The Risk Classic rules do not seem to specify if territory cards drawn by players are kept face-up or face-down. I can't seem to find anything about this from my research and I was wondering if anyone could clarify on this?

Edit: Thought I'd add some quotes from the official rules for reference.

"Earning Cards" doesn't seem to specify if the cards are drawn face-up/face-down and if they are then proceeded to be kept face-up/face-down.

Earning Cards. At the end of any turn in which you have captured at least one territory, you will earn one (and only one) RISK card.

The only reference to face-down cards I can find are when the player has traded them in.

For quick reference, keep traded-in cards face down under the bottom edge of the game board to mark the value (in armies) of the next trade

The only advantage I can see to having open-information card drawing is you know if they will be getting reinforcements on their next turn since the number of reinforcements you get scales according to the number of traded sets which is open-information.

2 Answers 2


I have in my possession all of the anglophone, Parker Brothers/Hasbro, Risk board game rule books ever published since 1959 as I am rewriting the rule book taking into account all of the European & North American evolutionary differences. Scanned versions of theses rule books can be found on Wikipedia.

On page 5 of the 1993 edition, step 5 of the setup reads as follows: 5. Shuffle the pack of RISK cards (remove the Mission cards) and place it, face down, by the side of the board. This pack forms the draw pile.

On page 5 of the 1999 edition, step 6 of the setup reads as follows: 6. Shuffle the remaining pack of RISK cards and place it, facedown, by the side of the board. This pack forms the draw pile.

This answers the first portion of your question.

On page 7 & 8 of the 1963 edition, step (h) of the play reads as follows: (h). Play of cards: If a player has captured one or more territories on his turn, he is entitled to take the top card from the deck that has already been placed face down on the table. He puts this card in front of him and does not disclose it to his opponents.

This answers the first portion & the second portion of your question.

Another related question that has arisen over my years of playing this classic game is whether or not a player must disclose how many cards they have acquired in their card hand.

This question is not addressed in any Parker Brothers/Hasbro rule book that has ever crossed my eyes, however on line playing does allow other players to see how many cards each player has collected therefore I have incorporated the obligation to disclose how many cards are in your card hand in the rule book that I am rewriting.


If the rules don't specify it, I guess house rules are required! I've always played that they're drawn face down, so noone else knows whether you'll be handing in a set this go or not.

  • 1
    I've played with many different groups of players over the past 50 years, and never seen a group that required the cards to be kept face up. Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 22:52

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