Gold Ahoy! consists of 36 square tiles that are laid out in a 6x6 grid in the course of the game. The tiles contain two landscape types: water and sand. Water is in the corners and sand is on the sides. An treasure chest sits in the center of each tile, which is one of the two colors. Placed together, the tiles form a water/sand maze.
During the game, players take turns drawing a tile and adding it to the grid in almost any location; the one restriction is that a player cannot extend the grid in the direction of the opponent. When the grid is complete, players score one point for each chest that is connected to more exits on their side of the grid than on the opponent's side. Whoever has the highest score wins.