Turns out we've all been playing Monopoly wrong for years
While most households across the country whack their copy of Monopoly out around this time of year, and have been doing so forever, so are convinced they know the rules inside out, we've got news for you: you've actually been playing it all wrong.
Seriously. All these years it turns out we've been making up the rules and now I don't know who or what to trust anymore.
This life-changing light has been shed on the popular Hasbro board game thanks to a video from the YouTube channel Today I Found Out, in which presenter Simon Whistler informs us that most of the rules we take for granted in Monopoly gameplay have actually been made up and passed down through the years.
Like the Free Parking space, for example. We all know that when you're forced to pay a fee either for getting out of jail, paying tax or similar, you have to place money either under one corner or in the centre of the board. The lucky player who lands on Free Parking wins the jackpot and gets to take all this money for themselves, right? Well, er, no. That's not in the original rules.
Free Parking actually does nothing. It was supposed to be intended for players to have a little rest and to count their money, but that's been completely changed throughout the eight decades of gameplay.
Since this has become implemented into the game so widely, Hasbro introduced a set of optional 'House Rules' in recent years, of which the Free Parking cash win is one. But it was never in the original set of rules. Who knew?
Also, nowhere in the rule book does it say you have to have made it round the board once before you start buying houses—that's another fictional rule we all abide by. God, we're naïve, aren't we?
There are some other rules we all miss out which were designed to speed up gameplay, too. Like the fact that any time a player lands on an available property and makes the decision not to buy it, it's then supposed to be opened up to the rest of the players to bid for it—starting at any price they like.
As Simon Whistler points out, this rule "adds considerable strategy to property buying, rather than just relying on dumb luck of where you land and going by the stated purchase prices".
And another thing; when a player becomes bankrupt, this usually rules them out of the game so all their assets and what money they have left is returned to the bank. That's not actually correct—the assets are meant to go to the player whose debt couldn't be repaid, leading to the bankruptcy.
To be honest, it's not a complete surprise that we've been playing it wrong; in a study commissioned by the game's maker Hasbro, 68% of respondents admitted they'd never actually read the rules. And I can't remember the last time I sat down with a cup of tea and had a browse of them, either.
So this year, things will we different. We'll all get our lives back on the right track, make amends for our failures of the past, and start playing Monopoly the correct way.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.