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Now you can be a Christmas board game champion

Now you can be a Christmas board game champion

Are you hoping to be top dog around the games table this Christmas? World Champions and top scientists have revealed their tricks to be the best at family favourite games.

Monopoly – Think orange!

The tip here is to go for the orange properties. According to Natalie Fitzsimons, the reigning UK Monopoly champion: ‘Statistically, you are most likely to land on these — so buy the set if you can.’

Most people think they should buy the two most expensive properties, Mayfair and Park Lane, Natalie says this is wrong. “Steer clear of them because they are very expensive and fewer people land on them” she says.

Other Mind-blowing Monopoly tips;

1. Create a housing shortage

Consider buying as many houses as possible and no hotels. Apparently, this creates a ‘housing shortage’ because there are only 32 houses available to use in the game and once they’re gone, others players can’t buy any.

2. ‘Get into jail. Stay in jail.’

Although you cannot buy properties from the bank when in jail, you can still trade with other players and collect rents while in jail, but you avoid having to go round the board and risk paying hefty fines, or rents to other players.

3. It’s all in the head

Natalie adds: “If there is one family member who always wants to play with a particular piece make sure you get it instead. Some people are very attached to their favourite piece and if you take it away, they feel on the back foot from the very start and play badly.”

Scrabble – Be modest

Forget show-off words such as ‘zymosis’ or ‘quagga’. Letters such as ‘z’ and ‘q’ that are worth ten points aren’t necessarily game-winners.

According to Brett Smitheram, International World Scrabble Champion, you need to know as many two- and three-letter words as possible. He says: “These help you score a lot, especially if you use high-point titles such as ‘q’ and ‘z’.”

Other Scrabble savvy tips;

1. Blank Space

Most players realise the blank is the most powerful tile in the game. Brett says it should never be used for less than 50 points, unless it’s at the end of the game.

2. Don’t be defensive

Don’t obsess over what your opponents may do they invariably don’t have the letters that you fear they have, and apparently a defensive method of play will distract you from making the most of your own tiles.

3. Hold back and plan ahead

Play ‘a little bit more aggressively’ and focus on not just the current round but the subsequent one, by holding some useful letters back to actively set yourself up to score well on your next turn.

4. Countdown

Begin the game with a list of all 100 tiles in the bag and cross them off as they are played. By the final rounds, you’ll know what tiles other players have left and therefore you can block any high-scoring words.

Do you have any tips and tricks you use when playing games at Christmas? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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