Ticket to Ride is a very popular board game where players compete to build rail routes across North America. It is easy to learn but challenging enough to keep players engaged. In this article, we will discuss how to play ticket to ride, Ticket to Ride rules, ticket to ride strategy, and ticket to ride Instructions.
Table of Contents
How to Play Ticket to Ride Board Game
- How to Play Ticket to Ride Board Game
Choose a Version
A few versions of Ticket to Ride are set according to different locations. However, the original North American version is recommended for beginners. It allows 2 to 5 players and plays for around 30 to 60 minutes.
Board Set Up
Take a board to play ticket to ride on it and place the game board map of North America in the center of the table. Now shuffle the train car cards and deal with them equally to each player. And place the remaining cards in a draw pile.
Draw Destination Tickets
In Ticket to Ride, each player draws three destination tickets showing two cities they must connect by rail. Keep at least two tickets, but you can discard one if needed. Keep your tickets secret from other players.
On each turn, a player must draw more train car cards, and claim a route on the board by playing a set of matching colored train cars, or draw more destination tickets. To claim a way, play a set of train cars matching with the color and length of the route. Longer routes require more cars. Place your claimed routes on the board.
As the game progresses, try to connect the cities on your destination tickets before other players block those paths. Complete as many tickets as possible to earn more points.
The game ends when the stock of colored train cars runs out or a player has two or fewer trains left. Players then reveal destination tickets and points are scored. Get full points for completed destinations and partial points for uncompleted ones. Points are also scored for the lengths of routes claimed on the board. The player with the highest total points wins the game.
Ticket to Ride Editions
The best editions of Ticket to Ride are Ticket to Ride Day of Wonders, Ticket to Ride First Journey, Ticket to Ride New York, Ticket to Ride Europe, etc.
Ticket to Ride Components
These are necessary components for the Ticket to Ride Game
- Map board of North American train routes
- 240 Colored Train Cars (45 each in red, green, blue, yellow, and black)
- 110 Train Car cards (12 each of red, green, blue, yellow, black, and rainbow)
- 160 Destination Tickets
- 5 Wooden Scoring Markers
- 5 Wooden Train Stands
Ticket to Ride Instructions
Here are some of the ticket to ride instructions for playing the game Ticket to Ride.
- Ticket to Ride Instructions
Ticket to Ride Setup
- Each player chooses a train color and takes the corresponding plastic trains.
- Shuffle the Train cards and place them facedown to form the draw deck.
- Place the route map board in the center.
- Place Locomotive cards near the board.
- Each player draws 7 Train cards to start.
Ticket to Ride Strategy
Here’s a basic ticket to ride strategy and gameplay example for Ticket to Ride:
Each player chooses a train color and takes the corresponding plastic trains. I will be blue. The map board is placed in the center and the Train cards are shuffled and placed facedown to form the draw deck. Each player draws 7 Train cards to start.
My turn 1:
Since I have no routes I want to claim yet, I draw 2 Train cards from the deck. I get a red 1 car and a blue 3 car.
Joe claims the Nashville to Memphis route by playing 2 red 1 car Train cards. He places his red train tokens on that route on the map.
My turn 2:
I look at my Destination Tickets and see I need to connect Denver and Salt Lake City. I decide to claim that route. I play my blue 3 car Train card to claim the Denver to Salt Lake City route. I place my 3 blue train tokens on the map.
Alice draws 2 Destination Tickets. She keeps one and discards the other. Her kept Ticket has Los Angeles to San Francisco on it.
Joe draws 2 Train cards from the deck. He gets 2 yellow 2 car Train cards.
My turn 3:
I don’t have the cards I need to claim any other routes that would help me, so I draw 2 Train cards from the deck – a blue 1 car and a yellow 3 car.
And so the game continues, with players drawing Train cards, claiming routes on the map, or drawing Destination Tickets, until the end game conditions are met. Then players score points based on completed Destination Ticket routes and long continuous routes. The player with the most points, in the end, will be the winner.
How to Score Points in Ticket to Ride
Here are some tips on how to score points in Ticket to Ride:
- Ticket to Ride scoring table
Completed Destination Ticket Routes
For each destination ticket route you successfully claimed on the map, you score the points shown on the destination ticket card. And destination ticket routes that you fail to complete score you 0 points.
Any continuous route of 4 or more tracks is worth points based on the length of tracks as below.
4 tracks = 1 point
5 tracks = 2 points
6 tracks = 3 points
7+ tracks = 4 points, plus 4 points for each additional track
For example, an 8 track continuous route is worth 10 points.
Each locomotive card you collect throughout the game is worth 1 point at the end, regardless of color.
The player who has the longest continuous route at the end of the game receives a bonus of 10 points. If there is a tie, players split the 10 points.
Any unclaimed routes still on the map at the end of the game score points based on the length of tracks like
1-3 tracks = 1 point
4-6 tracks = 2 points
7+ tracks = 3 points
Expansion Bonuses (in the Nordic Countries expansion)
Players may receive points for:
- Most locomotives collected
- Fewest train cards left in hand
- Most destination tickets completed
But sometimes points may also be gained from unclaimed leftover routes and expansion bonuses.
Tips for Playing Ticket to Ride Rules
- Claim routes that help fulfill Destination Ticket routes as soon as possible.
- Build long continuous routes whenever you can to earn bonus points.
- Save Locomotive cards until the end for a scoring surge.
- Try to block your opponents from crucial routes they need.
Ticket to Ride Rules
Here are the detailed rules for how to play Ticket to Ride:
- Ticket to Ride Rules
Ticket to Ride Objective
Build railway routes between cities in North America and complete destination tickets. Earn the most points to win.
Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails
- Place the board map in the center of the table.
- Sort the train cars by color and place them near the board.
- Shuffle the train car cards and deal 4 to each player (face up).
- Place the remaining cards face down as a draw pile.
- Have each player draw 2-3 destination tickets. They must keep at least 1.
- Unused tickets go face down to the destination ticket draw pile.
- Players do not show their destinations to opponents.
- Randomly choose a starting player. Play then proceeds clockwise.
- ticket to ride rails and sails
Draw more train car cards
Draw 2-4 face-up or face-down cards to add to your hand. Max 10 cards in hand.
Claim a route
Play a set of train cars in your hand that matches a route’s color and length. Place your trains on the route to claim it. Discard the matching cards. Longer routes need more cars.
Draw Destination Tickets
Draw 2 Destination Tickets from the deck and keep 1, discarding the other.
These show 2 cities you must connect during the game to score points at the end.
Draw more destination tickets
Draw 3 tickets and keep at least 1 and discard the rest. Max 6 tickets during the game.
When a player’s turn ends, they must have at least 2 trains left in their supply. If not, they pass until the next turn.
Connect the cities on your destinations with a continuous line of your claimed routes. Once complete, set aside the ticket face down.
Claim a Route
- Pay the correct number and type of train cars to claim a route on the map.
- Place your color’s train tokens on that route.
- Take any Locomotive cards rewarded for that route.
Drawing Cards Vs Claiming Routes
You must balance collecting more train cards with claiming valuable routes before opponents take them. Strategically decide which routes will help you score points from your Destination Tickets.
Scoring in Ticket to Ride
- Completed destinations: Full points are shown on the tickets.
- Incomplete destinations: Points equal to the length of your longest continuous path between the cities.
- Routes claimed: Points equal to the number of spaces in each route.
- Longest continuous path: 10-point bonus.
- Most completed destinations: 10-point bonus.
The end game in Ticket to Ride
The first player with 2 or fewer trains left or when the draw piles run out. Finish the round so each player takes the same number of turns.
In Conclusion Ticket to Ride is a strategic board game about claiming train routes and completing destination ticket objectives. Players collect train cards that represent locomotives of different lengths and colors, then spend those cards to claim train routes on the game board. The game rewards strategic planning, route blocking, and adapting your strategy based on the routes your opponents claim.
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Can a player claim multiple routes on their turn?
In Ticket to Ride, a player can only claim one train route on their turn. They cannot claim multiple routes in the same turn.
How many train cards can a player hold in their hand?
There is no limit to the number of train cards a player can hold in their hand in Ticket to Ride. Players can accumulate as many train cards as they draw throughout the game.
How many train cards are on the deck?
There are 110 train cards total in the Ticket to Ride base game, broken down as follows by type:
- 20 – 1 car train cards (4 of each color)
- 18 – 2 car train cards (3 of each color)
- 16 – 3 car train cards (2 of each color)
- 14 – 4 car train cards (1 of each color plus 2 grays)
- 10 – 5 car train cards (2 of each color)
- 7 – 6 car locomotive train cards (1 of each color plus 1 gray)
- 25 – wild train cards
What are the locomotive cards used for?
Locomotive cards are special train cards in Ticket to Ride that are worth points at the end of the game. Locomotive cards represent a valuable route completion reward and occasional random draw that can translate into end-game scoring points. Saving locomotives until the end of the game for a scoring surge can be an effective strategy.
What are Destination Tickets?
Destination Tickets are cards in Ticket to Ride that players draw during the game. They show two cities that are connected by a route, and if a player completes that route by claiming it on the map, they score points at the end of the game.
What happens if two players claim the same route?
If two players attempt to claim the same train route on their turns, the first player to claim it gets the route. The second player is out of luck and cannot claim that route.