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TL;DR Top Ten List: Top 10 Board Game Jailbreaks!


In our experiences, top ten lists normally have two flaws: they're poorly formatted for quick reading and they are normally wrong. Just check all the comments of any top ten list, and you'll see lots of other folks think the list is wrong, too.

With our TL;DR Top Ten Lists, we're going to fix both problems... with your help. We're just gonna give you a couple of things on our top ten list (to make it faster to read), and you fill out the rest in the comments below (to make sure the list is accurate). Add to the list, argue with us, argue with each other, but most importantly be nice and have fun.

Today's TL;DR Top Ten List topic is:

Top 10 Board Game Jailbreaks!

Free Parking Lottery

Board Game Jailbreak [bohrd geym jeyl-breyk] n. 1. A rule not included in the official rules of the game, but used because it makes the game more fun. 2. House rule. Note: This differs from a "hack," because that word is overused and doesn't mean what many people think it means.

  1. Monopoly

    Free Parking Lottery: This one is the gold standard of house rules. All taxes and fees go into the center of the board (many times, after being seeded with $500 or some other agreed-upon amount of currency). The pot slowly builds and builds and the first person to land on "Free Parking" wins it all! We've read that Hasbro will begin including this one in a special "house rules" edition this fall, but they'll be optional rules and not official ones.

  2. Omnibus Rules
  3. Hearts

    Omnibus Rules: This little tweak gives the 10 of Diamonds a lot of power. It now has a score of -10 points (holder of the card at the end gets to subtract 10 points from their score). That's good as it is, but it's even better if you collect all the hearts, the Queen of Spades, and the 10 of Diamonds. Then you get to subtract 36 points (sometimes, 26 points) from your score or add 36 points (sometimes, 26 points) to everyone else's score. As with many house rules, the actual point value or monetary reward/penalty varies from house to house.

  4. Dungeons & Dragons

    Extra Saving Throw: (We're including D&D on this list because it's a table-top game, whether or not it has a board. So there.) Omnibus Rules Is this a really good house rule? No. Is it born of laziness and greed? Yes. Here's how it works: in each gaming session, every player has a token (anything the DM imbues with the power) which will allow them one extra saving throw sometime during the game. The catch? In order to redeem the extra saving throw, the player has to refresh all beverages and snacks for the entire gaming party. And we don't mean just a trip to the kitchen; sometimes multiple drive-throughs are involved (at the player's expense, of course).

And now it's your turn. What do you think numbers 4-10 are? Do you agree with our numbers 1-3?

Take to the comments and help us find the Top 10 Board Game Jailbreaks!

Written by Mindel, a certified Master of Disguise (so long as the disguise looks just like him).

[ post a comment ]


meaningless icon! If you makeup a word in Scrabble and defend it with a magnificent definition (even if it isn't true) you get to keep it on the board. The more ridiculous, the better. Bonus points if you can manage with a straight face and convince everyone not to check the dictionary.
Leilanimargarita said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! Out house rule for Settlers of Catan (or any variation thereof) is to ignore the Robber for the 1st 2 rounds if a 7 gets rolled just so people have a few rounds to get their feet under them. Also, on Munchkin we tend to be kinder to each other until someone hits level 5, then it is a free for all.
CaroleM said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! For Uno! All 2s are Draw 2s, and they're cumulative. If things go well, you can have people picking up 6, 8 cards at a time!
feminaprovita said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! When playing any tile based table top (i.e. Carcasonne or similar) our house rule is, when playing on a coffee table to only play to the size of the table. This leads to precariously placed pieces half balanced on the edge of the tables and are only counted as in play as long as they don't fall off.
jdorey said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! The 'Free Parking Lottery' house rule makes the game unplayable... The last thing needed is to inject more money into the in-game economy... It just strings out the game as no one ever goes bankrupt...
Honorarius said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! we also play the any word goes as long as you define it, scrabble rule, as well as the carcasonne only to the edge of the table rule mentioned earlier. the free parking rule is not used in my house although it is generally accepted that you get £200 extra for landing ON go (as well as the £200 for passing go).
Hylian_grouch said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! For any tabletop game, in particular war games - only usable in houses with a cat(s). The Cat of God Any models/characters/tokens knocked over by the House Cat are treated as dead. Use of catnip and nibbles is frowned upon but not illegal.
Doctor Loxley said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! The "Free Parking" rule does a great deal to speed up the game, allowing quicker house/hotel buildup, giving the game wider swings in valuation that trend towards much faster bankruptcy. I would similarly add the house rule "Land on Go" gaining 400 instead of the usual 200 for passing, having a similar effect.
Merennulli said this 778 days ago.
meaningless icon! in monopoly i have played with many people who say that if you don't "i want out" when you roll to get out of jail then it doesn't count and you stay in jail
DHDOCTOR said this 777 days ago.
meaningless icon! We play Settlers of Catan with what we call the "two-twelve rule": if either a 2 or a 12 is rolled, both tiles produce (raising them from 1 dot to 2 dots), making them just a little less unattractive.
Gumnos said this 777 days ago.
meaningless icon! UNO: "Draw n" cards are cumulative. For example: someone plays a Draw Two. If the next player has a Draw Two, he can play that card instead of drawing, and the next player in succession would have to draw four cards. A Wild Draw Four works the same way, adding four cards to the penalty (and, as usual, entitling the player who played it to choose the color of the next card to be played). This can all be turned back on the other players by playing the [non-Draw-Four] Wild card. When this happens, everyone except the player who played the Wild card has to draw the number of cards that they contributed to the running total. Trivial Pursuit: Acquiring a wedge requires correctly answering two out of three questions in the appropriate category. Winning the game requires correctly answering four out of six questions from a single card.
sciurusfelix said this 777 days ago.
meaningless icon! In Monopoly we have a rule that if the banker isn't paying attention you can "rob" the bank, one large bill at a time. But if you get caught you've got to give it back and go to jail!
purplelightningstorm said this 777 days ago.
meaningless icon! I have three to contribute to the pile (though one's a given): 1. NO FORGIVENESS!!! If a noob misses a rule, they get - you guessed it - NO FORGIVENESS! 2. ERS WTD. When playing Egyptian Rat Screw, we play with runs, sandwiches, doubles, marriages, martial sandwiches, and a mistake means you burn three cards. 3. THE RISKY SETTLERS OF CATAN'S MONOPOLY: An in-progress combo between Risk, Settlers, and Monopoly. (P.S. The robber sucks)
Dallior said this 774 days ago.

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