Games to Play With Family … and how to cheat for the win

Spread the love

I know I’m not the only one obsessed with games. Growing up playing games, it’s hard to fathom people not knowing Go Fish or Garbage. It’s how my family bonded: card, board, video and interactive games. My parents even orchestrate a Euchre tournament occasionally with our extended families and friends. Heck, even now, when I go to family gatherings, there’s always some kind of game going on in both sides of the family. Most recently, we’ve been playing Hearts and Pennies.

Gaming brought out my competitiveness, which means I want to win. And if there’s a few tips or tricks I’ve learned from my father, it’s how to cheat. While I personally don’t do it, I know a few who do, and I always have to be on the lookout. Some cheats are impressive, but others are just sad attempts. Here are a few of the cheats I’ve witnessed throughout the years:

  1. Monopoly

This is probably the worst game to cheat in. It’s already a relationship-wrecker. Can you imagine if they also found out you won by cheating? Well, I don’t recommend it. Essentially, to cheat at this game, you have to be the banker. Most players aren’t paying too much attention to where their money’s going once they give it up. Instead of putting in the bank, you can slyly add the money to your pile. If you’re not the banker, when counting out the steps of your roll, either double count the same spot or skip one if you want to avoid/land on a certain spot. Another tip: hide a 500 (original Monopoly) under the board as a safety net.

  1. Rack-o

In case you’ve never heard of this game, the game starts with 10 cards given to each player and without looking, placed from front-to-back (or vice versa) in a slotted tray. To win, a player must order them consecutively by trading cards with the deck or what the previous player discarded. I remember when my dad set himself to cheat a whole 12 hours beforehand. The game was already set up on the table and, before leaving for work, he stacked the deck. When dealing out the cards, he placed them in a way to where his cards were already in consequential order. There’s also a way to “accidentally” put the card into the wrong slot—into one with a card already—and just switch the cards when “correcting” yourself.

  1. Pictionary

This one is quick because people would be watching. When drawing your word, either before you start or when the other teams are distracted, fold the sheet at the bottom and write the answer underneath (on the folded part). You have to make sure your partner is watching or catches a glimpse. You must be good at sleight-of-hand for this to be successful. This is the same for mouthing the answer too. It’s all about the element of distraction for cheating in Pictionary. The other team could also throw out random words to distract your team when guessing the answer.  

  1. UNO

UNO really isn’t too hard to cheat at. All you have to do is replace a 6 with a 9 when laying down a card and it’ll be too quick for most players to catch. You can also have an onlooker send a picture of the other players’ cards to know which cards are best to lay down.

  1. Battleship

Playing Battleship and getting frustrated about missing the ships? Well, just look in a reflection. More specifically, like my dad, use the camera on an iPad positioned behind the other player to see the ships’ locations.

Though, cheating is immoral and unfair. It’s all in good fun with the right company. It makes for an entertaining story and keeps the laughs going for family and friends.


Madison Simmers is a senior studying advertising management and professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. You can always find her tea in hand and ready to take the day head on. If not, she’s binge-watching YouTube videos or watching Frasier.


Tags: battleship, board games, cards, gaming, monopoly, pictionary, rack-o, uno