Chances are that if you play board games, then you have already played with house rules whether you know it or not. Some of the most popular games out there like Monopoly are very rarely played the way the rules are written. I didn’t know that I was playing the game differently until I was in my 30’s!
Benefits Of House Rules
The main benefit of changing things up for your family is that you can cater to the way that you enjoy to play games. You can set them to help speed up or slow down game play as well as just about anything that you can think of. Sometimes it they don’t even change the way the game is played.
For Example: When my family and I play Apples to Apples, we have a house rule that says the clue cards you win describe you. This does not change the way the game is played, but does change the way we experience it. This can certainly lead to many different and funny combinations!
When I was just a wee little lad, my family loved to play Boggle. Due to my young age and limited vocabulary compared to others, I was allowed to score points for 2 letter words that the adults were not allowed to use. As you can see here, we took a game designed for older folks and modified it to allow the whole family to play together and have fun.
Whether you are looking to create the game you want, change the speed of play or just make the game more available to play with your family, there are many benefits of creating your own particular house rules.
My House, My Rules
An important note when it comes to making these decisions about what you are going to change, is to make sure that everyone is aware and approves of them. Many games have inherent strategies with them and even the smallest change can affect them. Being clear about the house rules before a game starts is paramount!
There are many rules that are relatively simple, but if you start getting fancy you need to make sure that you have them written down. This will help to make sure that everyone is on the same page when the game is being played and will help to avoid any conflicts that could arise.
What Are Your Favorites?
Now I would like to ask you, what are your favorite house rules to use with games? I will list out some that my family uses and also update this list with those that you comment with below.
- Monopoly – $500 on Free Parking, No Auctions and instead of paying fees and penalties to the bank you pay them to the Free Parking pot. You can buy properties your first time around the board.
- Apples to Apples – The Clue cards you win, describe you!
- Sorry! – Sliding on the sliders during a movement instead of just when landing on the start point.
- Trivial Pursuit – Allow the kids to work as a team against the adults.
- Scrabble (and other Word games) – Using handicaps for those with smaller vocabularies.
- Risk – For Adult games (21+) Adding in secret landmines on your starting countries that cause conquerors to have to take a shot before proceeding.
- LRC – All Players throwing in a dollar to play, winner gets the pot.
- Smash-Up – Everyone picks a faction, then others are chosen at random. No one can play Steampunk Wizards.
- Journeys of Paul – Everyone starts with their ship token rather then trying to draw the ship card.
Thanks for stopping by and I am looking forward to seeing what different house rules you and your family and friends use. Share yours in the comments below and I will make sure to update the list here with them! If you have any other questions please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer you in a prompt fashion!
James W D