I know we’ve had a parlay about house rules already, but this time I’m most specifically interested in Monopoly. My wife and I were having a conversation about this the other day. A conversation which came up because of a $40 copy of Monopoly we saw in a store. One thing led to another, and I stated that I hated playing the game, because anyone I’ve ever played it with used house rules that made the game drag on forever.
Most people I’ve talked to believe they’re playing the game the proper way. It’s the way they were taught to play, and have always played that way. I’ll ask them if they’ve actually read the rules and they look at me funny. Why would they need to read the rules when they were already taught the rules?
Turns out the actual rules can be a real eye opener to some people.
So, do you play Monopoly with the proper rules, house rules, or are you not even sure?
I honestly don’t remember the last time I played Monopoly properly, if ever. The closest I’ve come must be in some strange variant as a mini-game, like the Mario Party series. Otherwise, yeah, huh.
I’m imagining a blind “taste test” scenario. Say you rethemed and renamed the core rules. I wonder how people would feel about the experience not knowing they’re actually playing Monopoly, with all the baggage associated with that brand.
I think the questions should be:
Do you play Monopoly with house rules?
Do you play Monopoly only without house rules?
Do you play Monopoly sometimes with house rules, and sometimes without?
Do you not play Monopoly at all?
When I was a kid I always played Monopoly with house rules that did just that – made the game never end. But it was more fun that way! Nowadays I would probably rather not play anything than Monopoly with house rules :P
When I played (it’s been years) I always used official rules.
I dated a girl once though whose dad had taught her “nice” versions of lots of games. It was irritating when she’d pull some bizarre thing in Monopoly, or Scrabble, or the like. Things like getting to re-use score multiplier squares.
That said, somewhere in my brother’s house is the 1973 National Lampoon that came with the Miracle Monopoly Cheating Kit (photos of which can be seen at boardgamegeek).
I always wanted to try it, but cutting out the pieces seemed like sacrilege.
We always played the correct rules. Hose rules are for wimps!
My uncle insisted on getting a group together to play during Christmas. We disagreed about some rules. I hadn’t played in forever and tried to pull them out. The box had no rules insert.
In college, my roommates and I had the same issue. We only tried to play once. Mostly, we played Munchkin instead.
When I played growing up, we played with the genuine, real rules.
However, in college (late ’70s) we used to play occasionally and we had some house rules.
And not all house rules lead to longer/suckier games.
Among the house rules we sometimes used were:
Mergers: Two players could combine their assets (after paying a 10% tax on their combined assets) and become a single player, as long as doing so did not make them the richest player in the game. This had two competing effects – it did slow down the elimination of the weakest players – but it also moved the game into the endgame faster. Significantly, unlike the much maligned Free Parking house rule it didn’t increase the amount of money in play (which is how that rule extends the game).
Limited “Free Rides”: Not really a house rule, since it isn’t forbidden by the official rules, but it was not uncommon for property deals to come with various riders (I’ll trade you property X for property Y on the condition that I don’t have to pay the next three times I land on property X). This also helps to accelerate the move into the end game because it increases the likelihood of monopoly-building trades. Obviously, these trades are more beneficial the more players in the game.
“The Tax Man”: Although both of the above rules were standard, we also infrequently played with a roving tax man who represented the bank and rolled dice to move just as did the players. If the tax man landed on the same square as a player, that player had to pay Income Tax, just as if they had landed on the Income Tax square. When we used this rule, it had the effect of speeding up the game by taking money out of the game just as Free Parking (when used) adds money into the game.
Last time we played, we made it a point to play by the correct rules. It still took forever and really was very disappointing (although I won). There are so many better games they you and your friends can play is much less time.