The Knack: How to win at Monopoly

"Personally, I've never taken Monopoly too seriously. Even though my Dad was the first winner of the Monopoly Championships in 1972, we only ever played occasionally as a family, so it wasn't very competitive.

Everyone has a natural way of playing - their own tricks and techniques - and it is hard to learn someone else's rules. But the first thing to remember is that it is a very unpredictable game and a lot of it is down to luck. Always play with common sense. If you are going to trade something with your opponent, don't forget that he or she won't be doing it for nothing. It is really easy to shoot yourself in the foot, just for the sake of one deal. So it is important to think long-term.

I'm the kind of guy that takes calculated risks and it just so happened that these paid off at this year's championships. I always buy masses of property in the early rounds of the game. You can always sell them off later or use them to barter with. So every vacant square I land on I always buy, even if it's not what I want at the time. The more property you buy, the more money-making potential you've got. Another good thing to do in a property auction is to make sure you push the price of a property up to your personal limit and then at the last minute duck out. That way you will drain your opponent's financial resources.

The skill of Monopoly is knowing when to - and when not to - make decisions. It's not really a game which needs lots of practice, you've just got to think tactically." Nicole Veash

James Broomfield, 16, is the youngest-ever Monopoly Champion of Champions, 1997

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