Ticket to Ride is a board game that challenges players to collect cards of various types and complete routes on the board. The player with the most points, or tickets, at the end of the game, wins! If you want to know more about how this excellent strategy game works, read on for some tips and tricks.
Ticket to Ride Rules
When you first think of playing board games, Ticket to Ride might not be your top choice. It’s a relatively simple game, compared with other strategy titles like Catan or Carcassonne. Yet it has become one of the most popular board games in recent years and is available on numerous platforms − even online! If you want to get started but don’t know where to start, read on for some tips and tricks that will help guide you through this great game.
- For 2 to 5 players ages 8 and older
- Playing time: 30-60 minutes
First Things First: The Board And Pieces
The entire point of Ticket to Ride is collecting cards that allow you access to cities around the map. You can collect these cards by claiming routes between cities; however, if someone else already holds tickets along those same routes, then you will need to build new routes. The game ends when someone has completed seven different routes of any length and color; the player with the most points at that time wins!
The board is pretty straightforward: it consists of a map split into several regions, including North America (which includes Canada), Mexico, Europe, India, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Scandinavia/Russia, China, South America, and Japan. Each region contains three cities along each line between two major metropolitan areas.
If you want to win at Ticket To Ride, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the board and pieces first before diving in headfirst. Familiarizing yourself with each region allows you to build effective routes across them as well as plan ahead for future ticket acquisitions. In other words: know thy map!
The Cards And Their Functions
There are three different types of cards that can be collected during your turn − which consists of four phases: collection, claiming route(s), train purchases, and draw two new tickets from the deck pile. The idea here is simple: take turns playing these cards until someone has seven tickets or until there aren’t enough trains left on the track (the number varies depending on how many players are playing ).
You’ll need at least three cards in order to claim a route (unless someone else has already claimed it), so don’t waste them if you’re not ready for action. If there is no one blocking your path, then go ahead and take that route! However, be careful of larger routes as they will cost more tickets than smaller ones; having only two or three colored cards won’t get you far on those types of paths unless other players have already laid down their own sets of matching colors along the way.
The strategy involved with Ticket To Ride changes based on how many people are playing − which is another aspect of the game worth noting. If you’re playing with only two people, it’s best to go after longer routes as they’ll be easier and more affordable than trying to build a handful of shorter ones. On the other hand: if there are six or seven players in total, then it makes sense to focus on smaller paths that others might not think about taking until later rounds since those tend to end up being less occupied anyway (and therefore cheaper).
Purchasing The Trains And Cities
You can purchase as many trains as you like during your turn − but keep track of what colors you already own; this information is important for building effective routes across different regions because every path has at least color associated with it.
The cities are an important part of Ticket To Ride as well; because your goal is to connect them! The more routes between two cities that you have (and therefore collect tickets on), the greater chance there will be someone else connecting those same places with their own set(s) of trains or ships. If this happens, then whoever has built more connections wins points − which brings us back full circle into collecting enough sets in order to win the game once everyone runs out of turns.
Ticket To Ride is not a difficult concept at its core and it’s easy to get the hang of − but getting a few games under your belt will certainly help you understand how everything works and where best to focus your energy. Practice makes perfect, as they say!
How to Play Ticket to Ride Board Game
Ticket to Ride consists of seven steps, each with its own purpose. The target of the game is to get the most points after completing routes.
Step One: Drawing Train Cars
You should draw cards that match the colors shown on your claim ticket or route path you are attempting to complete because these will help you build long continuous routes around the board for more points at the game end! If no color matches, then take a random card instead but try not to do this unless necessary since it is possible another opponent might need those same trains if they have claimed an identical route as yours. Once done drawing new cards, place them under your previous hand so nobody can see what was previously drawn from the deck during your turn before.
Step Two: Claim Routes
You must play a ticket card to declare what routes you will be attempting to complete this turn. As we mentioned earlier in this article, some tickets require multiple sets while others only need one set or no extra tokens at all!
However, if you can make matching sets required by ticket claim, then place this ticket card face down in front of you. Now choose one locomotive that matches the color shown on the ticket and take it from the supply board location into your hand (if no locomotives match claimed colors or if only one is left in reserve at game start, simply pick any available train car instead).
Step Three: Activate Routes
If a player has multiple route tiles connected together to form long continuous paths between cities already claimed by himself along these same colored routes, he may now activate them all during his turn by placing wooden trains on city markers found on each route tile where they are located. This activates every matching marker along the entire length of the claimed path for purposes of scoring points at end of the game when completed! Keep in mind that opponents may use the same color-coded routes too, but each player can only claim one continuous path for personal points at game end.
Step Four: Discard Partial Tickets & Collect Points
All players must discard half of all completed tickets (rounded up) and gain a corresponding number of points based on the amount they discarded. For example, if you complete three out of four required sets needed to win a ticket card then you would need to discard two such cards after drawing back up to full hand size during the next Draw Train Card Phase before moving onto the Point Calculations Phase below.
You should try not to keep any more than one extra set in reserve so as not to be forced into discarding useful ticket cards! Remember this rule is applied first because it is usually best to discard all completed tickets in order to collect higher point values based on how many you discarded.
Step Five: Point Calculations
After discarding partial ticket cards, each player must now calculate their current score by adding up the number of trains they have left in hand and multiplying that result times the corresponding value shown at the top right corner of every train car token! For example, if a player had three locomotives still available in hand then he would multiply this total times three (since each card has its own specific points) for an overall grand total so far since the game start. Now add any additional bonus points earned during play such as completing certain long continuous routes or having more than one set matching colors needed for some claim ticket cards, etc.
Step Six: Draw Two Train Cards from Deck
Finally, choose two cards from the entire deck and add them to your hand by simply drawing these randomly off the top of the pile during the next available Draw Phase until you have a full seven-card reserve again (including all partial ticket sets found in the player’s possession). This completes turning one! Now play passes clockwise around the table where each following player carries out the same steps without skipping any possible options for completing routes or claiming tickets while playing their turns.
Step Seven: Game End & Scoring
The game ends when either no more trains are left in supply OR only ONE set matching colors needed is present between ALL players who then share equally scored victory points at end of the final round. In case both conditions above are true at the same time, the game ends once the player holding this last matching set has his turn.
Players compare their longest continuous route to one another and the winner gets special bonus points according to the table below assuming no ties among multiple winners:
- Route is less than five spaces long = +25 pts
- Route is between six & eight spaces long = +20 pts
- Route is more than nine spaces long = +15 pts
In case of a tie where two or more individuals have won the exact same number of victory point scoring combinations (ie. longest continuous city path connecting two or more cities), then they all share equally in winning this round’s final victory points and thus no bonus rounds are awarded for such ties!
What Strategies Do People Use to Win a Ticket to Ride?
There are many strategies that work well, but they all require careful planning and foresight so as not to disrupt the way you normally play Ticket to Ride! You should try out different methods during gameplay with friends or family members for best results since no one strategy is better than another in all cases. There are also some small tips & tricks that help improve the overall chance of winning which we will cover now.
Complete as Many Routes as Possible – Best Ticket to Ride Strategy
The best way to win is by completing as many routes as possible. This strategy requires a lot of luck, however. If you can complete four or five tickets that all connect different cities (and they aren’t the same color) then you will likely be able to run away with the game because your opponents won’t have enough trains left in their hands and on the board combined. However, this does require a fair bit of luck!
You should try not to keep track of how many colors are still available so as not to avoid drawing those cards when needed for claim ticket card sets later during play. Instead, just focus on achieving one long continuous route between multiple cities per turn played so that you can use these to your advantage.
Don’t Pay Attention to Colors
Never pay attention to how many colors still remain face-down on top of the deck pile! Instead, only concern yourself with completing routes between cities belonging to different regions (ie. North America/Europe) before worrying about any others even if they may seem easier at first glance. That’s because it’s possible for other players to block you from connecting the cities belonging to one region if they complete routes between two or more neighboring ones of their own.
If you must take a certain train color during your turn, then try and only take it when needed since these left behind can help slow down opponents later on. That way there’s less chance that any opponent will draw out the matching set(s) before your next turn plays allowing you time to use these same colors in completing route claim ticket card sets instead.
Don’t Cause Conflict
Remember not to play with anyone who is overly aggressive! If this describes someone at the table while playing Ticket To Ride, then do whatever works best for everyone involved so as not to upset them or cause conflict ending in an argument that ruins the gaming experience for everyone.
Just Go With the Flow and Play It Safe
No strategy will work in every situation or against everyone at the table! If someone does manage to pull off something you weren’t expecting, such as claiming a route card before your turn plays so as not leave enough trains remaining for you to do the same, then just go with the flow and play it safe by completing other routes without needing any of those missing colors instead. That way they won’t be able to block you from connecting cities belonging to different regions and there’s less chance that anyone else can complete them first either since these tend to require longer continuous paths than others on board.
Complete Same Color Route Cards
Don’t forget about tickets completed during previous turns which still remain face-up on top of the draw pile! Even though the ticket is worth points equal to the amount listed on its own, you may be able to double or even triple this value in points by completing the same color route cards during your turn before anyone else does and claim these too! That’s because each color has a maximum number of tickets allowed for claiming depending upon the total amount found within the deck pile.
Don’t Forget About Playing With Two Different Decks
This can help give an advantage when competing against computer-controlled opponents if only one set is available at the table since they won’t know which colors remain face-down under any given card drawn from the top of the draw pile either. What makes it even better however is that this allows players to compete against up to three other friends or family members without needing more than just one base game version comes complete with everything needed including both decks!
Remember to play as aggressively as you can without upsetting others! If everyone at the table works together, then it should be a possible win against computer-controlled opponents by taking the longest route each turn and completing color sets matching a number of tickets available before any opponent(s) do.
Finally, keep playing until someone wins or the game gets too close for comfort ending with a tie where neither player nor computer AI has enough points required to win. In such a situation continue playing normally while paying attention closely so that no one tries taking advantage unfairly due to lack of oversight from other players.
Don’t Analyze Each Move
Remember not to waste too much time analyzing each move! If you find yourself spending several minutes agonizing over where best place next color route card set while playing Ticket To Ride, then it’s probably because the game hasn’t turned out well for everyone involved and no one wants to watch someone else win just barely by luck of draw instead. It should be possible however if only enough tickets remain in the deck pile that all completed routes can at least claim points equivalent to the amount listed on their own before anyone wins this way.
Don’t forget about other special abilities which are still available during your turn even though they don’t cost anything extra either! These include claiming the same colored cards as matching ticket numbers drawn or take two different colors from the top of the draw pile instead of just one!
Just remember that players are expected to compete fairly during gameplay. If everyone picks up the same amount of cards as others at the table do and seems to care about fairness then there’s no need for any player complaints. Just keep playing until someone wins or a tie occurs between remaining opponents with both unable to earn enough points required either way ends in a draw where neither side has won!
Avoid Monopolizing Too Many Routes at Once
Don’t forget to avoid monopolizing too many routes at once! It should be possible instead to claim all matching color route cards needed within a single hand without needing to bother other players since these are otherwise available (also known as blocking) because they’re still face-down under any given card drawn from the top of the draw pile. Just remember to avoid monopolizing too many routes at once however so as not to annoy other players by making it impossible for them to win their own turns!
Variations on the Game
Remember to consider playing variations on the game! Ticket To Ride comes complete with several different versions of play based upon the same basic mechanics. These include Europe which uses two decks and adds a ferry route option between England and Ireland, plus Switzerland which allows players to compete against up to five others without needing more than just one copy each.
Also included with the base set is the USA 1910 expansion pack where chosen card played either will add new train pieces increasing the maximum amount able to be used any turn or remove these existing ones in order to allow three extra tickets per player instead! This version also features a larger map board but only uses just a single deck because cards held by each player replace ticket numbers drawn during turns when using special abilities so that they are always available for future turns whenever needed too.
How Many Players Should This Game Be Played With?
This game is intended for four to five players and is best enjoyed if playing as a team against others instead of just two or three participants due since it requires strategy skills that work better by taking advantage of synergistic effects enabled when working together. The more opponents involved, the harder becomes to prevent anyone from monopolizing too many routes at once but also makes it easier to win because another side can’t block your moves either. Each player gets their own color so that turns order is always known except during tie situations where everyone plays simultaneously after drawing new cards!
At What Age Can You Play the Game?
This game is intended for ages eight and up due to small parts which could pose choking hazards if swallowed by young children. As such, it’s best enjoyed with kids around this age or older but we still play as a family even though our youngest isn’t quite ready yet. We’ve found that he understands how turn order works so long as players aren’t too close together within table space since otherwise confusion can result from not being able to tell whose turn at any given moment!
This game is a lot of fun! It can be played with up to five people which makes it great for parties. The more the merrier as they say, and this applies especially well to Ticket To Ride − rules and strategy. You will need some time on your hands though since playing takes about an hour (or longer) depending upon how many players there are at the table plus the number of routes are still available too! There are also several different variations on play if you feel like mixing things up but we’ve found that the standard version works best overall. So grab some friends or family members who enjoy board games than sit down together try Ticket to ride − rules and strategy!