Expert reveals how to win the biggest board games at Christmas

There’s nothing quite like the sweet taste of victory when you beat your family at a board game.Whether it’s reigning it over a smug partner or parent-in-law, or simply to get out of washing the dishes, there’s no denying that winning feels pretty great.

But for those who often end up a lot less victorious than their counterparts during the Christmas board game bonanza, the experts are on hand to help you own your way to the top of the table

According to Amazon, Articulate, Monopoly and The Logo Game top the most purchased board game charts this year – and there’s some top tips on how to play them to your advantage, say the experts.

1. Articulate

‘The number one overlooked rule in Articulate involves the spinner, which you use when you land on a red or orange space,’ says critic Russell Chapman, who worked with the brand to share his top tips.

‘If you land here you get to move yourself forward or an opponent’s piece backwards, so use it to your advantage! When playing with three teams or more, the net gain is always far greater when moving yourself forward, because this is the mathematical equivalent to moving all other teams back the same number
of spaces instead of just a single team,’ he adds.

2. Monopoly

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‘The Monopoly card, when played, allows you to take all of a single named resource from your opponents’ hands. Therefore, not only should you always be very coy at announcing what resources you have during trade situations, but you can be incredibly sneaky by trading away any resource you have first, and claiming it all back using the Monopoly card. You may lose friends doing this but you’ll be rich in goods and closer to victory,’ says Russell.

3. Risk

‘Each world region on the board gives you bonus reinforcements if you hold onto the whole thing at the beginning of your turn,’ Russell explains.

‘The best way to gain an early advantage is to hold onto Australia or South America. Both of these are small enough to take over initially, while having less entry points for your foes to attack from.’

‘Your next targets for control should be Africa and North America, the next optimal places based on this same logic, and should be easier once you’ve established some extra armies. Europe and Asia should only be an endgame goal, by which point you should have already established yourself as a dominating presence.’

4. Cluedo

‘Cluedo is a game of logic, with the goal being to make the correct
guess by eliminating all other possibilities,’ says Russell.

‘The best way to do this is to ignore the paper provided and use a new, more efficient system. First, create a column for each player, and every time someone makes a guess, write down all three items in the columns (use coded language if you really want to keep everyone on their toes),’ he continues.

‘If a player doesn’t show a card, mark an X next to this guess. If they do, mark a tick. Soon, you’ll be able to cross- reference players’ guesses to eliminate key items, characters and rooms, getting you the correct answer as
quickly as possible.’