Mille Bornes

Terry Hurley
Race car and checkered flag

People throughout the world enjoy playing the French classic auto race card game, Mille Bornes.

Game History

Edmond Dujardin, a Frenchman, created the game of Mille Bornes in 1954 after becoming inspired by an early American card game patented in 1906, called Touring. Dujardin made changes to the game with the most notable being a player's ability to earn bonus points called a coup-fourre, which is the French term meaning counter-thrust.

In 1962, Parker Brothers licensed and translated the classic game to English. The title Mille Bornes translates to thousand milestones referring to the French stone markers that measure distance on the roadways., Parker Brothers discontinued the game in 1997. It was then re-released in 1998 under the Parker/Hasbro license by Winning Moves.

The Object of the Game

When you play Mille Bournes, you are entered into a cross country race in France. As the name suggests the racecourse is 1,000 miles long and the goal of the game is to be the first to arrive at the end. As you travel along the imaginary racecourse passing the milestones markers, you encounter road hazards. Depending on the cards you may be stopped by a road hazard or pass it along to another player. For each hazard, there is a remedy.

Examples of hazards include the following:

  • Accidents
  • Flat tires
  • Empty gas tanks
  • Breakdowns

As you play your cards, traveling through the imaginary road race, you must follow basic rules of the road such as:

  • Obeying the speed limit
  • Stopping on red
  • Going on green

During the game, players can slow one another down by playing cards that present obstacles such as speed limits or red lights.

Game Pieces

The following game pieces are included in the standard and deluxe versions of the Mille Bornes game:

  • A rules booklet
  • A pack of 110 cards - 106 play cards, 2 guide cards and 2 score cards
  • A card tray

The play cards include distance, hazard, remedy and safety cards.

Distance Cards

  • 25 km - 10 cards
  • 50 km - ten cards
  • 75 km - ten cards
  • 100 - twelve cards
  • 200 km - four cards

Hazard Cards

  • Accident - three cards
  • Flat tire - three cards
  • Out of gas - three cards
  • Speed limit - four cards
  • Red stop lights - five cards

Remedy Cards

  • Repairs - six cards
  • Spare tire - six cards
  • Gasoline - six cards
  • End of speed limit - six cards
  • Green light cards - fourteen cards

Safety Cards

  • Driving ace - one card
  • Puncture proof tire - one card
  • Extra tank of gas - one card
  • Right of way - one card

Collector's Deluxe Edition

In addition to the standard editions of the game published throughout the years, there is also a deluxe collector's edition. The collector's edition contains all of the same game components as the standard editions with the following changes:

  • Poker-sized game cards featuring the original beautiful artwork from 1962
  • A card tray shaped like a car
  • Oversized score sheets
  • Oversized rules booklet

Game Instructions

Complete game playing instructions are available from several sources online.

F.G. Bradley's site has the original instructions and rules reprinted from a vintage version of a Parker Brothers game. There are also playing and strategy tips and guidelines.

A digital copy of the rules, instructions and playing guide from Hasbro are available online.

Where to Find Mille Bornes Online

New editions of this classic French card game are available online from many suppliers including:

Websites such as eBay, I Offer and Bonanzle often offer vintage versions of the game.

Play Online

If you love playing games online, many websites offer Mille Bornes. Although some offer free play, others charge to download the game. Versions of the game are also being offered for some mobile phones.

A great addition to family game night, Mille Bornes is recommended for two to six players ages eight and up, and many people enjoy playing the game in teams.

Mille Bornes