29 September 2017
(Although the normal mode is only REALLY bad if you ignore the official rules)
Monopoly. It’s a game that inspires groans of derision from players whether they’ve been enlightened to the wider world of tabletop gaming or are clueless family members who only play at Christmas. As the old saying goes, Monopoly is the game that everyone plays that no-one wants to play.
Of course, the joke is that Monopoly isn’t actually as bad as most people think; if you play by the proper rules, that is. Most of the hatred for the octogenarian property-dealing classic has come about as the result of decades of house rules and family variants that slow down the speed that players buy property or give them more paper money than they should have, prolonging the torture.
Most infamously, the official rules state that when a property is landed on, if the active player can’t buy it at its listed cost, it should be immediately auctioned off to the highest bidder from the rest of the group. But, still, most players ignore this small but crucial detail – meaning they have to wait until another player lands on the space and can afford the property to get things moving on again.
However, not all the optional rules for Monopoly make it a worse experience, as a variant devised by the cousin of Reddit user ned_poreyra proves.
In short, the changes take the oft-maligned auction rule one step further with the introduction of a blind bidding mechanic.
Skipping the chance for the player who lands on a property to buy it, the alternate rules mean that every player immediately gets to make a simultaneous bid equal to or higher than the printed cost of the space, with ties resulting in the active player getting the property.
It’s a simple change but one that propels the game along, as well as adding in an extra exciting element of keeping your stash of paper money safe from prying eyes so you can swipe the most valuable properties.
ned_poreyra added that their cousin also invented a system for acquiring loans from the bank, with the repayment and interest – potentially twice the amount loaned – offset until players passed Go again
Alas, no house rule is perfect, and even these interesting variants had their downside – or upside, depending on how you feel about bringing the game to an end as quickly as possible, regardless of winning.
“After some time it was "obvious" who will win (the one with most properties/money) and we just ended the game with an agreement who win,” ned_poreyra writes.
Maybe break out the alternate rules next time someone suggests a game – it might just make it bearable again.