After baking banana bread and completing Netflix, lockdown boredom left many of us dusting off our old boardgames.
Many families sat down and played Cludeo, Risk and Trivial Pursuit for the first time in years, resulting in a lot of fun and the odd argument.
But the go to game in most homes in Monopoly, which celebrates its 85th birthday today.
Selling houses and hotels, paying bills and avoiding jail makes a surprisingly fun game – but it can also leaving you scratching your head as you try to get yourself out of debt.
To celebrate the game’s birthday, we’ve pulled together some expert tips on how you can drastically improve your changes of winning.
Buy lots and develop it whenever possible
According to Dave Taylor, the founder of gaming blog Go Fatherhood, the first trick is to upgrade your properties whenever you can.
While he admits the plan occasionally goes wrong, in his experience it’s the best way to play the game.
He says: “Always develop as aggressively as you can.
“Once in a while you go bankrupt and you’re out, but more likely you end the game quickly by bankrupting other players.”
Buy orange and red properties
Surely the chances of landing on each square are the same, right?
According to Taylor, statistically speaking the orange and red properties are landed on the most – so that’s where you should invest.
Don’t save – spend your money
While it can be tempting to save your money and keep that lovely pile of cash on your side of the board, the experts say it’s better to spend, spend, spend.
Speaking to Vice, Monopoly champion Bjørn Halvard Knappskog says that it’s important to buy cheaper properties as they give you more leverage later on.
Monopoly enthusiast Flynn Zaiger says: “While money in the bank sounds great, unlike real life you should aim to have minimal amounts of money in the bank at all times.
“Money in the bank isn’t being invested, and isn’t earning you anything. Your Monopoly banker isn’t going to pay interest! It’s almost always better to be purchasing items with your hard-earned cash, for the chance to deliver return on those investments.”
Don’t bother with utilities
Lots of players love buying the utilities, but Knappskog doesn’t believe in this approach.
He claims you only have a 3% change on making profit on them.
Don’t rush out of jail
The Go To Jail card makes everyone groan, and it’s normally several rolls of the dice before you’re allowed to play again.
But according to the experts it’s not quite as bad as you think, especially towards the end of the game.
If you’ve got lots hotels, having a few gos where you’re not risking paying out rent could be a good thing.
Create a housing shortage
Most people don’t know that it’s possible to have a housing shortage in Monopoly.
So, if you buy a large chunk of them, your opponents can’t.
Zaiger said: “If no one else has a monopoly, and you have one or two, a more long-term strategy is to try to shorten the housing market.
“If you have 32 houses on the board, that means there’ll be no more houses for anyone to build with, and you’ll be well on your path to outlasting the competition.”