Hasbro offers U.K. hotline to curb Monopoly fights at Christmas
The newest Monopoly token, a cat, center, rests on a Boardwalk deed next to other tokens still in use including the wheelbarrow, left, and the shoe, right, at Hasbro Inc. headquarters, in Pawtucket, R.I., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (AP / Steven Senne)
"Did you steal that from the bank?"
"Uhhh you rolled a five, not a six."
"Ha! Gimme all your money, Mom! You're bankrupt!"
"I hate you, I hate this family and I hate this game!"
Nothing says "quality time with the family" like watching the kids throttle each other over an extra hotel on Marvin Gardens, while playing the contentious board game Monopoly this Christmas.
Hasbro is hoping to preserve some of the peace and goodwill over the holiday break (and potentially keep some people out of jail), with a hotline set up to address the rule disputes that inevitably emerge during a game of Monopoly. The hotline, which is slated to launch exclusively in the U.K. from Dec. 24-26, will allow callers to ring up a rulebook expert so they can iron out the intricacies of the game. That way you won't have to take your older sibling's word for it when they say the banker gets a $100 pay cheque every turn. The hotline number is (44) 0800 689 4903.
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And yes, a hotline in the U.K. might not sound particularly useful in Canada. But consider this: you can either pay the long-distance fees to call Britain, or wait for someone to hurl the board across the room after landing on Boardwalk in Hour 3 of a game.
Hasbro is launching the hotline based on the results of a survey of 2,000 adult Monopoly players, which identified some of the most frustrating behaviours that ruin a game. The survey found that 51 per cent of Monopoly games end in a verbal or physical dispute.
"Monopoly is one of the best-loved board games of all time, because it's a way for families to spend some quality time together," Craig Wilkins, Marketing Director of Hasbro U.K. & Ireland, said in a statement. "However, our research found that Monopoly games can regularly end in chaos."
Making up the rules was cited as the most common cause of a fight in Monopoly, according to the survey. The second-most common cause is a sore winner who gloats over their victory. Other common fisticuff-worthy behaviours included stealing from the bank, deliberately miscounting a move, making up the Free Parking rules and, of course, arguing over game pieces. Because let's face it: no one wants to be the iron.
Cheating is also fairly rampant in the game, with 13 per cent of respondents saying they regularly pocket a few extra bucks from the bank when others aren't looking.
But that's not the only way to get ahead. Others have reported making up the rules, slipping houses or hotels onto the board, messing with the chance or Community Chest cards and staying silent when landing on someone's property, in the hope that they won't demand their rent.
The survey also found it common for players to cheat by offering real-life incentives in trades with other players.
The 10 most common ways to cheat are listed below, so you know how to spot them (or so you have some new ideas for the next game with your family).
Top 10 cheating tactics in Monopoly
- Staying silent when landing on someone else's property
- Stealing money from the bank
- Moving a token the incorrect number of spaces
- Making up convenient rules
- Stealing houses or hotels and slipping them onto the board
- Changing a dice roll
- Pretending to get a good Chance/Community Chest card
- Stacking the Chance/Community Chest decks
- Offering real-life incentives to opponents for in-game help
- Stealing properties from the bank
Top 10 reasons to fight over Monopoly
- Making up rules
- Being a sore winner
- Buying a property you don't want to keep it out of someone else's hands
- Taking too long with a turn
- Stealing from the bank
- Deliberately miscounting a move
- Arguing over who gets to be banker
- Property auction process
- Token choice
- "Free Parking" rules
If you don't plan on giving the U.K. a call on Christmas Day, consider perusing the Monopoly rulebook instead. The official rulebook clarifies some of the more contentious points of the game, such as:
- Free Parking. You don't win any money for landing here. It's just a free spot.
- Passing GO. Players receive $200 for passing GO or landing on the space. Players who land on GO receive $200 (not $400, and not $0).
- Passing on a property. If a player declines to buy a property when they have the opportunity, it goes up for auction to the highest bidder. The player who landed on the space is allowed to bid in the auction.