Monopoly is about fucking everyone over.
That's all its ever been about, and if you try to play the game in a fair and reasoned fashion, that's a good way to find yourself in the fifth hour of self-induced Monopoly coma, politely rolling dice, shedding skin cells and letting loose successively larger and larger yawns until you, your brother, your cousin, and gramma are unhinging your jaws like somnambulistic pythons, expelling aerated sleep as you numbly nudge a fucking thimble around the table for the 300th time.
Monopoly is supposed to end with angry people, hurt feelings, flipped tables, and gramma spitting her dentures and the c-word across the room at the ungrateful children who dared screw her out of Marvin Gardens. The winner should be smug, self-satisfied, and secure in the knowledge that they are smarter, slicker, and oh-so-ruthless. Their smile should be oil, their eyes glittering, razor-sharp obsidian.
But even knowing this and playing accordingly, sometimes games can take up to two or three hours at minimum, which is still way too long for a Monopoly game. Luckily for you, I've fixed this. Print this out, stash it in the box, and from now on, these rules are the rules, and I guarantee Monopoly becomes something you might actually enjoy at a family gathering, instead of something you volunteer to be played as a means to make everyone either leave, sleep, or die.
Rule 1) Stop putting all the taxes in the center so people can grab that money if they land on Free Parking. That rule is fucked, and is probably the number one reason games go for 30 hours. That's also not how taxes work. Try parking a thimble downtown and see if someone from the state assessor's office runs up and throws bags of multicolored cash into your pockets. Put the taxes in the bank. Or better yet, just throw that shit into the lid of the box until the game ends, because like most taxes, nobody should get to see or use that money ever again.
Rule 2) Everyone gets five thousand dollars at the outset. Again - Monopoly is a game about fucking people over. As life has taught us, it's way easier to do that if you've already got a lot of money. At this point the game is less about grinding through circuits of the board to gather that cash, and more about how best to optimize the fucking you're about to administer to everyone else who dares think they can leave the game with an ounce of dignity or respect.
Rule 3) Everyone is dealt 5 properties/utilities at the outset. Shuffle all those cards, and start dealing them out. It's an extension of Rule 2, and a key component for
Rule 4) You may trade and/or auction any of your properties with any other player on the board, at any time. You don't have to wait a turn, or forfeit a turn in order to lean over to the reptilian bastard sitting next to you and conspire against one or both of the other abject morons playing against you. You don't even need to announce that a deal is going down. If at any point you want a deal done, just start doing it.
Rule 5) You do not have to wait until it is your turn to begin placing hotels/houses on the properties you own, nor do you have to wait until you own three of a property to start putting houses/hotels up. A fun application of rules 4 and 5: Wait until just before the player with the leakiest pockets is about to land on one of your properties. Make a deal with a co-conspirator to cull the weak from this thinning herd, and secure the third of the three properties, and immediately start putting houses up AS THEY ARE ROLLING. If favor fortunes you, they will, in mid-move, realize they are heading towards a money pit that not even Tom Hanks could have survived. Laugh as they go bankrupt.
Rule 6) You've got one hour, and turns are on a 24 second shot-clock. Take too long to move around the board, your turn is forfeited, even if you rolled doubles. If you haven't completed a transaction started at the beginning of that turn, the transaction is nulled and voided once the shot-clock expires. At the end of that hour, whichever player has the most in cash/assets, wins the game.
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