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Frequently Asked Questions


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When I played online, my opponent played more than one tile in a turn. What gives?

This results because of the forced play rule of TRAX. Forced tiles occur whenever two paths of the same colour enter a space. The forced tile is the only tile that can be played in the corresponding space, and links the lines going into the space. Rest assured - each player only gets to choose one tile to play in a turn - the rest are forced tiles.

While forced plays can take a few games to get used to, they are essential to the playability of TRAX. In fact much of the strategy of TRAX is using the forced plays to achieve several things in a turn. To play well, it is important to think of the turn as all of the tiles played, and not in terms of the individual tiles that make up the turn. Further information on forced plays and some tips on how to visualise forced plays are given in the OnTrax article "Trax Tips - Forced Plays".

Note: If you are playing with a viewer program, or online, the software will automatically make all the forced plays for you. However when playing over the table, you must make them yourself!
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Where can I obtain a set?

Trax sets have been sold in many countries around the world in a range of different packaging. If you are unable to find a set in your favourite toy or game shop, you can purchase TRAX mail order from the TRAX shop.
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What happens if we both win on the same turn?

This is a win for the player who made the move (see the rules).

Note: some older sets contain rules for 8x8 TRAX which say that this is a draw. There has been a rule change since these rules were printed to make 8x8 TRAX consistent with unlimited play TRAX.
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How do I record a game?

  1. For notation purposes, the orientation of the playing area is determined by the orientation of the first tile played in the game:
    First tile
  2. Only the first tile in played in each turn is recorded as the forced plays are self evident. The location and orientation of the tile is recorded using a three part code in the form: .
  3. <column> is the column in which the tile is played, counting from the left of the overall position. Use @ for the leftmost empty column followed by A to Z, AA to AZ, BA etc.
  4. <row> is the row in which the tile is played, counting from the top of the overall position. Use 0 for the topmost empty row, followed by 1, 2, 3, etc.
  5. <tile> is the tile that is played. Use "+" for a straight tile, and either "/" or "\" for curves according to the orientation of the curved paths on the tile.
    Tile codes
  6. The first move of the game is either @0/ or @0+.
  7. Moves are numbered consecutively, with White playing the odd numbered moves, and Red playing the even numbered moves.
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My keyboard does not have \, how do I type it?

Hold the [Alt] key down and type 92 on the numeric keypad. Then release the [Alt] key. Note that this only works with the numeric keypad, and not with the numbers across the top.
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Is it better to play Red or White?

As far as we have been able to tell (from analysing a large number of games), we have not been able to determine a statistically significant advantage to either colour. However many players prefer one colour over another, perhaps because they are more familiar with the openings from that colour.
TRAX is the common law mark of David Smith and is used to identify his tile game and equipment. Rules of TRAX copyright 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1998 David Smith, Christchurch, NZ.
This Website compiled by Donald Bailey, Palmerston North, NZ. Copyright 2000-2006