Ticket to Ride basics

Feb 14th 2024

Ticket to Ride combines strategy and a bit of luck as you build train routes across a map. Here's the basics on how to play:

Objective: The main goal of Ticket to Ride is to complete destination tickets by connecting cities with your trains and earn points. Players can score points by claiming longer routes and completing destination tickets secretly drawn at the beginning of the game.


  1. Game Board: The board depicts a map with various cities and colored train routes.
  2. Train Car Cards: Colored cards representing train cars.
  3. Destination Ticket Cards: These cards list two cities, and players earn points if they connect them.
  4. Train Stations: Allow players to use part of another player's route.


  1. Place the board in the center.
  2. Shuffle the Train Car Cards and deal four to each player.
  3. Place the remaining cards face-down as a draw pile.
  4. Shuffle the Destination Ticket Cards and give each player three.
  5. Each player chooses two Destination Ticket Cards, keeping at least one.
  6. Give each player 45 train pieces (trains) in their chosen color.


  1. Drawing Train Car Cards:
    • On your turn, you can draw two train car cards from the face-up display or the deck.
    • If you draw a face-up wild card, that's your entire turn.
  2. Claiming Routes:
    • Spend train cards of the same color to claim a route between two cities.
    • Longer routes score more points.
    • Place your trains on the route to indicate ownership.
  3. Destination Tickets:
    • On your turn, you can draw more Destination Ticket Cards (up to three) or choose new ones.
    • Keep in mind, you lose points for uncompleted tickets.
  4. Building Train Stations:
    • As an action on your turn, you can use a turn to place a train station, allowing you to use one or both ends of another player's completed route.


  1. Route Points:
    • Players score points for claimed routes.
    • Longer routes score more points.
  2. Destination Ticket Points:
    • Players earn or lose points based on completing or failing to complete destination tickets.
  3. Longest Continuous Route Bonus:
    • The player with the longest continuous route receives a bonus.

The game ends when a player has two or fewer trains left. After a final round, players reveal their destination tickets, and points are calculated. The player with the most points wins.


  • Balance completing destination tickets with claiming routes for flexibility.
  • Pay attention to opponents' strategies.
  • Consider the longest continuous route bonus.

Ticket to Ride is easy to learn but offers strategic depth, making it suitable for both casual and experienced gamers. Once you master Ticket to Ride, try other versions of the game such as Ticket to Ride San Francisco or Ticket to Ride: First Journey for the little ones.  Enjoy your journey building train routes across the map!