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Yahoo! editors have selected this article as a favorite of 2013. It first ran in May, and was one of the most popular Yahoo! Games stories of the year. Inspired by the subject, readers took to the comments to swap favorite Monopoly rules.
Monopoly is one of the most beloved board games of all time, so you'd think we'd all know how to play it correctly.
Turns out we don't.
Perhaps because so many people learn the game from their parents, siblings and friends, no one has bothered to read the actual rules for a while. But according to an old blog post dug up by Buzzfeed, reading the rules actually changes the game in a big way.
You know how envious you get when a competitor lands on a killer property? It’s misplaced. As it turns out, should a player land on a property and decide not to buy it, that property is supposed to immediately go up for auction to the other players.
"Whenever you land on an unowned property you may buy that property from the Bank at its printed price," read the official rules. "You receive the Title Deed card showing ownership; place it face-up in front of you. If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder. The buyer pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option to buy it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price."
That oft-ignored rule not only livens up the game’s slow pace, it adds a strategic layer to a game that most people believe is based primarily on the luck of the die.
Of course, the property auction isn’t the only Monopoly rule that’s routinely ignored.
Ever get a loan from another player, or even the bank (with the exception of a property mortgage)? Nope...not allowed. Run out of houses or hotels, so you've 'imported' them from another copy of the game lying around? Sorry. That's a no-no, too. Still claiming money when you land on Free Parking? That’s actually not in the rule books at all (technically, landing on Free Parking does absolutely nothing). It goes without saying, though, that part of the fun of Monopoly -- or any board game, for that matter -- is customizing the rules to fit your particular interests/time limits, so don't let these ruin the fun.
But whichever rules you choose to play by, you won’t be doing it with the iron. In February the company jettisoned the long-running game token in favor of a cat. Too bad there wasn’t a rule against that.