Could a player, during their turn, count the number of resources of each kind in the bank? I would typically do this before playing a monopoly card for instance.

1 Answer 1


You can only count resource cards after rolling, to determine if there are enough for everyone to get the cards they need.

From the official FAQ:

Resource Cards - May I count the Resource Cards in the supply stacks during play?

Yes, immediately after a production roll, before distributing the resources - but only if it isn't sure whether there will be enough cards for all players entitled to receive them.

  • 1
    This answer surprised me; we always used to count the resource piles to determine what would be a good resource for Monopoly. It’s impossible to prevent you from eyeballing the piles to see which ones are lower, though.
    – GendoIkari
    Mar 22, 2020 at 14:43
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    In almost every game, I just house rule that information that was ever public stays public. For Catan, that means that since it is always publicly known when resources enter or leave the bank, it should be publicly known how much is left (and hence players can count). Mar 22, 2020 at 19:05
  • @BenjaminCosman While I understand the reasons for that; I also think it's fine for memory/tracking to be one of the skills that a board game puts to the test.
    – GendoIkari
    Mar 23, 2020 at 3:03
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    "only if it isn't sure whether there will be enough cards for all players entitled to receive them" - For this to be possible then "looking" at the pile is ok. Just don't pick it up and go through it. It is easy enough to see if a pile is nearly empty assuming the pile is somewhere around the table. I think this is an important point, but not worth its own answer.
    – Jontia
    Mar 23, 2020 at 13:56
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    @GendoIkari I agree, but I'm also not very interested in memory tests, so if it's easy to remove one I often will and focus more on the other skills being tested. I'm not saying this is the right or only way to play, just the way I prefer :) Also, memory components often hit new players especially hard, since they don't know what they should be tracking and have too much new stuff on their minds anyway. I'm fine with new players losing, but I'd prefer they leave thinking "Look at all those strategic considerations unique to this game" rather than "I lost because of memory. Again." Mar 23, 2020 at 15:23

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