Strategies for Winning the Board Game Risk

A risk board in play
Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Risk is a classic board game that introduced many players to the genre of war games. Despite its start as a traditional board game, the game has gained popularity in recent years on popular websites like Reddit.

The roll of the dice determines a lot in Risk, but so do strategy and intelligent tactical decisions. This strategy board game was created in 1957 and requires two to six players. Players are required to have skills in strategy, tactics, and negotiation. Gameplay can take anywhere from one to eight hours.

This game of diplomacy allows players to form alliances throughout the game on a political map consisting of territories and continents.

11 Winning Strategies

Risk is not a team game. Alliances, if they exist at all, are always temporary. It is imperative that you do not spread yourself too thin because other players could sweep through and capture all of your one-army countries quite easily.

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