Last update: 20 Mar 2023 (Recommended Reading)

For 42 Beginners

If you are new to the game of 42, welcome!

This website has information on 42 history and demographics; however, the only thing you need to do at this time is read the Playing Instructions, and you're ready to go. Playing is the best way to learn.

After you've learned the mechanics of the game, you can then focus on bidding and defensive strategies. A lot of this you will pick up as you play. Playing Tips are also available.

When you feel you're ready to up your game, you might consider playing in 42 tournaments.*  If you do that, you will be exposed to some savvy, street-wise players. They can teach you a lot.

Observation skills are important in 42 competition. Some tournament players will use indicating tactics that are not obvious to you. Take a look at Bidding and Indicating Practices for an overview.

Don't forget that you will have a partner who can help make your bid or set your opponents. Good luck, and enjoy the game.

Paul Proft, e-mail


1.  National 42 Players Association (N42PA) rule #17 defines the phrase "talking across the table" (specific guidance).

2.  Can't get three other players together to learn the game? The iPhone app, Texas 42, is an excellent way to learn the game by playing with bots (digital partner and opponents). The app is rated five stars for single player participation. (I play the app frequently, and the bots play as well as most live players.) - PP, 5 Jan 2022

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Recommended reading:

Winning 42, Strategy and Lore of the National Game of Texas by Dennis Roberson © 1997, 2000, 2004, 2009, 2020

‘Killer’ 42, a definitive handbook for learning and playing the game of 42 by J. Ronald Adair © 2004-2015.

How to Play Texas 42, Official 1955 rules for playing 42, The Embossing Company/Richard Wall © 1955

Texas42: Zero to Hero, Jody Badum and Richard Hay, N42PA Pro players, 2023

* More info for beginners on tournaments.

visitors since 8 Mar 2018
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