The National Game of Texas


Texas 42 - It's dominoes with twang!

I grew up in New Mexico, so didn't have the benefit of learning 42 at an early age. When I moved to Texas to go to college, my Texas-born fellows were more interested in smoking, drinking and playing cards... so I smoked, drank and played cards. I no longer do any of those... well, perhaps a sip of Jack Daniel's from time to time - purely for medicinal purposes you understand, or maybe a glass of wine - just to be sociable, you know.

I have recently been introduced to the game called 42 which is played with dominoes and has been very popular in Texas since it was invented just west of Fort Worth in the late 19th century. It was created by a couple of young Baptist boys who took advantage of a "loop-hole" in church doctrine. Seems it was sinful to play cards, so the boys (after gettin' their hides tanned by their parents) came up with a game using dominoes, which was ok with the preacher, their folks, and just about everyone who tried it.

Turns out the limitations of using dominoes as cards is actually a very good thing. Creating "suits" from the numbers creates some variations which make for very interesting and dynamic play. It is a simple game, but requires more skill than luck to be successful. In 42 you bid, call trump, make tricks and take points. I've gathered a handful of links for yall to explore to learn about the game and join in on the fun.

So why is the page on a music website? Probably because everyone I know plays 42 in a honky-tonk (when not two-steppin' to the band.)

Updated January 31, 2016 & Links checked April 23, 2015

(A special thanks to Paul Proft, who helps me keep this page up to date. Please visit his site,