Relive The Classics And Remember The House Rules With Monopoly

If you grew up playing board games, chances are you own a copy of Monopoly. The colored money, ruthless landlords, and “Go to Jail” cards are a fixture of almost every household. But Monopoly has proven to be a lasting and wildly popular game for a reason, as it requires a great deal of strategy and negotiation to win the game and run everyone else off the board. Anyone looking to relive the classics will love the nostalgia of Monopoly, as well as the flexibility of its rules.

Rolling the Dice

During each turn of Monopoly, a player will roll two die and then move that number of spaces around the board. Each space either represents a property or forces you to draw a card. These cards can require you to do anything from pay taxes, collect income, or go straight to jail.

If you land on an unowned piece of property, you can either buy it or you can allow the bank to auction it out to the highest bidder. Buying property allows you to charge rent to anyone who lands on that space in the future, supplementing your income and helping you bankrupt the other players.

If you land on a piece of property owned by another player, you have to pay them rent. Once a player has collected all the spaces in a certain color group, they can build houses and hotels to charge players higher rent and bankrupt them even faster.

Going To Jail

Players can be sent to jail for several reasons. One reason is by landing on the “Go to Jail” space. Drawing a “Go to Jail” card is another. When rolling the dice, rolling doubles allows you to roll again immediately after. If you roll doubles three times in a row, however, you get “caught speeding” and are sent to the brig.

Landing in jail moves you to the Jail space and ends your turn. The only way to get out of jail is to pay a fine of $50, use a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, or successfully roll doubles on the dice. While jail isn’t the end of the road, it can be an unwelcome wrench in the works that can derail real estate transactions and push you closer to bankruptcy.

House Rules

Monopoly has been around for so many years and has been played by so many people that players have developed their own house rules to make the game either easier or more complex. The “Free Parking jackpot rule” gives each player the opportunity to win a bundle of cash just for landing on the Free Parking space, which can make the game last even longer. Whether you’re new to Monopoly or you’ve been playing the game since childhood, house rules can keep the game feeling fresh and upend strategies left and right.

Monopoly Expansions

Monopoly has seen several expansions that can either be played as stand-alone games or combined with the base game for additional fun. The Get Out of Jail mini-game gives you an additional way to escape prison by using a spade to flick out colored prisoners. Free Parking is another fun add-on that gives you the optional Taxi Challenge, allowing you to move anywhere you want on the board if you win.

Monopoly: The Landlord’s Game

Monopoly is the ultimate family game, playable by 2-8 players. Whether you’re an only child or you’re playing with extended family, Monopoly can accommodate families of all sizes. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, so younger children can easily get involved and keep up with the adults.

Playing time lasts between one to three hours, although certain house rules have been known to keep the game going all night. Monopoly isn’t the kind of game that you can cram a quick round in between the appetizers and the main course. If you’re playing Monopoly, it’s going to be an experience all of its own. The best part of the game is that, with so many different house rules that you can bring to it, you will rarely ever play the same game of Monopoly twice!

Now it’s time to go out and make your fortune!

 

Only Logic Can Crack The Code With Mastermind

Do you love using your skills of deduction to crack codes and solve puzzles? If so, you’ll love Mastermind, a code-breaking game developed by Israeli telecommunications expert and postmaster Mordecai Meirowitz. Meirowitz invented the game Mastermind based off of the pencil and paper game called Bulls and Cows, putting a unique spin on it and swapping out the pencil and paper for colorful plastic pieces. Mastermind is a game of logic and deduction, where players must alternately make and break codes in an attempt to prove who’s the true mastermind.

Codemaker Vs. Codebreaker

In this two-player game, each round will have one player taking on the role of codemaker while the other becomes the codebreaker. The codemaker must secretly place four different colored pegs behind a secret screen on the game board, while the codebreaker is allowed to make several guesses as to which pegs are located where. The codemaker wins points for every guess the codebreaker makes until they either crack the code or run out of turns.

Winning a round requires more than just a lucky guess, however. Codebreakers will have to build upon the information gleaned from their previous guesses in order to figure out the right combination of colored pegs. Every time the codebreaker makes a guess, the codemaker will give them feedback as to which part of their guess is correct. You may have all the right pegs in all the right places, but are they all the right color, too? Only the smartest brain can crack the code fast enough to win the game.

Pieces Of The Game

Mastermind was inspired from the paper and pencil game Bulls and Crows, but the cool little game pieces are what make it truly a standout game. Players will use a cutely designed decoding board to make their guesses, which is set up with cool little rows to place the pegs and view previous guesses. The hidden compartment visible only to the codemaker is a neat little addition that adds to the secrecy of the game.

The colored pegs are also fun to play with, as they make quite a colorful sight when you arrange them across the board. The code pegs come in six different bright colors with round heads, while the smaller key pegs come in black and white with flat heads. One of the most unique elements of Mastermind is that, since you communicate solely through pegs, you don’t even need to speak the same language to play the game!

Mastermind Variations

Mastermind was released in 1972, and since then there have been several different variations that expand upon the simple peg-based game. Royale Mastermind reduces the amount of holes per row to only three instead of four, but adds five differently shaped pegs to make the game even more advanced. Mastermind44 also expands upon the initial game by allowing four players to enjoy it instead of two players.

Word Mastermind combines the logical deduction of Mastermind with the wordplay of Scrabble by forcing you to come up with four letter words for the other player to guess. There’s even a Walt Disney Mastermind that uses your favorite beloved Disney characters instead of colors!

Mastermind: Some Codes Were Made To Be Broken

Mastermind is a two-player game, although the 20-minute playing time means that you can easily pass it around and give everyone a chance to play. Players will decide how many rounds they want to play in advance, so the game really can last as short or as long as you want it to. Mastermind is also suitable for ages 8 and up, so if you’re looking for a game that allows kids to play around with the concept of logic and deduction, Mastermind is the perfect introduction.

Mastermind is a simple game with a very simple premise, although the competitive nature of the game can make for some pretty high stakes. There’s nothing like pulling out the decoding board and lining up the pegs to settle a score on who’s got the higher IQ. If a battle of the minds sounds like your idea of a good time, Mastermind is the game for you!

Set your code and let’s get cracking!

Dominoes: One Set, Countless Games

Almost every culture around the world has its own version of dominoes. Whether you’re playing with European-style ivory pieces or a cheap plastic set from the gas station, dominoes is one of the most flexible and popular games of all time. The versatility of these well-known tiles means that you’ll never run out of different variations to try, and they’re small enough to travel with you anywhere in the world.

History Of Dominoes

Dominoes were first mentioned during the Song dynasty in China sometime in the 13th century, although modern dominoes didn’t first appear until the 18th century in Italy. Dominos were most likely named after the black and white hooded costumes worn during the Venetian Carnival, which makes sense due to the black and white coloring of the tiles.

Domino tiles are twice as long as they are wide, usually with a line in the middle dividing them into two. Dominoes are also marked on either side with a certain number of spots, usually anywhere between zero to six. A basic set of dominoes is called a double six set, and comes with 28 tiles, although larger sets are available for more intricate domino games.

Crafting The Domino

The novelty of dominoes comes from the different materials historically used to make the tiles. Dominoes can be made from ivory, stone, metal, or even blown glass or crystal. If you’ve ever picked up a traditional pack of dominoes, however, they’re most likely made of synthetic plastics. For as many different dominoes there are in the world, there are just as many kinds of games that you can play using these versatile tiles.

Blocking Games Vs. Scoring Games

Domino games usually fall into one of two categories: blocking games and scoring games. Blocking games require you to get rid of the tiles in your hand while stopping your opponent from emptying their own hand. Draw dominoes is the most classic blocking game, which involves two players each drawing seven tiles at random to play. Players will then lay their tiles down in a line, matching the number of spots on the ends of tiles with the next tile played.

By the end of the blocking game, the winner is the person who’s gotten rid of all of their tiles. If the game ends with neither player able to get rid of all of their tiles, then the winner is the person with the fewest tiles in their hand.

Scoring games will earn players points for making specific moves, but usually follow some variation of the standard Draw game. While Draw dominoes is the most simple domino game, there are infinitely more variations that make dominoes that much more intricate. Block dominoes allows you to pass your turn if you don’t have a playable tile, which lets you play with up to four players at once in a much more cut-throat game.

Fives Family

The Fives Family is a series of traditional dominoes games that requires you to make the ends of the tiles match up to a multiple of five in order to score. This allows for a much more natural flow, as you can make way more connections and earn points in sneakier ways. Five-up is one of the most popular Fives Family domino games, introducing the concept of “spinners” that split the game board into four different sides.

Laying Down The Line With Dominoes

Dominoes are some of the most versatile playing pieces in the world, allowing you to play countless games that are as simple or as complex as you like. Whether you’re playing a one-on-one draw game or playing Five-up with 10 players, you can easily bust out a set of dominoes for a quick game. Playing time also depends on the type of domino game you play, although it usually lasts around 30 minutes.

Dominoes are also suitable for ages 5 and up, so simple versions of the game can help younger kids adjust to the rules before moving on to more advanced rules. When it comes to dominoes, it doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live—everyone can enjoy the abstract strategy of these chunky little tiles!

Make time for some fun today!

Risk: The Ultimate Game in World Domination

Arguably one of the most popular board games of all time, Risk deals with one simple mission: world domination.  In the world of Risk you’ll control territories, attack other players, and move your armies all around a giant game board representing a map of the planet Earth.  With complex strategies, shifting alliances, and a lengthy game time, Risk is the ultimate board game for the most hardcore gamers.

Troops, Territories, And Missions

Risk is set up with a large tabletop board showing a political map of the world.  The six continents are divided into 42 territories on which players will deploy their armies and fight for occupation.  Each player gets a set of colored tokens that represent their troops, while players collect territory and mission cards to aid them in their mission of world domination.  There are many elements to keep track of in Risk, but the rules are relatively simple.  Hardcore gamers will definitely love the complex level of strategy that comes with the game.

Rolling The Dice

Each turn gives you an opportunity for conquering new territories.  Whether you choose to attack, move your army, or pass, you’ll have to have all of your wits about you to avoid losing your last territory and facing elimination from the game.  Attacking involves the element of luck, as your success depends on how high you roll the dice.  You can attack as often as you want, and you’ll win bonus cards for every enemy territory you successfully take.

Allies Vs. Enemies

Strategy is the key element when it comes to playing Risk, as you cannot win without being able to think three steps ahead.  Defend your territories by building up your border armies, but watch out—your enemies may be doing the same in order to launch an attack.  If you gain control of an entire continent, you win bonus reinforcement armies that push you one step closer to taking over the world.

Alliances are a common optional element of Risk that can make gameplay even more intriguing.  Because there are no official rules regarding alliances, players can stab their allies in the back at any time.  Your loyalty depends on your long-term strategy, as only you can decide whether or not an alliance will work to your advantage.  Many a friendship has been ended over a Risk alliance gone wrong, but ruthlessness is the key to winning the game!

Variations of Risk

Risk was released in 1959, so there have been countless later editions released over the years that put a new spin on the game.  Castle Risk was the first variation, narrowing the game down to feuding castles in ancient Europe.  Risk: 2210 A.D. went in the opposite direction of time, launching players into a futuristic war fighting over moon and ocean territories in addition to dry land.

For the elf-lover in all of us, Risk: the Lord of the Rings sets the battle in northern Middle-earth.  This variation features beloved characters such as hobbits and orcs fighting it out in a magical arena.  From popular video games such as Assassin’s Creed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s no shortage of Risk variations that will put a fun and unique spin on this classic game.

Conquer The World At Your Own Risk

Risk is definitely one of the more complex games out there, although it is still suitable for ages 10 and up.  You may want to work younger kids up to playing Risk by starting with simpler games to help them develop concepts like strategy.  Still, Risk is an integral component of any game collection that can easily fill an entire game night.  Game time usually lasts around 2 hours, but games of Risk have been known to go on for days depending on the amount of players.

If you love games that feature multiple players and require you to build innovative strategies, you’ll love Risk.  There’s a reason that it has been able to maintain its popularity over the last 60 years, as its simple premise and potential for complex interactions can appeal to everyone.  Consider adding Risk to your arsenal and experience the thrill of conquering the world!

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