Monopoly games: the cause of some of the most brutal Christmas arguments we’ve ever seen. So if you want to get your own back on your dad (who DEFINITELY cheated last year), follow these tips from the UK’s reigning Monopoly champion…
Natalie Fitzsimmons is the best Monopoly player in the UK – and the sixth best in the entire world. So who better to listen to for tips on how to beat your family without having to resort to nicking money when the banker has their back turned?
And a few of her tips – as told to The Mirror – are actually pretty surprising…
Mortgage, mortgage, mortgage
Probably bad advice in real life, but Natalie believes the best way to get ahead in Monopoly is to borrow as much as you can - ensuring that you can buy as many sets and houses as possible and start raking in that sweet rental cash.
“This always feels a little like cheating, but I never know why other people don’t do it,” she said. “As soon as you get a monopoly yourself, mortgage everything else and spend every penny on houses. A monopoly with three houses on each square is far more valuable with lots of low-rent single property squares.”
“You can always ‘un-mortgage’ them later in the game.”
Skip the hotels…
Once you have enough houses to build a hotel, it can be tempting to go for it - that little red status symbol means EVERYTHING when you’re struggling with your game.
But, according to Natalie, you shouldn’t really bother - just stick with the houses.
“The amount the rent increases per houses maxes out” at three, she says – so just build houses somewhere else on the board.
…And skip Park Lane while you’re at it
Another Monopoly status symbol, many of us spend the entire game trying to get our grubby little mitts on Park Lane or Mayfair - preferably both.
Don’t bother - because even if you get them, chances of anyone else landing on them are pretty slim.
“It may be prestigious but Park Lane is actually the square in the game landed on less than any other,” Natalie explains. Community Chest and Chance cards are heavily concentrated around the middle of the board - meaning that players are often catapulted straight past the purples.
Create a housing shortage
Another one that sounds distinctly more okay in Monopoly than real life, Natalie suggests creating a housing shortage to beat your competitors.
There are a limited number of houses - so if you have any spare cash then you should “even go for four houses in the hope they run out so other players can’t buy them”.
Stay in jail
We’re all pretty keen to get out of jail when we’re sent there – but Natalie thinks it’s better for us to stick it out, especially further into the game.
“In the early game you want to get out of jail as soon as possible. But once all the property squares have been bought sometimes the best thing is to wait patiently in jail.”
“At the later stages of the game, it’s better to be behind bars so you can still collect but don’t land on expensive squares.”
So next time you fancy starting a Monopoly-based row with your 90-year-old great aunt – at least now you’ll DEFINITELY win.