught me and my three older siblings to play Texas 42 when we were very young and we have passed it on. I speak for all of my family when I say that these are some of the best memores we have, around a camp fire, on a boat, or just after dinner, so thanks to the inventer. ... Tucson, Arizona.
As a Montana girl I learned from my husband near Winnsboro Texas. The 'old men' of the community put a wood stove in an old school bus to play 42. Women were most culturally not invited into the bus. We called it the boys club house. Many players considered to be experts would bid 2 marks even before the deal, making their bid more often than not. Fun game.
I visited your site, and it's getting better and better, congratulations for your great work!! Specially I liked the Glynn Hill page. Also your PDF printable booklet and Domino puzzles and magic are a good feature of your site!
Thanks. Glad you like the additions. - PP

Thanks Paul, for the website. I have made my two future daughter-in-laws promise to play me in order for me to go to their wedding. Your site will help a lot! I've been playing since I was 10 years old, now 56.
Good luck! The ladies can be awesome partners (and formidable opponents). - PP

Thanks for putting up I was recently introduced to the game and was looking for a set of rules. Your site gave me everything I was looking for and more. I appreciate the heavily annotated pages with popup information, and I appreciate the booklet PDF that will fit nicely in with my domino set for later reference. Thanks for all the work you've put into this!
Thank you for the positive feedback. - PP

In Tuscaloosa, “indicator” bids and plays are an important part of the game. We call them “signal” bids and plays. But, to make it fair play, everyone, including your opposition, must know what indicator bidding and playing system you are using. As long as all players know, it is totally fair. It is not fair only if the opposition is not informed of your system. If I indicate that I have the Double Six, that information is just as valuable to the opposition as it is to my partner. We even have indicators for the second and third sluffs.
Sounds similar to Bridge bidding conventions. - PP

My family played to ten, whichever team got to ten first? Maybe... I didn't play after I was grown and I didn't keep score when I was younger. But I do remember liking to watch the score build up and I could draw it and scan it if it's not something you already have. My mom's family were cotton pickers and lived around south and west of Fort Worth, in various little towns, mostly, I think (and in Carlsbad, New Mexico for a few years). My dad's family was in Rotan, northwest of Abilene.
Yes, please send the scanned score drawing. Thanks. - PP

This is perfect for refreshing my memory of 42. I haven't played in about 6 years and plan on joining the Senior Center 42 group. I have really missed this game. Also played Moon. It was a little easier since you bid on tricks and not points. But, love both.
... I am originally from Texas, and I learned the game from my parents. They said that they courted with 42. Almost all their dates consisted of playing 42 with their parents.
From a Tennessean who wrote a poem about Texas 42

Here in Tuscaloosa, AL , our variation of 42 follows:

We play with Double 7’s. Now with the “7–3” domino, and 9 tricks instead of 7, the count is 54. (54 is the double 7 version of the 42 game played with double 6’s.)

Whoever gets the bid, has the option of calling “low” or “high”. Thus, the person who gets the bid, has 20 possible calls. He can call low or high on the 8 suits, low or high doubles, and low or high no-trump. We allow doubles of the maximum bid to 108 and 216.

You can’t purchase double 7’s. All I have ever seen are 6’s, 9’s, and 12’s. But, from a set of double 9’s , we extract a set of double 7’s. We like the Puremco tournament size dominoes. The double 7’s contain 36 dominoes, so with 4 players, each draws 9 dominoes. Then, play the game with exactly the same rules as you play 42. As I noted (above), the “7–3” domino counts 10, and there are 2 extra tricks. So, 45 plus 9 equals 54. The rules I outlined are just our way of playing 42.

We find that playing with double 7’s adds significantly to the strategy. And, there are not nearly as many “stone cold locks” on perfect hands as there are in 42.

Give it a try! I think you will like it.

Thanks, Reggie, for sharing. - PP

having been born and raised in texas, i probably cut teeth on a domino. even tho i am in my forties, we haven't slowed down any! and, your rules seem to be just the same ones by which we play. thanks for the page!!
I have played 42 at work through the years. I remember that we played if you could bid 42 high then people also could bid low.
I think you mean Nil-o not Nel-o. Nil means Zero, none, not a single one.
Right or wrong, most 42 players call it Nel-O (or nello). See Q/A96. - PP

A very good site. I enjoyed browsing it. It took me a very long time to become fairly good at 42. Playing against good competition definitely helps. The old adage “study long, study wrong” certainly applies to 42. Eventually, I learned that elaborate strategies may not be as important as knowing your opponent and his/her tendencies.

I’m a little sad to see your emphasis on restraining table talk. We enjoy every 2nd Friday night at our church as “dominight” and play a wide variety of domino games – including 42.

The 42 itself actually seems like more an excuse to get together, catch up with events in others’ lives, and give each other a hard time than an end in itself ...

Thanks. I added more clarity to the discussion on "talking across the table." - PP

I enjoyed visiting your website. My 79 year old mother has played 42 all of her adult life. Now my father has passed as well as all her brothers and their spouses. We got her a computer and (now) ... she can play 42 against the computer ...
Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading the overview of "42". I learned at a young age but had forgotten a few things, such as how to go low and that doubles could be a suit of their own. Unfortunately, I don't get the opportunity to play much. I will defintely tell others that don't know how to play the game about this site. Thanks for sharing!
We have a rule at our house that a player's dominoes must be arranged in two rows with four dominoes in front and three in back. This discourages signalling of strength of suits or doubles in the dominoes drawn. I've played games where the dominoes had to touch end to end in each row and could not be rearranged during a round of play.
I was impressed by all the information in your 42 web pages. I've played 42 for almost 50 years and I still learned a lot about the game that I didn't know. Thanks.
Love your website! I have been playing 42 for years, but I know some people who are new to the game and your site is an excellent place for them to get a good grasp of the rules.
I would love to learn this game but need some instructions (beyond your excellent directions). Is there anyplace I can meet up with an instructor or meet with a group?? I am in Orange County California. ...
Reference Q/A 26 - PP

What else must I do to play 42? I down loaded the files by clicking the download tab as 42frames.exe. I answered the poll. I am so excited to play 42 I can't stand it. ...
We have been playing 42 for over 40 years (obviously we are from Texas). We play "high-man" (same as follow me) and we also play "low-man" (this is where the lowest domino wins the trick - the double in this trick would be the unwinning.) We also do not force anyone to take a bid, we pass and reshuffle. We have always played nello,* where a player holding four doubles wins the bid and then says nello* and his partner has to choose the trump. We just played for 5 hours last night, 4 couples (the best 2 out of 3 wins) our own little 42 tournament!!! Our favorite game to play. Thanks for your time and effort to teach this game to others.
* Plunge variation? - PP

... found your site when was seeking for the rules of 42. It's in my opinion, one of the best. It explain the game very well, and the Q&A section is great indeed! I created a website to explain and promote the 42 game here in Brazil. It is in portuguese. ... So, hope it help to promote this great game among us, here in BR. Dominoes are very popular here, but the 42 is still unknown, a pity, because it's a wonderful game, simple and plenty of strategy.
We have started playing something we call 42 High Stakes. Normally we will play 2 best of 3 and then play a few rounds of our High Stakes. What we do is throw our offs back in the pot and reshuffle. We do this up to 3 times. The whole point it to try to get a perfect hand. Then it becomes a bidding war. It is pretty fun.
Thanks... I wanted to find some rules to teach my friends... so that we have a game to play. I remember growing up around lots of people playing 42. It was a family game. Anytime my family got together... they were playing forty two. Thanks again.
Very informative site.
Thank you for providing these instructions - I am learning to play 42 (have played once) and written instructions will be so helpful. Thanks!
Margaret: Perhaps you're thinking of Curtis Cameron's Win42 game. If so, drag the bottom edge of the play window up to see if the score/bid box is hiding behind. - PP

Thank you for a great web site. Now I can tell all my non-Texan friends to come here to learn the greatest game ever!
Excellent site! Incredibly helpful!!!
Love the game. Thanks for your site. nd.
Commentary contribution: Beerdaddy42 (42 handle).
I was raised in Texas and currently live in Charlotte, NC. I was looking for instructions to include in a gift set of dominoes. My fondest memories of 42 are playing in the Dixie Chicken in College Station. (My wife and I are Texas Aggies, Class of '80 from Houston.) We plan to introduce the game to some neighbor friends from Nebraska and Georgia after burgers and peach cobbler tonight.
Hi. I am just trying to get better (at playing 42).
Love 42.
Thanks for your rules here, you'll save me alot of time teaching 42 to my fellow Navy Seabees in Iraq next month!!   Thanks Again, BU3 (K.R.) USNR
I only bid 30 if I am the last bidder or I have a partner that does not like to bid, then I bid 30 just so the other side have to bid at least 31.
Thanks, Paul, for adding the 30/indicating question. Sometime, perhaps also ask about 7's, how many play it or think it should be banned from 42.   (More by Tanzenmaus.)
Great page! My grandparents used to play 42 and taught me but I haven't had anyone to play with for a very long time. They were good Baptists and played 42 because they believed card playing immoral.

P.S. They lived in Arkansas and surely did NOT call the game Texas 42 ;-)

My wife and I have wonderful friends living in Texas and on a recent trip they commented on the great game of 42. We are off to a start, however, as they have returned home we needed help. Your web pages on Texas 42 are exactly what we needed. Sincere thanks.
Just learning to play the game and I'm already addicted!
Thanks for your site. I have played 42 since a child, and I love the game. Did not play much the 11 years we lived in Missouri, but since coming back to Oklahoma have started playing with friends again. A wonderful way to spend an evening.
I grew up playing 42 with my Grandparents. They were from Oklahoma and we have relatives in Texas. Anytime the relatives came to visit the dominos came out and didn't get put away until they went home. My Grandparents are now deceased and I play Moon with my ex father in law. I was trying to explain 42 to him, but couldn't remember all the rules. I started surfing and came across your web site. It cleared up all the "fuzzy Parts". Thanks for making it possible to get back into the game again. My father also indicated he wanted to play 42 again, and now we will be able to.
I go to A&M and play socially, but I am not comfortable with bidding. I have been playing since August and I think I am pretty good, but I still make dumb mistakes and don't realize it until the damage is done. I want to be better than my guy friends!!!
THANK YOU!!!! You just may have saved a marriage.
Gosh! I'm glad I could help. :-)  PP

I used to play this game and loved it. Now, 15 years after moving from Texas (shedding a tear!) I want to play again. Thanks for your site!
I played at the Chicken and Dudley's in the late 80's while an undergrad. I was recently in College Station for Christmas and got together with some family and played for 2-3 hours. I wish I had read your rules and strategy. I had forgotten a lot. Thanks!
Excellent site. Thanks for sharing.
Hello ... I saw that you had the history of the domino game 42. My great, great uncle is Walter Earl, one of the boys who invented 42. They lived in NE Texas close to where Garner is now. My great uncles and grandmother said that their parents wouldn't let them play cards b/c card playing was unexceptable back in those days so they played a card game with dominoes. My great uncles have taught my siblings and myself and cousins how to play ... Just thought I'd let ya know on some history. Later.
Please send more information on Walter Earl via e-mail.   PP

I have spent some time on the internet today researching the Texas 42 game and I was particularly impressed with the clarity of your website. It looks as though you have a great understanding of the game and that you have a nice technique in teaching the rules.
Enjoyed your 42 Web site. Our family has played its own version of 42 for over 50 years, but since we live in Arkansas, we don't call it Texas 42. Our lowest bid is 28, the highest is Game. We only use points, not marks. Would love to talk with you more about the origin of the game.We have 42 tournaments in the family, sometimes with 25-30 people attending. Children are allowed the privilege of learning 42 about age 12 -- it's a rite of passage for us! Glad to know that someone else loves the game as much as we do.
I am only 13 and it is very important that I learn to play, and your method of teaching is very easy for me to understand. So, thank you!
You're welcome. Helping young folks who want to learn is gratifying.   PP

Thank you for the info on '42'! Very well written!
Hey, I haven't played 42 in 17 years (living north of the Mason-Dixon line as I do now) and sort of forgot about it . . . until I ran across my old set of dominoes today. I decided I'd see if Google had any "how-to" entries, tried it and found your website. Thanks for going to the bother of writing out such clear rules. As I was reading them, the old terminology started coming back . . . I could even hear my Mississippi/Texas grandfather's voice while he and his friends played 42 when I was a kid. Now, I've got to find three others who want to learn.
I have been looking for years for this site. I am so pleased to find and can play dominoes. Thank you for this site!!!
Great explanation! I played 42 a ton in college but couldn't remember even the basics. It quickly came back to me after reading your thorough explanations! Thanks!
I have the rules which came with my set years ago, but yours are very close and very easy for beginners to understand. Thanks for the great site!!
You're welcome. If your written rules are more than 30 years old, please contact me via e-mail.   PP

Being from East Texas I've always felt left out at gatherings for never learning to play 42. Your site has been very helpful to me and hopefully the next time I get the chance to play...I can show my stuff!! Thank you!
Hi -- just wanted to say thanks for the great web site about 42, a game my parents and I played many times in Amarillo and later after we moved to Los Angeles.I have the fondest memories of 'visiting' over a game of 42 -- we didn't care too awful much about who won -- it was just a good vehicle to get together over and to have some fun. I'm currently in the process of teaching my fiancee and a couple we are friends with how to play and your website will help a lot with that.
This is an okay site.
Fantastic Site - Thank You! God Bless & Long Live TEXAS!
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