12 Little-Known Board Game Rules

Want to play Monopoly, but only for an hour? You can! Get more out of your favorite games with Hasbro.

1. In Monopoly, when a player lands on an unsold property he or she does not want to buy, it goes to auction.

Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier / Via Flickr: jepoirrier

Bidding on unsold properties speeds up the game and adds an element of negotiation.

2. When making an accusation in Clue (not a suggestion or guess), you don’t have to be in the room you’re guessing.

Chris Corwin / Via Flickr: flickerbulb

For suggestions, you do need to be in the room you say. But on your final guess, you don’t.

3. A “yahtzee” (five dice showing the same number) can be used for full points in a scoring section for which it doesn’t fill the requirements (like a straight).

Laura Gilchrist / Via Flickr: gilchristlaura

In order to do so, however, the original “yahtzee” box must already be filled, as must the entire top half of the scoring sheet.

4. The winner in Jenga is the person whose turn it was right before the tower got knocked down.

blgrssby / Via Flickr: blgrssby

Many people play where everyone wins except the person who knocks over the tower. Following the original rule encourages friendly competition and ribbing of the person who plays after you.

5. In Life, when you run out of tiles, you can take them from anyone who retired at Millionaire Estates.

Paul Fisher / Via Flickr: thetorpedodog

So choose your retirement home carefully! If you get more than four tiles stolen, it’s just not worth it.

6. In Risk, you can move armies from any territory to any territory you possess, as long as you can get there through countries you’ve conquered.

Ben Stephenson / Via Flickr: benstephenson

This “expert” rule is different from the normal rule, which says you can only move to a country that touches the country you’re on.

7. In Trivial Pursuit, a player who gets no questions wrong can start and end the game on one turn, collecting all pieces along the way.

Emily Laurel / Via Flickr: 76299679@N06

A variant rule prevents this from happening by ending a player’s turn on a wrong answer OR whenever a player earns a pie piece.

8. In Clue, you cannot occupy the same space as another player, even if you’re only using it mid-move to get to another space.

John Lambert Pearson / Via Flickr: orphanjones

Which means, if a player’s token is on the space in front of a door, you cannot proceed through that door until the token is moved.

9. In Battleship, to speed up gameplay, you can call multiple squares on each turn.

John Morgan / Via Flickr: aidanmorgan

The number you can call is equal to the number of unsunk ships your opponent has.

10. In Monopoly, you can choose how long you want to play.

John Morgan / Via Flickr: aidanmorgan

Whoever has the most money when your set time runs out is declared the winner. It’s in the rules. Set a time limit.

11. Slang is acceptable in Scrabble.

Will Tung / Via Flickr: uberzombie

As long as it is otherwise adherent to the rules (not an abbreviation or acronym, not hyphenated, etc.) and as long as the word is in the Official Scrabble Dictionary, slang can be played.

12. The person who built the tower gets the first move in Jenga.

Ian Wilson / Via Flickr: foolstopzanet

No more rock-paper-scissors!

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