# Turning in cards when you have five or six cards

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.

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.

• 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. Commented Jul 6, 2015 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
Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 0:52
• @lly - Nope, you've misread the rules (as quoted by Martin in the other answer anyway). The wording is "enough sets to reduce your hand to 4 or fewer cards". If you have 7 cards, one set is enough to reduce your hand to 4 or fewer, two cards is not "enough" it is "more than enough". Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 10:37

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.