A problem occurred during a recent game of Ticket to Ride.
After completing the 3 original destination ticket, the player drew 3 new destination cards.
The player didn't have enough trains left to complete ANY of the 3 destination but the player is required to keep at least one of those newly drawn destination cards.

What happens in this case?
Is the player still liable to negative points at the end of the game for the destination that is impossible to complete?
Is this one of the pure bad luck elements of the game?

  • 6
    The question seems a little odd, in that they player was not at all required to draw new destination tickets. There are other options near the end (block opponents, work towards longest route, or just complete the segments worth the most points.) My recommendation is often to look for long segments to be completed. A 15 point segment is a much safer goal than an unknown destination ticket. Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 18:10
  • Agreed. The player wasn't required to draw new cards. But that is assuming that the player understands the strategy properly and is somewhat of a veteran. When playing with a newbie or a child, they do not always agree that they needn't draw more and we can't force anyone to not draw. :) So the question was about resolving these rare happenings. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 6:45

2 Answers 2


Players get negative points for any destination tickets that are incomplete when the game ends, period. Either this player got unlucky, or made a foolish decision drawing new tickets so close to the end of the game.


It is common that when drawing new destination tickets, none of them will be possible to complete. Especially if drawing later in the game. It makes no difference if the reason that it's impossible to complete is because you don't have enough trains, or because all routes into and out of the necessary cities are blocked, etc. Drawing new tickets is intended to be a risk vs reward proposition.

So yes, the player in that situation just gets unlucky, and will keep the 1 ticket that's worth the least points, so they lose the least amount.

Even then, it can be the right move to draw tickets near the very end, especially if you are otherwise losing. Sometimes it's even the right move to draw tickets as your very last move, even knowing you can't ever play trains again! You might know you are losing, and have no choice but to hope to get lucky and draw a ticket that you've already completed.

  • If it's "common" to draw nothing but tickets you can't complete, you're drawing too late in the game. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 12:40

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