While traditional dominoes require nothing more than an appropriate number of tiles, the best Mexican train dominoes sets all contain additional items that help players enjoy this unique take on the long-time pub favorite.
Having recently fallen in love with this increasingly popular tile game, we’ve spent hours trying out dozens of the best-selling sets, all in the name of finding the ones that provide the best quality, the most enjoyment and, of course, the best value for money.
That’s what today’s guide is all about.
Below, we’ve ranked and reviewed what we consider to be the ten very best Mexican train dominoes sets out there, ranging from compact travel sets to top-grade accessories that would make a luxurious addition to any games room.
Before we dive into those reviews, however, let us first introduce those of you unfamiliar with Mexican train dominoes to this enjoyable, family-friendly game.
Top Ten Best Mexican Train Dominoes Sets
What is Mexican Train Dominoes?
A game for one to eight players, Mexican Train Dominoes is a modern twist on the classic dominoes game in which the objective is simply to be the first player to get rid of all your tiles.
A complete Mexican train dominoes set will include a starting hub, a circular device often made of plastic or wood that is commonly referred to as the “train station.”
The game also requires a double-12 tile which is placed in the center of the station and serves as the “engine.”
From then on in, players look to connect their dominoes to the engine tile and build their own train.
If a player doesn’t have the right tile to take their turn (even after drawing from the pile of spare tiles), they place a counter on their end tile to signify that their train is now “open” and can be built on by the other players.
The first player who uses up all of their dominoes wins the round.
Each of the ten-game sets we’ve looked at below includes all of these essential features (starting hub, double-12 tile, and train pieces), though as you’ll soon see, some sets are better suited for certain players than others.
1. Cardinal Mexican Train Dominoes Game
Right away, the first thing you notice about this attractive Mexican train dominoes set from Cardinal is the thick, solid aluminum case, a sturdy piece of kit that’s durable enough to keep your dominoes in top condition yet -at only 4lbs- remains light enough to carry around with ease.
Combined with the sturdy, easy-grip handle, this makes Cardinal’s set an excellent choice for anyone planning to take their game over to a friend’s house or to while away those sunny afternoons in the park.
Still, as good as that case may be, things only get better once you open it up.
Inside, you get the standard 91 double-12 dominoes needed to play Mexican train dominoes, each one well crafted from a solid melamine plastic and clearly marked with bright colors.
One of the biggest complaints levied at lesser-quality domino sets is that the dots (known in dominoes parlance as “pips”) on the tiles can be too dull, making it difficult to identify each piece in certain lighting conditions.
With this one, there’s no such problem. Cardinal have gone to great trouble to ensure each tile is as vivid as the next.
Elsewhere, this comprehensive kit contains everything you need to get your game underway, including nine individual train markers, a plastic starter hub, scorepad, and easy-to-follow instructions.
All told, few sets out there can match this one in terms of both aesthetic appeal and manufacturing quality, making it our preferred pick for the best overall Mexican train dominoes set out there.
2. Pressman Mexican Train Dominoes
Pressman Toys specialize in manufacturing a whole range of entertaining board games for all ages and even offer several alternative Mexican train dominoes games. Out of all those, this beautifully colored classic set is clearly a winner.
All 91 dominoes are present and accounted for and are designed to a very high standard, thick enough to be able to stand on their edges yet not so heavy that they weigh the whole set down.
The pips are both brightly colored and fairly large compared to those in some other sets.
That makes this one a great choice for small children, for those who struggle with their eyesight, or indeed for anyone who prefers to add a little vibrancy to their game night.
As a game for up to eight players, it’s fitting that Pressman included eight train pieces, though personally, we would have liked to see them throw in an extra piece just in case.
Still, that’s a small complaint, as is the fact that there’s no carry case included. Instead, you get a vivid -and admittedly rather gorgeous box made from the same sturdy While that does mean that this is a better kit for keeping at home than carrying around with you, that’s hardly a bad thing, especially when you consider the hours of enjoyment you can have with this one.
Finally, we should mention that the starter hub and instructions both come as standard, though you will need to buy your own scorepad.
3. Ksamor Double 12 Dominoes Set
Giving our top-ranked Cardinal set a good run for its money in the carry case department, Ksamor package their Double-12 dominoes set in a tough aluminum box with a secure handle.
Yet what really sets this apart from its competitors are the dominoes themselves. Instead of the usual pips found on 99% of the best domino sets out there, this one uses large, colored numbers engraved into the tiles.
Sure, that can be a little off-putting to serious dominoes aficionados, but if you’re looking to introduce young children to the game, or even if you’re looking to use dominoes as a learning tool to teach the kids about numbers, then this one really does work a charm.
The child-friendly approach continues with the eight train pieces and central train hub, all of which boast a simplistic design that makes them easy to grip and appealing to youngsters.
4. Mexican Train Dominoes To Go
Possibly the best budget-friendly option for Mexican dominoes fans, this portable travel set by Puremco is a good deal smaller than most of its competitors -even those that pitch themselves as suitable for travel.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re looking for a compact (what Puremco calls “fun size”) Mexican dominoes set that you can easily slot into a travel bag and use as a boredom-beater on those long road trips, this is definitely a tough one to beat.
Like the third-placed Ksamor kit, this one uses numbered tiles rather than actual dominoes. While that should make it a great option for kids, the smaller pieces tend to rule it out as an option for those with very young children.
Other than that, the double-12 dominoes are as well made as any we’ve seen, built from highly durable melamine and gorgeously engraved with brightly colored numbers.
The train pieces too are rather special, each one coated in a sparkling glitter finish. OK, so that might not have much practical benefit, but it does make the pieces pretty to look at.
The same can be said for the stylish canvas carry case, expertly embroidered with the game’s name in a striking red font.
Though this may not be the best option for serious players, if you’re looking for a low-cost game set you can take on your next family vacation then this should definitely be one to consider.
5. Yinlo Mexican Train Dominoes
If you like the idea of a travel-ready game set but found the diminutive size of our last pick just a little too impractical, then you may well prefer this attractive Mexican Train Dominoes set from Yinlo.
Like all of the best travel versions of the game, Yinlo pack their dominoes into a strong aluminum case that manages to be at once both incredibly durable and extremely lightweight, with a nice, thick handle making it easy to carry around. Unlike other versions, however, this one doesn’t compromise on size.
These are full-size, reasonably thick tiles that you’d get with any decent game set, meaning this works just as well if you plan to keep your game at home.
The only real drawback to this one is that the colors on those dominoes leave something to be desired. Sure, the yellow pips stand out pretty well, but otherwise, most of the colors tend to be very similar, a factor which could make it trickier to identify them depending on the lighting.
On the plus side, we do like that Yinlo have included a scoreboard. This is a useful feature which many other sets tend to omit, so for that, if nothing else, they definitely get a few bonus points from us.
6. Yellow Mountain Imports Mexican Train Dominoes Accessory Set
The most noticeable thing about this Mexican Train Dominoes Accessory Set from Yellow Mountain Imports is that it doesn’t come with any dominoes.
If you’re looking for a complete set to start playing dominoes for the first time, then the lack of actual tiles will no doubt rule this one out of the running for you.
If, however, you already play regular dominoes and simply need the necessary accessories to convert your standard game into the Mexican train version, then you should absolutely give this one some serious consideration.
Because the second thing you notice about it is just how remarkably well-crafted it is.
Yellow Mountain Imports are well-known for the outstanding quality of their sets for other games like Mahjong and Backgammon, and they certainly maintain their reputation well with this beautifully designed accessory set.
At the heart is a gorgeous central hub that has been expertly carved from a solid redwood, while the diecast trains add a certain touch of luxury to your game.
If you’re a die-hard dominoes player looking to upgrade your game set to something with a little more class, style, and quality manufacturing, you’ll find this one really tough to beat.
7. Regal Games Colored Dot Dominoes Set
Right off the shelf, there’s a lot to like about the Regal Games Colored Dot Dominoes Set. The metal tin, while clearly designed with practically rather than aesthetic appeal in mind- is very well presented, immediately making this the sort of set that’s ideal for giving away as a gift.
Inside, the tiles are as resilient and well-made as any other, featuring clearly marked, colored pips that have been nicely engraved into the surface.
The starting hub also stands out from the crowd. Whereas most sets come with a basic plastic number, this one uses a small yet flawlessly carved wooden “docking station” to serve as the centerpiece of your game.
Where the Regal Games set really earns its place on this list, however, is the stunning train pieces.
Forget the cheap little plastic numbers bundled into most sets, this one comes with wonderful die-cast metal figures which also contribute to the set’s appeal as a gift item, especially if the person you’re gifting it to is already a major dominoes fan.
8. Double-12 Mexican Train Number Dominoes
Another great option for the on-the-go gamer, the CHH Double-12 Mexican Train Number Dominoes Set comes in a smart, compact canvas zip-case that combines exceptional durability with stylish design.
Open up that case and you’ll find a set of beautifully-designed tiles which, though they may be a little on the small side, are nice and chunky, a feature which is indicative of their strength and superior quality. If you’re the kind of player who prefers numbered tiles to pips, then you’ll also find a lot to like here.
Each tile is decorated with large numbers, the vibrancy of which is dwarfed only by the gorgeous, glitter-coated train counters.
Though nothing out of the ordinary, the included plastic starter hub serves its purpose, helping make this one a practical, affordable option for any casual dominoes player.
9. KAILE Mexican Train Dominoes
If you happened to love everything about the seventh-placed CHH brand but hate the compact canvas case, then this top-selling set from KAILE might work well for you.
Like the last item we looked at it, this one features a functional yet bland-looking starter hub, but makes up for it with the bright numbered tiles. Although this is marketed as a travel set, those tiles are still a little larger than most “fun-size” options, making it well-suited for small children, or for simply keeping around the house.
One thing we like a lot about this one is that not only is it one of the rare few kits to include a scorepad, but it also comes with a handy pen. That way, you don’t have to spend time scrambling around for a way to keep score before you start playing. simply flip open the case, set up, and get the game underway.
Speaking of the case, it’s a very similar aluminum design to many of the other products featured in today’s guide; thin and lightweight enough to make it easy to carry around yet plenty strong and noticeably impact-resistant.
All in all, a solid, middle-of-the-range kit that makes a decent alternative to any of the brands featured in this guide.
10. WE Games Mexican Train Dominoes
This classic all-in-one Mexican Train Dominoes set from WE Games is proof -if ever proof were needed- that just because a game set is low cost, that doesn’t mean it’s low quality.
One of the better budget-friendly sets out there, WE Games have gone out of their way to provide value for money with 91 full-size, thick-set, double-12 tiles with large, multi-colored pips making it a breeze to identify each piece.
As with all good quality Mexican train games, this one includes the eight standard train pieces built from glossy yet resilient plastic and finished in an assortment of bold colors.
Likewise, the starter hub is tough, durable, and relatively attractive, and while the vinyl case may not be the strongest out there, it certainly does the job.
The one major drawback is that WE Games have neglected to include any instructions. Though that’s certainly not very helpful if you’re new to the game, you can always check out our complete how to play Mexican Train dominoes guide, complete with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.
Mexican Train Dominoes Set Buyers’ Guide 2020
If you’ve read this far, then you’ve likely reached a similar conclusion to the one we did:
Any of the top ten sets we’ve listed above would be pretty much ideal for starting to play Mexican train dominoes with your friends or family.
So which one exactly are you supposed to spend your money on?
In our estimation, that all depends on how, where, and with whom you’re planning to play this modern classic.
Below, we’ve looked at a few of the key factors that should help you decide which one of our top-ten picks represents the best value for you.
Case Style and Material
It can’t have escaped your attention that the majority of these kits come in a travel case either made from robust aluminum or durable canvas.
Technically, both of these options work well if you’re the kind of player who likes to take your game around from place to place, but in our opinion, choosing which one to buy really depends on where you’re taking it around to.
Though we’ve said time and time again how lightweight those aluminum cases are, there’s still no denying the fact that they’re the heaviest -not to mention the largest- of all the different options out there.
That makes them a great choice for keeping your game set secure and protected while perhaps traveling locally to visit friends or family, but when it comes to taking it on trains, planes, and automobiles, it’s simply impractical.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to take your game no further than your own living room, then you’re no longer limited to these two options. An attractive collectors tin or a good old fashioned board game box will work just as well.
Traditional Tiles vs. Numbered Dominoes
Traditionally, dominoes have always used “pips” – a set amount of dots that represent a numerical value. Even though it’s a modern game, many of the best Mexican train domino sets keep up this tradition, albeit by upgrading the pips by presenting them in an array of colors.
This has the advantage of lending an air of authenticity to your game and is the best option if you’re buying a set for a long-time dominoes fan who takes their game seriously.
That said, pips do have one major disadvantage in that it can sometimes be a little tricky to identify how many pips are on a tile.
Trust us, it wouldn’t be the first time that a game has been significantly slowed down by players having to stop and count the pips on a tile before they play it.
It’s for this reason that some players prefer sets that replace the pips with actual numbers. So instead of six pips, you simply get the number six. This can speed up the gameplay and often proves a better option for elderly players or those with visual difficulties.
What’s more, numbered tiles can often prove to be the best option for playing with young children, especially if you’re using the game as an educational exercise to help them recognize different numbers.
Speaking of children, having really small children around might mean that one of the compact, “fun-size” sets isn’t really the best way to go for you. Not only are the smaller tiles difficult for tiny fingers to pick up properly, but there’s also the usual choking hazards to consider.
In other words, if this is a game you’re planning to play with your young ones, then one of the larger, full-size sets is definitely the way to go.
Which is the Best Mexican Train Dominoes Set to Buy?
Having said all that, if you’re looking for our recommendation on the best all-round set to spend your hard-earned money on, then we have to go with the Cardinal Mexican Train Dominoes Game as it really does represent the very best of all the qualities we looked for when determining our top ten.
It’s remarkably well-built, attractive and practical, with full-size tiles and a large robust carry case that makes it just as great for keeping around the home as it does for taking it to a friend’s house.
If you’re looking for a compact set to take with you on the road, then you’ll definitely find a lot to like about the Mexican Train Dominoes To Go from Puremco, a “fun-sized” set that fits effortlessly into a carry-on bag while still containing all the essential features you need to play the game.
Finally, if you’re on the hunt for the ideal set to introduce your young ones to the game, give the child-friendly Ksamor Double 12 Dominoes Set a try. It’s large, brightly-colored tiles use numbers rather than pips, making it great for younger children, though it’s still attractive -and practical- enough to appeal to players of all ages.