Updated 8 Dec 2021 (Acknowledgements)  

A Brief History of the National 42 Players Association (N42PA)


Prior to the internet, there was diversification in how Texas 42 was played throughout the state, including local tournament competitions. Social cultures played with multiple game variations and various playing styles. When Hallettsville had its first annual open 42 state championship in 1981, players from all over came together and played by the rules set forth by the Hallettsville host.

Subsequent N42PA rules specified "straight 42" with no variations allowed, and players could not provide any physical cues or verbal statements to their partners (no signaling). The original bylaws sought to work with open tournaments in promoting the game of 42 in its original or traditional form, and to never take away any control or traditions from tournaments sanctioned by the N42PA.


Forty-two (42) originated in Texas in the 1880s and spread rapidly in the state via word-of-mouth. Prior to the N42PA, there was a variety of rules in 42 tournaments throughout Texas. The N42PA, a social/recreation club, was founded in 2005. It sought to sanction tournaments that played the straight 42 format. (Sanctioned tournaments have their own sponsors, directors, and rules.)

These are the founders of the N42PA:

• President: Dan Lance, Weatherford (Garner), Texas
• Vice President: Don Cameron, Millsap, Texas
• IT-Director: Blaine Morgan, Arlington, Texas
• Secretary: Richard Mach, Dallas, Texas
• Treasurer: Dennis Roberson, Fort Worth, Texas
• Open Tournament Director: Russell Graham, Frisco, Texas
• Pro Tournament Director: Don St.Clair, Lancaster, Texas

Note: The N42PA founders were from North Texas. As of this writing, the 2018 Board members are located in Central Texas (3), West Texas (2), East Texas (1), and the Texas Panhandle (1). The current Board members are shown here.

Prior to the public internet in the 1990s, the opportunity to standardize rules was less prevalent. The original 2005 N42PA website is archived at the Wayback Machine. Since then, players in Central Texas and other areas have established leadership roles in the Association, and new club rules have been posted for its membership. The original N42PA.com website is no longer active, and N42PA.org has replaced N42PA.webs.com as the official N42PA website.

The 42 International Players Association (42IPA) spun off from the N42PA in 2007 to expand some member objectives that began in 2006. Resultant membership in the N42PA fell off accordingly. The timing was not yet ready, and the 42IPA effort was subsequently abandoned. (Currently, tournaments sanctioned by the N42PA are located in Texas and New Mexico, with participants from Oklahoma and as far away as Idaho.)

The full membership of the N42PA club in 2006 was estimated to be about 100. The number of ranked members has more than doubled from 62 in June 2006 to 151 in December 2018. Qualifying points and membership in the N42PA are necessary to compete in the annual Tournament of Champions (TOC). The annual Hallettsville State 42 Championship has traditionally been the highest level open tournament in Texas. New Mexico also has an annual open state 42 championship tournament. Both play the straight 42 format and are sanctioned by the N42PA.

There are numerous other 42 clubs listed at the N42PA Facebook Page: Abilene, Austin, Bandera, Blanco, Canyon, Curry County NM, Fort Worth, Houston, Liberty Hill, Madisonville, Mount Vernon, et al. Other locations are shown on Twitter, @N42PA. The N42PA club has been active in promoting tournament competition and encouraging new local clubs to start up.

• Added April 2019: The San Antonio 42 Club became active.

• Added June 2019 (edited 23 Sep 2020): Including the straight 42 format, the N42PA tournament rules apply to tournaments hosted by the N42PA club and other tournaments that opt to abide by those rules.


Many thanks to the N42PA board members, past and present, who provided information. The internet, e.g., the Wayback Machine and www.N42PA.org, was also very helpful. If you have additional information (or corrections to any of my postings at Texas42.net), please email me.

Added 23 Sep 2020: My apologies to the membership if I was perceived as meddling in N42PA affairs while trying to promote definitive and standardized straight 42 tournament rules. My only objective was to help make 42 the best game it can be. - PP

Added 19 Dec 2020: This link is to the archived N42PA website, 23 Dec 2019, prior to the 2020 pandemic which subsequently affected normal N42PA club activities. - PP

Added 8 Sep 2021: N42PA synopsis (Notes)

Paul Proft, E-mail

visitors since 14 Aug 2018