Preparing to Play
Before play, remove tiles if necessary to make sure each player will have an equal number of turns. For example, if there are five players, remove two tiles from the full set so you’re playing with 70 tiles. (You can also use less than the full set if you want to play a shorter game.)

Shuffle the tiles and stack them face down.

Each player draws a hand of three tiles, making sure to not show their tiles to the other players.

Placing Tiles
Choose a starting player. That player begins the game by placing a tile on the table and then drawing another from the stack.

Each player in turn places a tile next to a tile already on the table, edge to edge, matching a colored square on their tile to the same color on the adjacent tile. The player then draws a tile, so they again have three tiles in their hand.

Figure 1: The first player started the game by placing the tile on the left.
The second player placed the tile next to it, matching the red corner squares.
The third player placed the tile next to that, matching the yellow middle squares.
Tactic Tiles © 2014 Tod Teeple. Website © 2014 Hilaria & Ludi, LLC. All rights reserved.
You must make a match on each turn. It’s okay to have side-by-side colored squares that don’t match, as long as you do have at least one match.

If you can’t make a match with the tiles you have, you show your tiles to the other players. If they confirm that no matches can be made, you return your tiles to the bottom of the stack, draw three new tiles, and play one of those.

Points are scored in two ways:
• By completing a three- or four-corner match of the same color.
• By matching two or three different colors on the same play.
1 point for a three-corner match
2 points for a four-corner match
2 points for a two-color match
3 points for a three-color match

Figure 2: The player who placed the bottom tile made a three-corner match with the red squares, for 1 point.
Figure 3: The player who placed the next tile made a four-corner match with the red squares, for 2 points. That player also matched the blue corner squares. For matching two different colors on the same play, the player gets 2 points, so the total score for that turn is 4 points.
Note: You always get 2 points when you make a two-color match, or 3 points for a three-color match, no matter what corner matches you did or didn’t make.

If on your turn you can’t make a match, and have to draw new tiles, you lose a point. If you don’t have any points yet, your score is -1 (negative 1).

The game is over when all tiles have been played.
The player with the most points wins.

Other Stuff
Strategy: Try to avoid placing a tile that sets up a scoring opportunity for an opponent. However, if you can place a tile and score points, but it sets up a potential scoring play for an opponent, it usually is a good idea to take those points, rather than pass them up.

Playing time: A game with the full tile set can take an hour to play. You can play shorter games by starting with fewer tiles. Play with a half or a quarter of the set, or any number you choose. Just make sure the number of tiles allows each player an equal number of turns.