With Christmas only a few days away it’s time to dust of the old Monopoly board and get ready for a game which is meant to bring everyone together.
LIES. Any person with a working brain will tell you Monopoly is the number reason why you might want to reach for turkey cutter and point it at your aunt for buying out Fleet Street.
Monopoly is all about winning – and financially crippling your opponents in the process. If anyone tells you different they’re living in a fantasy world where unicorns are considered part of the fauna.
To win at Monopoly you have to be ruthless and have the endurance of a Duracell bunny, because let’s be honest, who’s ever finished a game of Monopoly in their lives? Most will argue it is a game based on pure luck, but for UK champion Natalie Fitzsimons there’s actual strategy involved.
26-year-old Natalie is the best in Britain and ranked number six in the world, so she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to developing a method of winning and avoiding bankruptcy – in the game, not real life.
In an interview with The Mirror, her advice extends well beyond ‘get lucky’ and ‘buy everything you land on’. It requires you to have you’re big boy business hat and pants on as you dictate and delegate the advantages of taking out a mortgage early in the game.
— MonopolyUK (@MonopolyUK) July 19, 2015
Fitzsimons’ first rule of Monopoly is to ‘mortgage early and mortgage often’. The second rule of Monopoly is presumably ‘mortgage early and mortgage often’.
She tells The Mirror:
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.
She also advises players to buy more into lots of houses but not hotels. She explains:
The amount the rent increases per house maxes out [at three houses].
There are certain scenarios where it might be better to acquire four houses instead of three; if you see the supply of houses running low, every extra house you buy means your opponents can’t add to their stock. What you could call an ‘aggressive buyout’.
A cruel and rather Machiavellian tactic but that’s the nature of Monopoly – and the game of life – it’s survival of the fittest out here and sentiment is a luxury you cannot afford.
Also contrary to popular belief you need to take into consideration the property you invest in as some are worth more than others, but for different reasons.
The best example is Park Lane, you might be tempted to build multiple hotels and houses, but because of its position on the board – in between Chance and Community Chest – it means your opponents have the potential to be moved away from your square, it’s statistically the least likely square on the board a piece can land on.
Another odd piece of advice – which would have gone over our heads if the logic behind it wasn’t explained – is if you land in jail stay there. Generally, that’s the kind of advice I’m not likely to follow (in the game and in real life) but according to Fitzsimons, there are big benefits of landing on the dreaded square.
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.
So, in a nutshell, be ruthless, frugal and observant.
It’s the key to a serene Christmas where you can one-up your snot-nosed cousin, who you may have to share the bed with later on in the night… awkward.