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Lost Cities

Lost Cities is a two-player card game where players compete to explore ancient ruins and collect valuable artifacts. Players must manage their resources and make strategic decisions to earn the most points.

7.24 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
player count
Recommended player count
30 mins
play time

How Complex is Lost Cities?

1.48 / 5

Lost Cities is easy to understand and play, with simple rules and mechanics that can be learned quickly by players of all skill levels.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of Lost Cities?

3 / 5

Luck plays a significant role in Lost Cities as players rely on drawing cards from a shuffled deck, but strategic decision-making is more important in determining the outcome of the game.

How much Player Interaction does Lost Cities offer?

2 / 5

Lost Cities has limited player interaction as players take turns playing cards and do not directly interact with each other, except for blocking certain card plays.

How much Replayability does Lost Cities offer?

2.5 / 5

Lost Cities offers moderate replayability due to the random nature of the card draw and the different strategies that can be employed in each game, making each playthrough unique and engaging.

Why you should play Lost Cities

Easy to Learn

Lost Cities is a simple game to learn and play, making it a great option for both experienced and new board gamers.

Strategic Gameplay

Despite its simplicity, Lost Cities requires strategic thinking and planning to succeed. Players must carefully decide which expeditions to embark on and which ones to avoid to maximize their scores.

Quick Gameplay

A typical game of Lost Cities can be played in under 30 minutes, making it a great option for a quick game night or to fill in some downtime.

Two-Player Game

Lost Cities is specifically designed as a two-player game, making it a great option for couples or friends looking for a fun and engaging game to play together.

High Replayability

With multiple rounds and different strategies to try, Lost Cities offers moderate replayability and can be played over and over again without getting boring.

Why you should avoid Lost Cities

Limited Player Count

Lost Cities is specifically designed as a two-player game, so it may not be the best option for larger groups or families.

Lack of Theme

Lost Cities doesn't have a strong theme or storyline, which may make it less appealing to players who prefer games with immersive themes.


While strategy is important in Lost Cities, luck also plays a significant role in the game. Some players may find this frustrating or feel that it takes away from the skill-based aspect of the game.

Where to find the Rules of Lost Cities

Check the rules of Lost Cities in a PDF file.

You can also find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the Lost Cities files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for Lost Cities

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of Lost Cities.

Start with low-value cards

At the beginning of the game, it's best to start with low-value cards to build up your hand. This will help you avoid losing too many points early on.

Focus on one or two expeditions

It's better to focus on one or 2 expeditions rather than trying to spread your cards across all 5. This will help you build up a stronger hand and increase your chances of scoring points.

Keep track of the discard pile

Keep an eye on the discard pile to see which cards have already been played. This will help you make better decisions about which cards to play and which to hold onto.

Use wager cards wisely

The wager cards in Lost Cities can be very powerful in 2, 3 or 4Xing your points, but they can also be risky. Use them wisely and only when you have a strong hand.

Don't be afraid to cut your losses

If you're not doing well in a particular expedition, don't be afraid to cut your losses and stop playing cards in that expedition. It's better to lose a few points than to keep playing and lose even more.

Pay attention to your opponent's moves

Keep an eye on what your opponent is doing and try to anticipate their next move. This will help you make better decisions about which cards to play and which to hold onto.

Plan ahead

Try to plan ahead and think about which cards you'll need to complete your expeditions. This will help you make better decisions about which cards to play and which to hold onto.

I hope these strategies help you get started with Lost Cities!

Advanced Strategies for Lost Cities

Take calculated risks

This means playing high-value cards without waiting for low-value cards. In some cases, this can avoid negative points for an expedition at the end of the game.

Pay attention to the score

Keep an eye on the score and try to anticipate how many points you'll need to win. This will help you make better decisions about which cards to play and which to hold onto.

Block your opponent

If you see that your opponent is doing well in a particular expedition, consider keeping higher value cards of that expedition to block them. This will prevent them from scoring as many points and give you a better chance of winning.

Keep track of the draw pile

As you become more familiar with the game, you should start keeping track of the draw pile. If you feel the draw pile will run out before you play all the cards you intend to play, take the cards you may not even want from the discard pile in the middle to extend the game. As a result, you will have enough chances of completing an expedition.

Be flexible

Remember that the game can change quickly, so be flexible and willing to change your strategy if necessary. Don't be afraid to switch your focus to a different expedition if it looks like you won't be able to score many points in your current one.

I hope these advanced strategies help you improve your game in Lost Cities!


Set Collection
Hand Management
Open Drafting
Push Your Luck
Score-and-Reset Game
Move Through Deck
Melding and Splaying


Card Game