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Yep, we’ve all been playing Monopoly wrong

Monopoly is a savage bloodsport in which relationships are routinely destroyed at the roll of a dice.

I’ll never forgive my grandfather for that time in 1991 when he bankrupted me entirely and forced me to sell off my houses on Old Kent Road to make rent.

“It’s character building,” he said, as I quietly sobbed and handed over the crisp 500 notes.

But what if I told you we have been playing Monopoly wrong the whole time? And more importantly, does this make grandpa’s stunning victory and title of Family Champion (1989-1994) totally void?

Typically, players travel around the board and when they land on a property, they have the option to buy it. If they don’t want it, they move on. It’s the next person’s turn right? Wrong.

Metro reports that what should happen is that if the player doesn’t want to buy the property, it goes to auction.

“If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder,” the official rules read.

“The buyer pays in cash and receives the Title Deed from the Banker as proof of ownership. All players, including the one who declined the option of buying at the original price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.”

So there you have it. One thing this will do is speed the game up with less time travelling the board and a quicker path to cultivating monopolies.

Of course, people can still insist on House Rules. For example, some folks play the absurd rule that if you land on Free Parking you can collect all the money that has been paid has fines.

Seriously, WTF? What does Free Parking have to do with collecting fines? I try to avoid people who play this rule.

If you want to crush your family the next time the Monopoly board comes out, you might consider following the advice of Tim Darling.

A self-described “big Monopoly fan”, Darling consulted very comprehensive return on investment (ROI) data to come up with a surefire strategy to make you a winner (and no it isn’t “buy everything”).

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Always buy railroads, never buy Utilities
  • The best monopolies for ROI are three houses on Orange, Light Blue, or Light Purple. Next is a hotel on each Brown.
  • Single properties are the worst investment if you don’t build on them (unless you are blocking someone else from a monopoly).

Look out grandpa, I’m coming for you. There’ll be no mercy in the rematch.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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