Ticket to Ride: Building the best railroad in the 1900’s

It has over 2 million copies sold, has been awarded game of the year multiple times, and is considered by many gamers a must-have in any collection. Ticket to Ride is the definitive train game, for serious train game players as well as casual players.

It is the 1900’s in America and the railroad has connected the country from coast to coast. In Ticket to Ride, you are working build train routes connecting cities and completing destination tickets.

Ticket to Ride game. Photo credit to YouTube

To start, each player selects a set of colored train markers, draws two destination cards, and their first hand of four train cards. The game board consists of colored rail lines connecting cities across the country.

Train cards come in colors that correspond to the colors on the board. They are used to build connections between cities and complete destination lines. Several completed connection routes will create a line. Players are working to complete the destination line to gain the points that destination earns. The longer the line, the more points offered.

On a players turn they perform one of three actions; draw two cards, claim a route, draw two destination tickets. Claiming routes and completing destination tickets.

To claim a route, a player discards the number and color of cards required. For example, to claim the route between San Francisco and Salt Lake, the player needs six blue cards. Once a player has six blue cards, they discard them and place six of their train markers on the board, showing that they own that route. The player then collects the points based on the length of the route, in this case, 15.

Play continues until one player has only 1,2 or 3 train markers left. At this point, each player takes one final turn. After all, players have taken a turn, points are scored. Players with any uncompleted destination tickets subtract that lines amount from their score. In addition, a bonus card is awarded to the player who has the longest line built. Players tally their final score and the highest score wins.

Ticket to Ride game. Photo credit to YouTube
Ticket to Ride game. Photo credit to YouTube

Ticket to Ride is a fantastic gateway game to introduce to new players. It has simple mechanics, a lot of strategy and planning is used. Deciding which line to build, collecting the right set of cards to complete a line is critical to earning points and avoiding losing points for an uncompleted destination.

Ticket to Ride is a great family game; it helps kids learn colors and counting in a fun way. It is for ages eight to adult.

With the game now being sold in major chain stores like Target and Walmart, the world of strategy gaming has opened up to an even broader audience.

Rodney Smith of Watch it Played, has a wonderful tutorial for those who want to learn more.

Written by Ed Carter

Ed Carter. Hi there! My name is Ed and I am your guy for all things tabletop. I look forward to sharing with you the amazing world of board gaming. Drop me a note if you have any specific you want to know about. Until then. Happy gaming!