You are here:
Estimated reading time: 7 min

Easy to Read Risk Board Game Rules

Quick reference to the Risk Board Game rules. We cover the essential instructions and directions to get your game started quickly.

2 – 6 players

120 mins

Age: 10 +

What is the goal of Risk?

Risk is a board game of military strategy where you are battling to conquer the world. As you conquer continents, your military strength grows. To win, you must deploy careful strategies to attack others, defend yourself on all fronts, and control vast continents.

However, overextend your armies across the globe and there is a risk that your enemies might attack and take control!

Table of Contents

Game setup 

Game Components

  • 1 Tri-fold Game Board
  • 5 Dice: 2 white and 3 red
  • Deck of 56 RISK cards
  • 6 Sets of armies, each a different color


RISK demands careful planning before you start to play.

Setup begins with Initial Army Placement.

Initial Army Placement – Starting Armies

2 – see 2 player rules



Each player’s turn consists of three steps:

  1. Getting and placing new armies;
  2. Attacking, if you choose to, by rolling the dice;
  3. Fortifying your position.

Getting and placing new armies

At the start of each turn, you will calculate the number of armies to add to your territories based on :

  1. Number of territories controlled;
  2. Value of continents controlled;
  3. The value of the matched sets of RISK cards you trade in;
  4. The specific territory picture on a traded-in card

At the start of every turn (including your first):

  • count the number of territories you currently occupy
  • divide the total by three (ignore any fraction by rounding down) and the answer is the number of armies you receive
  • Place the new armies on any territory you occupy

Example: 11 territories = 3 armies 14 territories = 4 armies 17 territories = 5 armies

You will always get at least 3 armies on a turn, even if you have fewer than 9 territories.

  • In addition, at the start of your turn you will receive armies for each continent you control.
  • To control a continent, you must occupy all its territories at the start of your turn.
  • The chart in the lower left-hand corner of the game board indicates the number of armies you receive

When you trade in sets of cards, you gain additional armies based on the total number of sets anyone has traded in so far.

To keep track of sets traded-in, 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 first set traded in – 4 armies

The second set traded in – 6 armies

The third set traded in – 8 armies

The fourth set traded in – 10 armies

The fifth set traded in – 12 armies

The sixth set traded in – 15 armies

After sixth, each set traded in is worth additional 5.

Received 2  bonus armies for any traded in cards that show pictures of your occupied territories. Bonus armies must be placed onto that particular territory. You can only receive maximum of 2 bonus armies.


  • After placing your armies, you decide if you wish to attack and capture a territory.
  • If  you decide not to attack, pass the dice to the player on your left.
  • You may still fortify your position, if you wish (see fortifying position).

If you choose to attack:

  • You may only attack a territory that’s adjacent to yours or connected to it by a dashed line
  • You must always have at least two armies in the territory you’re attacking from
  • You may continue attacking one territory until you have eliminated all armies on it, or you may shift your attack from one territory to another
  • attacking as often and as many territories as you like during one turn
  1. Announce both the territory you’re attacking and the one you’re attacking from
  2. Roll the dice against the opponent who occupies the opposing territory
  3. Before rolling, both you and your opponent must announce the number of dice you intend to roll, and you both must roll at the same time.
  • You, the attacker, will roll 1,2 or 3 red dice: You must have at least one more army in your territory than the number of dice you roll.
    Hint: The more dice you roll, the greater your odds of winning.
  • Yet the more dice you roll, the more armies you may lose
  • The defender will roll either 1 or 2 white dice: To roll 2 dice, he or she must have at least 2 armies on the territory under attack.
    Hint: The more dice the defender rolls, the greater his or her odds of winning-but the more armies he or she may lose

On your turn, you may attack any territory adjacent to one of your own.
Whenever you attack a “neutral” territory, your opponent rolls to defend
that “neutral” territory.
“Neutral” armies cannot attack and never receive reinforcements during
the game.

  1. Compare the highest die each of you rolled.
  2. If yours (the attacker’s) is higher, the defender loses one army from the territory under attack.
  3. But if the defender’s die is higher than yours, you lose one army from the territory you attacked from;

If each of you rolled more than one die, now compare the two next-highest dice and repeat the process.

* In case of a tie, the defender always wins. The attacker can never lose more than 2 armies on a single roll

  • When you defeat the last opposing army on a territory, you capture and control that territory
  • To do so, move into the newly controlled territory, at least as many armies as the number of dice you rolled in your last battle.
  • You must always leave at least one army behind on the territory you attacked from.

During the game, every territory must always be occupied by at least one army.

Ending your attack. You may end your attack(s) at any time. If you have captured at least one territory, first take the top RISK card from the draw pile.

 If during your turn, you eliminate an opponent by defeating his or her last army on the game board, you win any RISK 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, but once your hand is reduced to 4,3, or 2 cards, you must stop trading.

But if winning them gives you fewer than 6, you must wait until the beginning of your next turn to trade in a set.

Note: When you draw a card from the deck at the end of your turn (for having won a battle), if this brings your total to 6, you must wait until your next turn to trade-in.

Fortifying your position

  • You may, if you wish, end your turn by fortifying your position.
  • You are not required to win a battle or even to try an attack to do so.
  • To fortify your position, move as many armies as you’d like from one (and only one) of your territories into one (and only one) of your adjacent territories.
  • Remember to move troops towards borders where they can help in an attack!
  • In moving your armies from one territory to another, you must leave at least one army behind.

How do you win?

  • The winner is the first player to eliminate every opponent by capturing all 42 territories on the board.

2 player win condition

  • To win, be the first to eliminate your opponent by capturing all of his or her territories.
  • You do not have to eliminate the “neutral” armies.
  • In most cases, all “neutral” armies are eliminated before the end of the game. If this happens, play continues until one player defeats the other

How to Play Video WalkthroughVideo Walkthrough

Was this article helpful?
Dislike 3 4 of 7 found this article helpful.
Views: 11781


  1. Trevor

Leave a Reply

User Review

    Scroll to Top