The Ticket to Ride rules include this process:

When the deck is exhausted, the discards are reshuffled into a new draw pile deck.

The phrase "when the deck is exhausted" could be interpreted several ways:

  1. "at the time the deck is made empty"
  2. "at the time the deck cannot satisfy a player's draw"
  3. "at the time the deck is made empty or cannot satisfy a player's draw"
  4. "any time the deck is empty"

Option 4 seems the most reasonable. With this interpretation, assuming the deck is empty and there are no discards, when a player claims a route, their discarded cards would be immediately reshuffled into a draw pile deck.

Is this the intended interpretation? If not, when should the draw pile deck be replenished after it and the discard pile have both been exhausted?

  • 3
    How would the discard pile become exhausted? At no point are you instructed to draw cards from the discard pile. – The Chaz 2.0 Nov 16 '20 at 21:31
  • In the question post above, I've quoted a rule in which discards are transfered into the draw pile. After that process, the discard pile would be exhausted. – monad Nov 16 '20 at 21:40
  • 1
    @monad So the cards are in the deck and the discard pile is empty. What's the issue here? – Studoku Nov 16 '20 at 22:31
  • @Studoku I've added an example situation to the question post, hopefully clarifying. – monad Nov 16 '20 at 22:49
  • I think I ask this question in almost every board game I play! At exactly what point does a discard pile get shuffled into a draw deck. Turns out I've been playing TTR wrong for years then based on answer here. – StartPlayer Nov 17 '20 at 13:05

Yes, that is what would happen but that is supposed to be a rare situation as it is not intended for the players to hold all the cards in their hands. The rules cover the situation for when there are no cards at all for players to draw and by extension it also covers the situation when a route is claimed and there are now cards to draw


When the deck is exhausted, the discards are reshuffled into a new draw pile deck. The cards should be shuffled thoroughly, since all the cards have been discarded in sets.

In the unlikely event that there are no cards left in the deck and there are no discards (because players are hoarding many cards in their hands), a player cannot draw Train Car cards. Instead he may only claim a route or draw Destination Ticket cards.

  • Is there a reliable source that clarifies the intended interpretation of the rules? – monad Nov 17 '20 at 0:08
  • @monad What do you mean by the intended interpertation? – Joe W Nov 17 '20 at 0:25
  • I mean, the way the game designers meant the game to be played. You've quoted the rules, but the language is vague, hence the initial question. – monad Nov 17 '20 at 0:40
  • @monad What is vague about reshuffling the discard pile into the draw pile when it is empty? Or the possibility that both can be empty? As you said I quoted the rules and it says to shuffle the discard into the draw pile when the draw pile is empty but it doesn't say anything about not doing it right after a turn in. – Joe W Nov 17 '20 at 1:30
  • I've edited the question to highlight contrasting interpretations of the rule. – monad Nov 17 '20 at 2:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.