How To Win at Risk

Become a better player with these simple strategy tips

Board game of Risk
Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Risk is a classic board game that introduced many players to the genre of wargames. The roll of the dice means a lot in Risk, but so do strategy and intelligent tactical decisions.

Here's How

  1. Know what rules you're using. There are various editions and versions of Risk, so be sure that you're not playing one game while everyone else is playing another.
  2. Australia is a good continent to control at the beginning of the game, since it's easy to hold (it only has one point of attack from outside the continent) and get the continent bonus. South America, with only two points of attack, is almost as good.
  1. When you control a continent, position your armies to protect the points of attack much more so than the less vulnerable interior countries.
  2. Don't bother conquering an entire continent unless you think you can hold it for at least a full turn, because controlling a continent makes you an attractive target for other players to attack.
  3. Try not to let other players control continents, but don't weaken yourself too much in the process.
  4. Whenever possible, attack with a large group or armies rather than a medium-sized one.
  5. If you're playing with mission cards, it's generally better to start by going after a full continent. Once you have armies to work with, go after your mission.
  6. When trying to complete a mission, take steps to make sure that you don't make it obvious what your goal is. If you don't mask your intentions, your opponents will catch on.
  7. If you're playing with increasing card redemption values (the standard rule in most versions), hold on to your cards as long as possible. This is particularly true near the beginning of the game.
  1. Hold on to wild cards as long as possible at any point in the game.
  2. If you're defending a country, and you have an option of how many dice to roll, always roll as many as possible. This increases your chances of a successful defense.


  1. Risk is not a team game. Alliances, if they exist at all, are always temporary.
  1. Don't spread yourself too thin. Other players could sweep through and capture all of your one-army countries quite easily.