Total Nerd How To Win At Every Board Game (And Likely Alienate All Your Friends)  

Zack Howe
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There's nothing better than getting together with a group of friends you love and utterly ruining them in a game. Conversely, losing sucks, so it'd be great if there were some easy board game cheats, or at least tricks for playing games that would ensure victory every time. Fret not. Many classic board games have just that.

Stop buying hotels in Monopoly, stop trying to play big words that are well beyond your vocabulary in Scrabble, and keep careful tabs on your Clue rivals. Every game leaves something to be exploited and it's time to start taking advantage.

Here are tips and tricks to win a bunch of classic games, and they're all (pretty much) legal. You won't lose ever again... unless your friends have read this, too.


Monopoly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list How To Win At Every Board Game (And Likely Alienate All Your Friends)
Photo:  Hasbro/Amazon

Though it sounds counterintuitive, you don't ever want to build a hotel in Monopoly; just houses. For that matter, you actually only want three houses on each property you own, and only one color group on each side of the board (unless you're trying to block someone else from completing a color group). Also, you shouldn't buy utilities (unless you can get them for cheap).

Just focus on railroads and completing color groups with three houses on each property, which turns out to be the most efficient use of your money. Staying in jail isn't always a bad thing either, as you can avoid opponents's monopolies and actually save money. Make sure you've done some purchasing already, though, so you can build up your bank. Monopoly enthusiast Tim Darling can give you all the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of it certain victory.

Also Ranked

#25 on The Best Board Games for Kids 7-12

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Go First In Connect Four


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Going first in Connect Four is half the battle to ensuring victory. As long as you drop your first disc in the center column, allowing you to subsequently take at least three of the five center spots, you cannot be beaten.

Assuming your opponent also plays perfectly, the game at this point will end in 41 turns, and you will win with four across. If your opponent doesn't play perfectly, they'll probably lose much sooner. It's as simple as that! Although, it's not simple at all. It's quite complex mathematics. Numberphile can tell you all about that in the video.


Risk is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list How To Win At Every Board Game (And Likely Alienate All Your Friends)
Photo:  Jorge Royan/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

There's really not a cheat, per se, to win Risk, but there is a nearly unstoppable strategy as laid out by Moshe Callen of Board Game Geek. To win this game of war consistently and with near certainty, you have to be aggressive. Build armies immediately and attack relentlessly, but there are a few factors you have to keep in mind.

You should have at least twice as many units as the army your attacking, and one army for each territory you're trying to take. However, you want to avoid attacking when there is an equal number of dice between you and the defender because ties go to the defender. Above all, don't be afraid to take a territory, even if you can't hold it. You may lose it the very next turn, but the game is about overall gains, and stymieing your opponent is as important as expanding your empire.

Also Ranked

#2 on The Best Board Games of All Time

#40 on The Best Board Games For 6-8 Players

#17 on The Best Board Games for Parties

#19 on The Best Board Games for Kids 7-12

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Cluedo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list How To Win At Every Board Game (And Likely Alienate All Your Friends)
Photo: via Wikimedia

There's one easy trick (among many others) to giving yourself a huge leg up in Clue that most people don't think to do. When someone shows you their card, don't just mark what's on the card, but also put the name of the person who showed you and your rate of deduction will increase exponentially.

It's not expressly cheating but it does kind of defy the spirit of the game. But who cares? You won!

Also Ranked

#4 on The Best Board Games of All Time

#41 on The Best Board Games For 6-8 Players

#4 on The Best Board Games for Parties

#22 on The Best Board Games for Kids 7-12

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