A Monopoly board in the middle of a game. (Photo credit: Wikipedia/Horst Frank)
Monopoly is one of these games everybody has played at one point or another. Everybody knows how to play that game. Hell, most likely everybody reading this has a set of that game handy somewhere.
Ok, tell you what. Go and grab that set. Open the box. You don’t have to do much. Just get the manual for the game and read what happens when a player lands on a field and doesn’t want to buy it outright.
Come on, do. I’ll wait.
It’s in the rules, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I haven’t thought about that either for a long time. After all, that’s not how you play the game, is it? (Actually, for additional fun: try to find the section on Free Parking, although most people know that that one is a house rule)
For those who did not have Monopoly handy: according to the rules property that is not immediately bought by a player after landing on it goes to auction among the other players. No set starting price.
No, that’s not a house rule, that’s in the actual rules. And yes, nobody plays Monopoly like that. I remember when my brother and me read the manual as kids and came across that section, and we decided: Fuck this, that’s not how you play the game.
Funnily enough, according to people who tried it, the actual rules make for a faster, better, and more interesting game, because it keeps people from having to make endless circles around the board just to collect the set of cards they need to even start building stuff. It does make the game more cut-throat though, and according to the article I linked, this might be the reason it is often left out: Monopoly is still a family game. Losing the game because the dice rolled wrong is still better for kids than losing because their siblings snatched away all interesting property and left only scraps for them.
I doubt even using the actual rules would make Monopoly a really good game, but it would certainly be more interesting than the game we played since I was a kid.