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April 2007
  Ticket to Ride - Card Game: VARIANT Mon, 23 March 2009 23:33
My wife and I were pretty disappointed with standard rules. This is what we came up with to make it much better.

SETUP *****************************

Randomly take one ticket from ticket deck -- high number goes first.

The cards are dealt much like in the rules. Each player gets seven (7) train cards and there are five (5) placed faceup and the stack of trains are placed in middle of board. The tickets are shuffled and stacked next to train cards (players do not receive any tickets). Place two (2) tickets face up in between the two players in the middle.

RULES *****************************

Players want to collect the most tickets and points to win the game.

The player has two choices every turn:
a. They can add trains to their hand (same fashion as rules: two faceups trains, one faceup locomotive, or two facedown, or some combination);

b. Place a bid on ONE of the tickets.


A bid is the proper number of train colors to win the ticket. You must have the minimal number of colors -- you cannot submit a bid with LESS than the required number of colors. Sometimes, it may be obvious which one you are bidding on, if the require large difference in trains. It happens.

The first player to submit a bid, removes the number of trains from their hand into a single stack and places it facedown in front of them. The purpose is to keep bid a secret.

The bid is not revealed until there are two bids made on the table. So the second player could make a bid, or continue to build their hand. Which means if the second player decides to build their hand, the first player could make a bid on the other ticket during their turn.


The players reveal their tickets from the bid. A player cannot retract their bid. The train cards are discarded. To determine winning bid: if one player has made bid for both tickets, they are awarded both tickets. if the two players have bid on two separate tickets, they are awarded their respective ticket. if the players have bid on same ticket, then a bidding war takes place.

---- >>> BIDDING WAR

Starting with player who submitted first original bid, they have option to add more trains to their bid. The player would propose to add ## of trains to bid. (dont need to specify color) HOWEVER, they can only add trains of same colors for ticket. For example if the ticket is YELLOW & BLUE, the player could add 2 more yellows and 1 blue, and 2 locomotives. They would simply say "I can add 5 more trains".

OPTIONAL: 3 trains of one color counts as a locomotive.

The second player would then be able to counter-offer additional trains to their bid. The bidding continues until player cannot match or make a greater bid.

TRAIN WRECK: occurs when players are match their bids and neither player can increase their bid greater than the other. (if you dont trust each they can request the player to reveal their additional trains to prove they have the additional trains) when this occurs the players keep the ADDITIONAL train cards and the original bids are discarded - nobody wins the ticket. The other ticket is discarded.

TRAIN ROBBERY: occurs when one player is able to add additional trains to their bid and win ticket. The additional trains are added to bid and discarded. The player win the tickets and the other ticket is discarded.

After tickets are awarded two new tickets are flipped over ready for bids.


a. If player did not win a ticket, they go first.

b. If train wreck occurred, then player who placed first bid on ticket, would go first.

c. If both players won a ticket, then the player with the LOWEST points on their ticket goes first. If the tickets are tie, then the player who placed first bid on a ticket, would go first.


The trains and tickets are discarded. They do not get re-shuffled or placed back into play.

The players continue to play in order until they cannot take their turn. Play continues until both players have exhausted their options. If one player does not have a play, the other player continues to take their turn and may bid on the remaining tickets. The remaining train cards have no effect and are discarded.

OPTIONAL: once the train card deck is exhausted the players have one turn and the game ends abruptly.

---- >>> FINAL SCORE

The players review the tickets they have won. The bonus points are given out for most connections. For example the player with most number of connections into Seattle would win the Seattle bonus points. NOTE: it is number of connections -- not the number of points on the cards. However, if the players tie -- then it comes down to total points on the connection cards.

After the bonus points are distributed, then total points wins the game.

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