15. Count cards
The Community Chest and Chance cards get shuffled once at the beginning of the game and after that, they stay in the same order (the used card goes face down at the bottom of the pile). Which means, since there are only 16 of them, you can probably keep track of what’s coming up. While you might not care if someone’s about to win second prize in a beauty contest, you definitely care if you own all three Reds and “Advance to Illinois” is at the top of the deck. You’ll want to get houses down right away.
16. House rules are for suckas
Seriously, there is no rule in Monopoly that says you have to put all of the Chance and Community Chest fees into the middle of the board and that whomever lands on Free Parking gets it all. Sure, house rules like that one add an element of luck to the game, but do you want to win because you’re lucky or because you’re smart and strategic? Plus, you know how you always bitch that Monopoly takes forever to play? That’s because everyone keeps getting unearned cash from the stupid Free Parking pile! Ken Koury says if you play by the rules, “your Monopoly game should not take more than 45 to 90 minutes.”
17. Be willing to negotiate and be nice!
A huge part of Monopoly is negotiating. Craig Way suggests you don’t wait too long to get that going (there’s no reason you have to wait until all of the properties have been bought) and that you be very friendly and sociable. It’s pretty simple, he explains: “People will work with you if they like you.” And while it’s tempting to be an asshole and laugh in someone’s face when they land on your monopoly, it’s actually in your best interest to be gracious because as Ken Koury points out, “If someone doesn’t like you and they can’t win, they’ll do everything in their power to see that you lose.”
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Daisy Barringer is an SF-based writer. She once played a game of Monopoly with her family during which one brother refused to speak and the other refused to trade. Everyone was an adult at the time. And, yes, she won. Follow her on Twitter: @daisy.