If you have enough points to win on your turn, but only by including your unrevealed VP development cards, are you forced to win?

E.g. I have three cities (6 VP), three settlements (3 VP), and I buy a development card, which ends up being a victory point card. Can I wait until my next turn where I believe I'll have a chance to steal longest road, and end the game on 12 VP, or do I need to declare victory now?

The reason why I ask is that we keep a running total of stats from the games we've played over the years, and finishing on a higher total would bring up my average VP per game score.

  • 1
    If you reach ten points, you win. The rules clearly state this. If you reach ten points and you do not win, you are cheating.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 19:36
  • You might want to look at this question for more info on the topic: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/2468/…
    – Mohamad
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 13:32

5 Answers 5


You have won the game as soon as your have 10 points on your turn, there is no requirement to "declare" victory. So no, you cannot keep playing extra rounds. From the official FAQ:

Victory Conditions - May I continue scoring points after having reached the number of victory points required for a win?

This could make sense in a private tournament where the scores from several games are added up. For individual games and official tournaments, the following applies: You have won as soon as you have reached the required number of victory points on your turn – and then the game is over.



Victory Conditions - What if someone has reached the required number of victory points for a win but is unaware of it? Did this player win anyway?

Yes. The game ends as soon as a player has reached the required number of victory points on his turn. If he’s unaware of it, you should tell him, because you can’t take an already gained victory away from him.


Note that you have the point from VP development cards as soon as you buy the card. You don't "play" the development card to get the points; you already have those points.

  • So a player MUST reveal that they have a dev card that would make them win? Otherwise, they could keep it hidden, as nobody other than them would know they have won.
    – Fodder
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 4:26
  • 7
    If you have a private tournament which generates perverse incentives like this, then change the tournament format :) Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 9:56
  • As soon as you buy the victory point development card, the game is over. Once acquired, you have the 10 points. Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 17:08
  • It may be of interest to note that a popular online unnamed catan clone (x-l--e-s) does in fact end only when someone pushes the 'claim victory' button. I have on a number of occasions opted to play differently to ensure I take an additional metropolis or longest road, and when playing against computers you may get 40+ points. In it's game engine, the person who first hits the 'claim victory button'(which is only available on your turn) wins. As mentioned elsewhere here though, those are not the official rules by mayfair games.
    – JMoravitz
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 18:51

The key thing that nobody here has yet clearly and explicitly stated is this, from the rules on http://www.catan.com/service/game-rules:

(From Victory Point Card section):

You only reveal your Victory Point Cards when you or someone else wins the game! Keep Victory Point Cards hidden until you have 10 points during your turn and you can declare victory.

So you keep your VP cards secret, but they still count towards your goal. Once you reach 10 VPs, you win.

Important note (from Development Card section):

You may not, however, play a card that you bought during the same turn.

Exception: If you buy a card and it is a Victory Point Card that brings you to 10 points, you may immediately reveal this card (and all other VP cards) and win the game.

So you buy a new dev card, and hit 10 points because of this new card, you then win on that turn. Job done.

  • Although I don't think this is necessarily the intention, phrases like "can declare victory" and "may reveal this card and win the game" make it sound like there is a choice. I would much rather it have said "Keep VP Cards hidden until you have 10 points on your turn and have won" and "you must immediately reveal this card and win the game" Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 16:10
  • if you're playing a tournament with ranking, do they count to your VP score? I'm not so sure the rules say what you're interpreting them to mean.
    – virmaior
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 6:53

Once 10 Victory Points (VP) has been reached, then you have automatically won, even if you have played a development card prior to purchasing the winning VP card.

If you are playing alternate rules, then you can always agree upon a new set of rules which cover this topic.


I'm going from memory of 1st edition here, rather than the current rules. I'm pretty sure you had to declare victory on your turn to win - even with the 5/6 player expansion.

However - one fix for this is question, which is used in some tournaments I've played - is to always score victory as 12 points, regardless of number of points. 12 is about the right emphasis on winning to usefully use a VP/game average.


I think the answer has already been stated. IF you are playing a 'regular' game or a tournament where you win and advance, declaring victory is required when it happens.

However, if you are playing a tournament where the number of points matters - as it does in the world qualifiers at GenCon - then, yes, you can hold onto those point. Of course, it would not be so good if someone else won before you did because you got greedy....

  • Hi Mike, could you add sources, maybe quotes, to your answer? Right now it is not very reliable yet.
    – mafu
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 18:18

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