My mom has a number of siblings, most of whom have children. So, when we'd go to family events with that side of the family, there were some kids to play with. My father, on the other hand, was an only child. Visiting or going on a vacation with his parents and their friends was a different experience. They had one toy in their house, which was a knock-off Rubik's Cube they had gotten from Pic'N'Save. It had pastel colors on the sides rather than the usual colors. When I was pretty young - maybe 5 or 6 - we spent a few days in a cabin in the woods with my parents, my father's parents, and a couple of their friends. My younger brother came, but as he was only 3 or 4, he wasn't too interactive. My parents decided to teach me how to play Monopoly so I could play with the adults. My brother was too young to play, and we had to be careful that he didn't eat any of the houses or hotels when we weren't looking. I assumed they knew how to play Monopoly, and at 5 years old, I was not in a position to argue. Years later, when I played a computerized version of Monopoly for the first time, all kinds of strange shit happened. When I didn't buy a property, it got auctioned off to other computer players. When I landed on Free Parking, I did not get any money. After some investigation, I learned that my parents and grandparents did NOT actually know how to play Monopoly. As such, I had never learned to play Monopoly by the actual rules; rather, I had learned a completely different set of "house rules" that only loosely resembled those rules. I guess I wasn't the only one that complained, because I played a more advanced computerized Monopoly years later and they had a configuration dialog that let you turn on or off about 15 different "house rule" variants, including the "no auctions" rule and the "$500 + all fees collected" bonus on Free Parking. I guess the house rules I learned are not all that uncommon. This was not the first time I encountered house rules for games. In high school, a friend who organized our local Axis and Allies games had a creative interpretation of the movement rules that somehow permitted fighter planes to take off from the East Coast of the United States, bomb Germany, and make it to an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean all in one turn. After playing Scrabble infrequently for nearly 30 years, I recently learned I had been scoring it wrong the entire time (and at no time did anybody I play with object) - apparently, only the first person to play a tile on a bonus square gets the bonus. So, if I play WORD on a Triple Word Score, and then someone extends it to WORDS, they do not get the Triple Word bonus. FOCUS: What house rules did you learn for board games or other activities? When did you learn they were not official? What are your favorite house rules?