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7 handy tips to increase your chances of board game domination

Let's get winning.

Perhaps you’re an embarrassment on the board game scene, or maybe you’re simply looking for an edge the next time things get competitive on the Scrabble circuit.

In any case, to celebrate the NSPCC’s Big Board Game Day, we’ve got seven tips for seven games to help increase your chances of winning – prepare the trophy cabinet.

1. Monopoly

Tip: Put all your eggs in one basket

Monopoly money
(Lynne Cameron/PA)

Natalie Fitzsimons, a former Monopoly champion, suggests once you’ve acquired a complete set of properties you should be looking to pour everything into it as soon as possible, mortgaging other random properties you own to add houses. As long as we get to be the hat, that’s fine by us.

2. Scrabble

Tips: Learn your two-letter words

A Scrabble board
(Sean Dempsey/PA)

It’s worth swatting up on your short words here – your za and zo could propel you to victory, helping get rid of high-scoring tiles towards the end of a game, as well as making for handy adjoining words – ah!

3. Risk

Tip: Go Down Under to come out on top

Is there any more important moment in life than the placing of armies at the start of a game of Risk? Perhaps. Chance has a rather large part to play when it comes to Risk, but Australia is one of the easier continents to defend, and offers a couple of extra armies each go.

If you can get it early in the game, it could be a tidy advantage.

4. Draughts

Tip: Keep your back line intact as long as possible

The public play draughts

As with a game of football, a strong back line is necessary in order to win – by keeping these pieces in place, you prevent your opponent from crowning any of their pieces (the football equivalent of turning Robert Huth into Riyad Mahrez).

5. Battleships

Tip: Try the chess board method

Once again, a game of chance, but you can make your own luck to some extent. Imagine the board as a chess board, and target either the white or the black squares – a tactic that reduces the number of wasted guesses early in the game.

6. Connect 4

Tip: Control the centre

Connect 4 is a pretty simple game. That said, it’s easy enough to gain a starting advantage by just taking the centre of the board, increasing the directions in which you can connect four counters. Chess it ain’t.

Trivial Pursuit

Tip: Read

No short cuts here. Our suggestion? Books, and lots of them.


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