For example, it's my turn, I'm trading and I agree to make a trade with player B where I give them my only wood and they give me one brick. But then, before we exchange cards, player C interrupts and says to player B - "wait, I'll give you 2 wood for that brick in the next turn when I can trade".

In simpler words, do all trading offers have to include the player whose turn it is, or can other players make such offers between themselves?

2 Answers 2


Catan is a social game where a degree of social banter of the sort above can enhance the feel of the game.

However, considering that the game permits trades with the active player - and not between non-active players, it is plausible to rule that such is interference with the active player's turn and therefore not allowed.

Even in larger games with 5+ players the game rules do not cater for trades by inactive players where the active player is not involved - and it is considered etiquette to process conflicting build requests in turn-order for precedence (hence no non-active player building a town on a contested space that is being built on by the active player).

What level of trade banter you permit is down to that agreed. We have played fine enough with some banter but it can get annoying when excessive.

  • 4
    I'd add that since no trade takes place, there's also no compulsion to actually carry out the proposed trade when it becomes valid. So in general I'd say that such discussion can be allowed, but that those out-of-turn trade offers are non-binding (and the risk in doing so needs to be taken into consideration along with everything else you're evaluating at the time).
    – ConMan
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 4:05

The rules only allow trades with the active player; those can be proposed by either party. The rules do not permit trades with anyone else.

a) Domestic Trade On your turn, you can trade Resource Cards with any of the other players. You can announce which resources you need and what you are willing to trade for them. The other players can also make their own proposals and counter offers.

Important: Players may only trade with the player whose turn it is. The other players may not trade among themselves.

(Catan, 4th Edition, Revision 1, Page 4)

So, given the situation A's turn, B proposes a trade with A, and C proposes a trade with B, C is ignoring the trading rule, as negotiation of the trade is part of the trade step.

In casual play, it is at the very least, poor form, and bad sportsmanship.

In Tournament play, it's grounds for complaint to the judges.

  • 2
    negotiation of the trade is part of the trade step. I disagree. (I'd downvote you if I could). Saying 'I'll trade you on my turn' is just straight up table talk, similar to 'put the robber on him!'. There's nothing binding about the agreement either, either party could renege on the deal without breaking the rules (of course, you might not be trusted after that). Reneging on a negotiated deal that's on the player's turn on the other hand, would be a breach of etiquette.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 3:30
  • I'd go further (and I did downvote you, because I think you're wrong). Anything goes with banter. And reneging on a negotiated deal is fine, you accept a non-binding agreement has risk.
    – xorsyst
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:19
  • @xorsyst then your should have downvoted another answer as well, which ahs the same conclusion.
    – aramis
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 6:34

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