Learn how to play Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride - Board Game

Quickly learn how to play Ticket to Ride with our fast and easy to read summary of the rules.

Players: 2 to 5 | Game duration from: 30 mins | Game Complexity:

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What is the objective of Ticket to Ride?

Ticket to Ride is a 2-5 player cross country train adventure game that is set in the USA. Players compete to score the highest points by: connecting key destination cities, claim and control railway routes between cities and completing the longest rail routes.

How do you set up Ticket to Ride?

Each player takes their trains and scoring track by

  • taking a set of 45 coloured trains
  • placing their scoring marker on 1 on the scoring track
Ticket to Ride Train Car Pieces
Train Car Pieces

Distribute Train Cards:

  • Shuffle train cards and hand out 4 per player
  • Place remaining deck next to the board and turn top 5 cards face-up
Ticket to Ride 1

Distribute Destination ticket cards

  • Shuffle cards and deal 3 cards to each player
  • Players decide which to keep 2 or all 3 cards
  • Returned cards placed under the deck and placed next to the board
  • Destination Tickets kept secret until the end of the game
Ticket to Ride Destination Ticket

Train Car Cards

Colours of train car cards match the route colours (There are 8 different colours)
Train Car Cards are used to claim a route of a particular colour.
Locomotive car cards are MULTI-COLOURED and are wild cards that can be used to represent any colour.


Step by Step Guide on How to Play Ticket to Ride

Oldest player starts first. Play proceeds clockwise around the table. Each player takes one turn at a time until the game ends. On each player’s turn, they choose one of the following actions: Draw Train Cards, Claim a route or Draw Destination Ticket Cards.

Turn Action: Draw Train Cards

The player may draw 2 train car cards. For each of the 2 cards, the player may:
draw blindly from the deck (if you draw a LOCOMOTIVE card, you may still draw your second card) or take any one of the face-up cards.

When taking face-up cards, immediately draw from the deck and replace the face-up card. If a player draws a LOCOMOTIVE Card from the face-up cards, the player draws 1 train car card instead of 2. If the replacement face-up card is a LOCOMOTIVE Card, the player cannot take it. IF AT ANY TIME, 3 of the 5 face-up cards are LOCOMOTIVES, all cards are immediately discarded and five new ones are turned face-up to replace them.

When the train car card deck is exhausted, discarded cards are reshuffled into a new deck. If there are no discarded cards, players claim routes or draw destination tickets only.
Ticket to Ride Locomotive Card

Turn Action: Claim a route

To claim a route, the player must play a set of cards equal to number of spaces in the route. Card set must be the same type. For example, blue route must be claimed using blue-coloured cards. Gray coloured routes can be claimed using set of cards of any one colour. When route is claimed, players place one of their plastic trains in each of the route spaces. Cards used to claim routes are discarded.

Claiming rules
Players may claim any open route and only claim maximum of one route on their turn. Some cities are connected by double routes – a player can only claim one of the routes, NOT both. In 2 or 3 player games, only one of the Double-Routes can be used. If one of the routes is claimed, the other is closed.
Points scored when claiming routes
Ticket to Ride Claiming to Route
Ticket to Ride Scoring Table

Turn Action: Draw Destination Ticket cards

Destination Ticket cards contain the names of 2 cities.
Successfully connect the 2 cities by claiming the routes between them and add the points indicated on the card during the end of the game
If you do not connect the 2 cities, the number of points indicated on the card are deducted during the end of the game. Players can choose to draw Destination Ticket cards. Players draw 3 Destination Ticket cards from top of Destination Ticket deck (if there are less than 3, draw whatever is left). Players choose cards they wish to keep, they must keep at least 1 card, (they can choose to keep 2 or 3 as well). Returned cards are placed under the deck. Cards are kept secret until final end game scoring.

End of Game

When one player’s set of coloured trains gets down to only 0,1 or 2 trains left at the end of his turn, Each player, including that player, gets one final turn. The game then ends and players calculate their final scores.

Winning Ticket to Ride

At the end of the game, players calculate scores by referencing their score on the score track and reveal all their Destination Tickets and add (or subtract) the value of their Destination Tickets depending on whether they are successfully connected.

The player who has the Longest Continuous Path of routes receives this special bonus card and adds 10 points.

Player with the highest points wins.

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