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Winning 42: Strategy and Lore of the National Game of Texas (Third Edition) Paperback – September 15, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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$55.30 $24.99

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Texas Tech University Press; 3 Exp Upd edition (September 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896725413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896725416
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,517,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Stroud on November 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a native Texan and both my parents are native Texans from the east part of the state. So this means that the 42 tradition runs deep in my family. This is the game that I watched "the elders" play at family reunions, weddings, birthdays, and probably even a funeral or two when I was growing up. When I was about 32, I was finally invited to to play with the "big boys". My dad and his brother were partners and me and one of my other uncles were partners. I was paired with this particular uncle because he is known as "the best damn 42 player in Texas" among my family and I was but a lowly rookie. Despite their generosity in pairing me with a known 42 shark, my dad and his brother proceeded to skunk us seven hands to zero twice in a row. Even though I had been taught to play years ago, am a fairly good spades player, and have a natural talent for math and statistics, I could not even come close to pulling my own weight at this game when it came to real competition with veteran players. How was I to find the skill required to compete with the hard-core 42 players in my family?

Enter "Winning 42" by Dennis Roberson. In "Winning 42", Mr. Roberson lays it all on the table. He begins with a brief introduction to the rules and terminology of the game. He then jumps into one of the most difficult aspects of the game, bidding, and handles it with an ease and clarity that belie the difficulty of the topic. If you master this 14 page chapter alone, your game will take a quantum leap. He then spends a chapter discussing basic strategies for playing out your dominoes once you have won the bid. He then devotes two chapters to helping your partner and setting the bidder.
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Format: Paperback
When I moved to Texas two years ago, many of my new friends played an unfamiliar game of "42". I hesitated joining their parties since "42" meant nothing to me. Then I found Dennis Roberson's book, "Winning 42". After reading cover to cover my confidence built and I am now part of the party and looking forward to the next session. The book does contain a few 'typos', but they force you to think and reflect on the game. If you want to learn "42" and its history, this is a MUST READ. book.
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Format: Paperback
Dennis did a great job on this one. This one is perfect for a beginner, novice, or so-called "expert". He explains the 42 terms perfectly assuming nothing. I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn a great new game. My hat's off to you, Dennis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't make a habit of reviewing books but I'm making an exception here because this is an exceptional book. I enjoyed playing the game in college, but I thought of it as mere entertainment. Only when I began reading Roberson's tutorials on strategy did I realize what tremendous satisfaction one can derive from playing a thoughtful game. No wonder 42 is so popular with folks of all ages and intellects.
If you want to learn 42 strategy, you'll profit from this book. The tutorials are extremely well thought out, and the rhetoric is just about perfect. Writing on a strategy game requires some thought, and Dennis Roberson has used his noggin in the writing of Winning 42.
By the way, the book is a great companion text for practice with Curtis Cameron's computer program, Win42. I haven't had so much fun in a very long time. I'm still reading--and studying, because this is as much a great textbook as it is a collection of stories about the game and those who play it.
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Great book on the Official Domino Game of Texas A&M! Listen up Aggies...THIS is the book you need. If you've been sitting at the Dixie Chicken trying to learn 42...and those old Ags are just not wanting to share this "secret" information...they've got another thing coming! This book finally reveals those secrets.
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This is a wonderful book for out-of-state Texans. You find yourself saying, "Yeah, I remember 42 scenes and parties like that growing up as well!" The book has a very thorough description of straight 42 and its rules.

I must say that I found the author's total dislike for and two-page description of Nel-o very disappointing. He even says, "it is an eminently uninteresting way to play, requiring little or no strategy". He goes on to say, "In fact, to play Nel-o, there is absolutely nothing in any of the preceding chapters that is any use at all. There is no strategy."

This is true for the game of Sevens and would be mostly true for Nel-o where, without further variation, doubles would always be high in their suit. What isn't covered at all in this book is the option in playing a Nel-o hand of stating how doubles are to be played. The author only states that "many Nel-o players will allow the bidder the option of declaring doubles high, low, or even their own suit. This inconsistency makes it just that much easier, unchallenging, and uninteresting to play Nel-o."

Many groups that I have played in contain a large number of players not familiar with Nel-o, but of the groups that play Nel-o, I've never run into people that did NOT play all three versions of how doubles are called - High in their suit, Low in their suit, or as a separate suit. This ability to call how doubles will be played for the hand, in my opinion, makes Nel-o very interesting and requires skillful play.

As a forty-year old Texan that has played 42 for thirty years now, 42 is one of my favorite games as long as you can play Nel-o and call your doubles.
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