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When exchanging cards between two players in Pandemic, does it matter which player's turn it is? I have seen this rule played two ways: - The active player can only give a card. OR - The active player can give or receive a card.

Both actions would still cost 1 point each, but the latter allows the active player to use an action point to take a card from another player sharing the same space.

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

From the rules:

Share Knowledge Sometimes it’s hard for one player to get the cards necessary to discover a cure. The Share Knowledge action (while difficult to perform) can be useful in these cases. Transfer a card from one player to another. Every card transferred costs 1 action. Both your pawn and your fellow player’s pawn must be in the same city, and you may only transfer the card of the city that you are in together. (For example, if you are together in Moscow, only the Moscow card may be transferred from one player to the other.) If either player holds more than 7 cards as the result of a transfer, the excess cards must be immediately discarded to the Player Discard Pile.

Special for the Researcher:

The Researcher may give a fellow player any card from his hand when involved in a Share Knowledge action. He is not restricted to giving the card of the current jointly-occupied city, like other players are. is freedom only applies when the Researcher is giving a card—he always receives a card with the same restriction as other players. e Researcher can utilize this ability when involved in Share Knowledge actions on any player’s turn.

It does NOT matter what player's turn it is. Either play can initiate the transfer and either give or take a card from the other player. The Researcher only gets to use his special ability of transferring any card when the card is being transferred from the Researcher to another player. In order to transfer a card from another player to the Researcher, they must be in the same city as depicted on the card being transferred.

This will make the game a fair bit easier as you don't have to wait for the right players turn to transfer cards. You could play the other way if you wanted a bit more difficulty with 2 or 3 players, but playing it with 4 can be almost as bad as adding another epidemic card. :D

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Or in short: The active player can give or receive a card. –  Kempeth Mar 1 '11 at 7:25
    
Thanks for the help. We've played 4 or 5 games where we were all set to go for a 4th cure during the next time around the table, only to have the deck run out of cards 1-2 players before our cure could be cashed in. Playing the game properly should help turn these into a few wins now! –  Gundabad Mar 3 '11 at 21:25
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