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In regards to turning in Risk cards, the rule book says if you have five or six cards you must turn in at least one set. My question is why do they give you the option of five or six? If you have five cards you will have a set of three. You can only get one card per turn so you would never move from 4 to six in one turn. It seems a bit confusing. I was playing with a group and there was a disagreement about this and my opponent said he was going to wait until he got six.

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You can only get one card per turn so you would never move from 4 to six in one turn.

Not true. The rules of Risk state that you get the cards held by an opponent if you eliminate them from the game. There is the additional condition: When you get enough cards from an opponent that brings you to six or more cards you must immediately turn in sets until you have four or fewer cards left over. (You must stop if you have four or three cards and have another set to turn in.)

But consider the case where you start your turn with four cards, then eliminate someone with one card. You gain the card, giving you five cards. At the end of the tern, you've captured new territory so you draw another card. This gives you six cards at the start of your next turn!

So therefore it's possible to have up to six cards at the start of your turn, but no more than that. The rules explicitly state that if you have five or six cards, you must turn in a set. Having five cards and waiting for the sixth isn't playing by the rules.

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    One thing to note is that when turning in cards at the end of your turn because you had more then 6 you must stop once you get 4 or fewer cards. So for example of you had 7 cards after taking them from your defeated opponent then you would turn in 1 set of cards and stop. – Joe W Jul 6 '15 at 23:15
  • @JoeW You've misread the rules. You must reduce your hand to four or fewer, not reduce your hand until you have four or fewer cards. You can absolutely trade in two sets, although some editions of the rule make that impossible in other ways. – lly Apr 11 '17 at 0:52
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This particular question will have 2 different answers depending of the time period & the rule books that you are using throughout the evolution of the game.

In the Parker Brothers/Hasbro rule books of 1959, 1963, 1975, 1980, 1993, 1999 & 2016 you will find the following:

If during your turn you eliminate an opponent by defeating their last soldier on the map, the eliminated player is out of the game & you win any territory cards that player has collected. If winning them gives you 6 or more cards, you must immediately trade in enough sets to reduce your hand to 4 or fewer cards. This is called a mid-turn trade-in.

In the Parker Brothers/Hasbro rule books of 2003 you will find the following:

If during your turn you eliminate an opponent by defeating their last soldier on the map, the eliminated player is out of the game & you win any territory cards that player has collected. If winning them gives you 5 or more cards, you must immediately trade in enough sets to reduce your hand to 4 or fewer cards. This is called a mid-turn trade-in.

Since 2003 & prior to 2008 it is impossible to have 6 cards in your card hand at the beginning of your next turn as you must trade them in until you have 4 or less cards. Your earning another card at the end of your turn can only bring your card hand to a maximum of 5 cards at the beginning of your next turn. There is no confusion since 2003. In 2008 Parker Brothers/Hasbro moved onto a Star method of trading in cards rather then the 3 image method. In the Star method of trading in cards you can trade at any time during your turn always & you can hold onto more then 5 cards. In 2016 Hasbro returned the mid-turn card trade-in to 6 or more cards so the confusion has returned.

Pre 2003 & as of 2016, it is possible to eliminate an opponent, get their cards bringing your card hand to five & then ending your turn earning your sixth card. At the beginning of your next turn you were forced to trade in at least one set. If you wished & were able to do so, you could trade in 2 sets of cards at the beginning of your turn.

The only way to end up with 6 cards under any set of rules while using the 3 image method is by eliminating an opponent & earning their cards. Therefore your friend wishing to wait until he had 6 cards to trade in a set could not do so under any set of rules because if you have 5 or 6 cards at the beginning of your turn you must trade in at least one set. If he had 5 cards at the beginning of his turn he had to trade them in.

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