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The rules of any given tabletop game do not have to be limited to what is listed in the rulebook.

The rules of Monopoly are good and fun. But really, the auction rules are lame, Free Parking needs something to make it more exciting, and shouldn't you be able to travel on railroads you own?

Welcome to House Rules. Any rule that players add to or change in a standardized game is a house rule, named after the varying rules used in casinos (where you bet against "the house"). House Rules are, in a way, the Fan Fiction of Board Games and Tabletop RPGs.


The Game Master can impose his House Rules on the gaming group whether they want him to or not. This can be a recipe for social disaster if done poorly, or a welcomed improvement. In fact, some table top games encourage House Rules, and offer advice for how to make them fit with the rest of the game. However, attempting to impose your rules on the rest of the world may get you labeled as a Scrub or as the Stop Having Fun Guy, depending on the tone you use. If there is any ambiguity in a house rule, particularly with how it stacks with other rules, a Rules Lawyer may try to take advantage.

House Rules are not the same as errata, which are released by the publisher and are used nearly everywhere that knows about them. Errata are small corrections, or updates that the developers made before the game was officially published, but after the game has gone to print and can't be altered, while 'house rules' often fall under the category of 'whatever's convenient', either for gameplay reasons or to fix a broken aspect of the game system. Deliberately ignoring the errata, however, would be an example of house rules. Sometimes they can end up canon when former players start making the game and include their own favorite house rules in the errata or in newer editions.


Please note that while House does, in fact, rule, this is entirely unrelated. Also is not directly related to (but may be used to tweak) a House System. Not to be confused with the book House Rules, which is about a murder trial involving an eighteen-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome, or with The Cider House Rules. Nor, for that matter, with Playing House.

For the video game equivalents, see Self-Imposed Challenge (undertaken within the mechanics of the game) and Game Mod (altering those mechanics themselves). See Variant Chess for a fiction-based trope with narrative uses. Can also be applied to create unofficial Solo Tabletop Game rules. Also see Calvinball, which may be a result of a liberal application of this trope.

Has nothing to do with the House ending to Fallout: New Vegas.



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  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • In the Virtual Nightmare Arc of the original series, Noah implemented the Deckmaster system for duels, mostly due to his desire to prove himself superior to Seto Kaiba; the idea was to improve upon Seto's favorite game. This is the best-known example of House Rules in the franchise (and a favorite among fanfiction writers who use the franchise as a base). Ironically, despite using a Deckmaster that was more powerful than any other, Noah's plan to prove his superiority failed miserably; both Seto and Yugi adapted to the new rule almost perfectly, Noah had to cheat to defeat Seto, and Yugi straight up beat Noah with a Deckmaster that was almost worthless.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions: Aigami uses his mystical Quantum Cube to enforce Dimension Summoning rules for all his duels. Each player can Special Summon as many monsters as they want without Tributing, but they have to use their own spirit energy to fuel the summon and raise the monster's ATK and DEF to their original values. Players do not take regular battle damage from battles involving Dimension Summoned monsters, but instead take battle damage equal to their monster's current ATK or DEF when they are destroyed, depending on their battle position.
    • The special rules for Turbo Duels in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's (which involve the "Speed World" Field Spell which prevents the use of all Spell Cards except "Speed Spells", where the number of "Speed Counters" you have determines how powerful a Spell Card you can use) can also be considered House Rules.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, there are Action Duels, which combine dueling with performing arts. The rules are complex, and a brief summary of what is known so far is found here.
    • Speed Duels in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS add the one time use of a Skill along with a severe cutting down of the playfield zones. Unlike previous duel variants in the anime, this one is actually officially supported- not only being the variant used in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links but also having official packs dedicated to it, including official Skill cards.

    Board Games 
  • Monopoly has a plethora of house rules, many of which are so ubiquitous that people are surprised when they find out that they aren't the official rules. Many of them are misguided attempts at an Anti-Frustration Feature, as the game has a particularly grinding endgame, but many such rules turn out to be counterproductive, as just make the game longer by preventing losing players from going bankrupt. Others are just designed to spice things up or resolve disputes, especially among players who play regularly; as Victoria Wood once put it (in the context of spending Christmas with a friend's family), never play Monopoly with people who've been playing it together for decades, because everything you do will be wrong. This page lists some of the most popular over the years, but to summarize here:
    • A particularly common house rule is to put various fines and taxes (which, by strict rules, would go to the bank) in the center of the board and giving all the money to whomever lands on "Free Parking". It's not part of the official ruleset because of the above-mentioned Ending Fatigue. Monopoly Junior, however, does use this as a rule, turning Free Parking into "Uncle Pennybags' Loose Change".
    • One rule is to remove the limit on houses and hotels that can be on the board. By official rules, once they're gone, they're gone unless someone decides to sell them. The house rule allows you to just keep building more and more, marking them with pennies or other random tokens. Again, while it seems like it would make the game more fun, it ends up just forcing the same few players to trade around the same few thousand dollars with no end in sight, turning the endgame into an interminable Luck-Based Mission.
    • One rule to make things more interesting is "double money for landing on GO". Like most rules that increase money in circulation, it tends to stretch out the game. It's also the source of epic debates about what happens when you draw a card that says, "Go directly to GO; collect 200 dollars": does it mean you only get $200 (because that's what the card says), or does it mean you get $400 (applying the house rule or Exact Words), or does it mean you get $600 (applying both: the card says $200, but not that the $200 comes from GO, so you get it in addition to the $400 from the house rule)? This is how friendships are destroyed, families are broken, and lives are lost.
    • One rule (or perhaps common misconception) is that when a player lands on an unclaimed property but chooses not to buy it, it's just left alone (and not collecting rent) until the next person lands on it. By official rules, when a player chooses not to buy the property, it goes immediately to auction, so someone has to buy it. Most people ignore this because they can't be arsed with auctions (or perhaps because they don't know how to run one smoothly). note  The problem is that the house rule can cause more expensive properties to go unowned until near the endgame, which again needlessly lengthens the game.
    • A different rule is a twist on the above rule; when a player lands on an unclaimed property, it immediately goes to auction, regardless of whether the player who landed on it wants to buy it at face value. This is the sort of rule popular with more serious gamers who would otherwise turn their noses up at Monopoly.
    • One rule prevents players from buying property on their first lap around the board. It's intended to balance out the advantage gained by going first, but in practice there's often at least one player who lands on Chance on their first roll and draw "Advance to GO" or "Take a ride on the Reading" while another player constantly ends up in Jail to their increasing frustration, making the game even more unbalanced.
    • One rule prevents players from collecting rent while in jail. It's supposed to be an Obvious Rule Patch to prevent players from trying to go to jail intentionally and staying there for as long as possible, racking up rent money without the risk on landing on someone else's powerful monopoly.
    • One rule allows players to form alliances and trusts. While it's certainly in the spirit of the game, it's not part of the official rules. Similarly, the official rules prohibit players from lending money to each other; this prohibition is often lifted by house rule (or evaded by players making equivalent but separate gifts of money to each other, although this is difficult to enforce and open to abuse).
    • The Screamsheet parodied the phenomenon with its "Epic Monopoly" variant, which adds bizarre random encounters including Nazis, streetwalkers, and Orson Welles.
  • In the Finnish classic board game Star of Africa it was possible to have a situation where nobody can win the game. After more than 50 years of various house rules to prevent this, a re-release finally fixed it.
  • The rules of Tigris & Euphrates say that in an external red conflict, temples with leaders next to them aren't removed. But really, isn't that a bit lame? The obvious alternative, however, that they're all removed, is simply too powerful. One compromise is to remove as many temples as possible in such a way that each leader still has at least one temple next to him.
  • Mahjong, especially the Japanese variant, has many house rules. Common house rules include:
    • Yakuman stacking: A few very special hand types (known as yakuman) are automatically worth the Cap of 32,000 points (subject to the x1.5 multiplier if the player who is holding the dealer button wins, for 48,000 total). On the even rarer occasion that someone completes a hand which fulfills more than one yakuman condition, this rule allows them to win 32,000 points per yakuman condition the hand fulfills. This makes it possible, albeit extremely improbable (the odds are better of winning the lottery twice in the same month), to form a hand worth 336,000 points.
    • Wareme: When someone wins a hand, whoever is sitting behind the broken tile wall (i.e. the wall where the initial draw started) wins and loses double.
    • Doukasen: When someone wins a hand, whoever is sitting behind the tile wall the last tile was drawn from wins and loses double.
    • Open Riichi: Upon declaration of Riichi, a player can reveal their entire hand (or just the portion that's relevant to what they need as the last tile to win), so that opponents can figure out what they need to win and avoid discarding those tile(s). 1 extra han (hand point) for winning the hand after doing so. An additional house sub-rule can make it worth a yakuman (the Cap of 13 han, converts to 32,000 Scoring Points) if the Open Riichi player gets the last tile from someone else's discard, and the losing player could have legally discarded a different tile that wouldn't have let the winner win from their discard.
    • Kuitan Nashi: The Tanyao yaku only counts if the hand is closed (formed without called discards). This is an Obvious Rule Patch to prevent players from calling tiles left and right to try and finish their hand with Tanyao to fulfill the 1-yaku requirement just to claim bonus points for dora.
    • Aotenjou ("Skyrocketing"): The exponential score formula that's normally used for hands worth less than 8,000 points is used for all hands, without the 8,000-point soft Cap. This means, for example, that a hand with 13 or more han is worth over 2 million points at a bare minimum, instead of the usual 32,000 hard cap. This is usually combined with a separate house rule for dealing with yakuman stacking (as seen above), although some variants add to the absurdity: the Touhou fangame Touhou Unreal Mahjong has an Aoutenjou mode where yakuman are worth 13 han and multiple yakuman stack multiplicatively, with a hard cap of 4 billion points (without the cap, you get even more absurd results like 1.12x1052 points).
    • Later installments of the Mahjong Fight Club arcade series add a mode which uses one of several creative house rules (with which house rule being used rotating depending on the date). Some of the house rules include:
      • Each player can see the entire hand of the player on his/her left.
      • Each player can see what he/she will draw on his/her next turn assuming nobody takes another player's discard (which shifts the order).
      • Each player's starting hand is visible to everyone and those tiles remain visible for the hand; only drawn tiles are concealed.
      • Each player starts with only 13,000 points, making it much easier to bankrupt a player. Busting another player yields a bonus, deducted from the busted player(s).
      • Each player is timed on how long he/she takes for each turn. At the end of the match, if the player with the highest score has the fastest average time, they get a bonus, deducted from the player with the slowest average time.
  • Both Candy Land and Sorry! have basically the same rule variation to make the game more interestingnote . Both games usually involve just picking a card from the top of the deck, and you have to play it. The variation involves the players holding a hand of 3-5 cards, and choosing which one to play each turn, then drawing a replacement. Especially important in Candyland, where you otherwise are unable to affect the game at all (Sorry! has multiple tokens on the board, so which one you move does affect the game).
  • In Pandemic, the player roles are supposed to be randomly distributed, but a large number of players prefer to let people choose their roles, or otherwise create a draft system that gives players a greater degree of control over what role they end up with. A few of the spin-offs adapt this into the official ruleset; Reign of Cthulhu for example gives the first player a choice of two roles, with the unselected role being passed to the next player alongside a new one for them to choose, repeating until everybody has selected their role.

    Card Games 
  • The game One Thousand Blank White Cards is almost nothing but house rules; it's part of what makes it fun. To clarify, it's played like this: each player receives a hand of completely blank cards (five or seven, usually). At any time, a player may take a blank card and write its rules on it (along with drawing a picture of stick figures). Once a card has been written on, it can be played, and the rules written on it take effect. The house rule "no cards that allow one player to win instantly" is usually declared up front.
  • All the manner of alternate cooperative dueling rules exist for Magic: The Gathering:
    • Once upon a time, house rules were the only way to have a M:tG game with more than two people. Also, rules taken for granted today like the limit of 4 of each card and "play or draw" (the choice between going first or being able to draw an extra card) started as house rules.
    • Magic: The Gathering can be quite interesting with or without a "draw seven when you run out of cards" rule — the two require vastly different strategies, of course, since such a rule can make emptying your hand a good thing and make cards that return to your hand a severe disadvantage.
    • One particular unofficial multiplayer format that evolved for Magic is the Five Colour Format, which has massive 200 (or 500) -card decks that require all 5 colours to have at least a minor presence in the deck.
    • One way to create a new variant is to add "Alara" to an old variant. In the Alara variant, you can have one color and its two allies, and the other Commander rules apply as well. This bans all four-color and five-color cards, including cards like the Skyship Weatherlight (for costing one mana of each color to activate), and any color that requires mana of one color and both its enemies.
    • A particularly popular House Rules format, Elder Dragon Highlander, has its own official unofficial rules put together by people outside of Wizards of the Coast.
      • And now it's been renamed Commander and been given a multiplayer set themed around it, while still not being an official WotC format.
    • A multi-player "Wargames" variant exists, named and themed after an old Dusty Rhodes\WCW event. Play begins after the participants choose lots and are seated in order, first to last, with turns proceeding in order. For the first interval, typically two or three rounds, only players one and two may attack or affect one another, while later players and their cards/hands/creatures/etc cannot be targeted, nor can players "not in play" affect other players, in play or otherwise, in any way.. After the first interval has passed, player #3 becomes a valid target and may himself begin to target others. Intervals proceed until all players are in play, and only after all players are in play can players be eliminated from the game. Before that point, players can have empty libraries or a life total of zero and still be in play until the last player joins, but once he does and he is in a losing condition, he or she is eliminated immediately. The rules are easily modifiable for team play, with all odd- and even-numbers players competing on the same side and randomly determining who gets the numerical advantage as the intervals progress. Obviously, these variants are heavily based around luck of the draw, as later players in large games have a huge advantage in building up lands and armies without interference until he or she is put in play, though instants and other targeting spells have a large chance of being discarded, since as the players not in play cannot target others, these spells can go to waste due to discarding due to hand limits. A common house rule to make things easier on early entrants is allowing players to reshuffle their graveyard back into their library once their library is empty, eliminating the empty library loss condition.
      • An additional variant, sometimes termed "Royal Rumble", is also played, with the only change being that players can be eliminated before all players are in play. Or even that there is a maximum number of players in play at any given time, with the next player in line being put in play once an existing player is eliminated.
  • The card game Hex Hex specifically states that whoever wins the game gets to make up a house rule which applies for the rest of the session. Popular ones include not being allowed to say the word "hex" and swapping the definitions of left and right.
  • Uno:
    • Three house rules have gotten to the point that in many minds they have displaced the real rules. Most people don't play with the official rules, to the extent that they won't even announce which house rule sets they play with when the game begins.
      • Omitting the score mechanic. In the official rules, the first player to get rid of their cards in a round receives points for all of the cards left in their opponents' hands (number cards are worth their number; Skip, Reverse, and Draw Two are all worth 20, and Wilds are worth 50), and the winner is the first to get 500 points. Alternatively, you can score each player according to the cards they have left, with the lowest score winning once someone hits 500 points. Most players cheerfully ignore this and just declare the first player to get rid of their cards the winner. The remaining players may or may not keep playing for 2nd, 3rd, etc.
      • Allowing a Draw Four to be played at any time. The official rules state that you can't play one if you have another card in your hand that matches the color on the discard pile, and that anyone can challenge a Draw Four play. If someone gets busted for an illegal Draw Four play, they have to draw four instead... but if the play turns out to be legal, the challenger faces a six-card penalty.
      • Allowing Draw Two/Draw Four cards to be stacked, which the official rules do not. Those who do know the original rules, though, will sometimes use this to their advantage - particularly if "stacking" is called but removing the limitation on Draw Fours is not. More than one person with an incomplete grasp of the Uno rules has been challenged on their Draw Four play in a stacking sequence, gotten a quick refresher of the rules, and acquired a new Rival after being crushed with a Draw Thirty-Two.
    • The official instructions suggest three house rules:
      • Jump-in Uno: If you have the exact same card as the top of the discard pile, you may play it immediately — even if it isn't your turn. Play resumes from the player who "jumped in".
      • Seven-O Uno: Like regular Uno, except that playing a 0 forces every player to pass their hand to the next player in the direction of play, and that playing a seven forces you to trade your hand with a player of your choice.
      • Progressive Uno: Allows Draw Two and Draw Four cards to be stacked on top of cards of the same type, but does not let you stack Draw Twos on Draw Fours, or vice versa.
    • And now there's an Uno edition that includes three customizable wild cards with blank white centers, and a fourth with a "swap hands" rule on it. The blanks are specifically for writing house rules on, preferably in pencil so they can be erased and rewritten as desired.
  • Apples to Apples has several popular house rule addendums, including that everyone gets to submit one red card, and that once per game a judge can swap green cards during the judging phase without warning anyone.
  • There are certain card games that are entirely based on house rules. For example, one game called Mao has only one real rule at the start; it's exactly like Uno with regular playing cards (no draw cards or wildcards), and the winner of a hand can make up a rule for all future rounds, so long as it doesn't favor anybody in particular. It generally starts with at least one or two extra rules so that you can trip people up. An even more crazy version of this was a game where you could make a rule any time you played an 8 card, and the rule could do anything besides make you win instantly without playing a card.
    • In most variants of Mao, you don't have to tell anyone what the new rule you just made up is, just that there is one. The first time the new rule is broken, you give a penalty card and explain the penalty. This is still fair, because the penalty name is usually descriptive enough for other players to deduce the rule, and once they have figured it out, they can then call it.
    • It's worth noting that it's illegal to talk about the rules of Mao. If you do, your punishment can range from card penalties to a permanent ban (a ban being for explaining the majority of the rules to someone who does not know how to play). You can also not alter the base rules of Mao without winning a hand first (plural, there are more than one in every game I've played). The official statement is "The only rule I can tell you is this one." If the variant of Mao is named (e.g. untraditional Cambridge 5 card Mao), that specifies a set of base rules which anyone else who has played that variant will know.
    • A simpler variant of Mao has one person making a rule (which can be as perversely complicated as they like) about which cards can be played on which other cards, and not telling anyone what it is. Then, everyone else takes turns putting down cards. If their card doesn't fit the pattern, they have to take it back and lose their turn.
  • Nomic and similar games consist of nothing but house rules; that is, in fact, the point - they're an entire class of games where the point is that the rules are altered continuously throughout the game. Needless to say, these games tend to get far more complicated than mere humans can cope with. Several have been running continuously since 1993.
  • Fluxx already has card types that add rules and goals to the game. You can buy Fluxx Blanxx to get the same cards with no text on them.
  • From the publisher of Fluxx comes Icehouse, a bunch of plastic pyramids that can be put on their sides to indicate facing. Then they started publishing game after game that used those pieces. House rules ensued.
  • Crazy Eights. Oh, Crazy Eights. The basic rules are a discard while following suit or value. This is the only thing that people can agree upon. The following are but a small example of the house rules one may come across.
    • Eights: Usually wild. Sometimes, they change the suit to their own suit. Sometimes, the player gets to choose the suit they become. Other variants have it as skip a player.
    • Twos: Pick up two. Stacking them usually means the next person picks up 4, then 6, then 8.
    • Jacks: Skip a turn or reverse the rotation of players.
    • Aces: "Drop the bomb." This allows you to play every other card of that suit on top of your ace.
    • Queens: Pick up four. Stacking them might be additive, like with twos. Sometimes, you can add the twos to the run. Sometimes, only the Queen of Spades means picking up, and it usually means pick up 5. May or may not stack.
    • Sixes: "Silent Six". Talking results in gaining two cards.
    • King Of Hearts/Five Of Hearts: Dropping the King results in the next player taking five cards, unless they counter with the Five. If this happens, the player who used the King has to take ten cards.
    • Multiples. Do you have -tuples of the same value? Why not play them all at once!
    • Knock to declare your last card.
    • And that doesn't even begin to cover Crazy Eights variants, like Crazy Eight Countdown.
  • Similar is Last Card. The usual rules are Ace is wild, 2 is pick up two, 5 is pick up five and 10 skip a turn. Optional rules include Jack is reverse, 7 'blocks' a 2 or 5, or bounces it back to person who put it down. Sometimes pick up cards can be passed on by the recipient by stacking another one on top to add the effect, regardless of whether it is the same number as the original pick up. There can be disagreements over whether someone's win was legitimate if they didn't call 'Last card' one turn, then emptied their hand next turn by putting down several cards of the same number.
  • Being a game with countless "official" variations and even more unofficial ones, Poker is replete with house rules. Some popular ones:
    • Chase The Hammer: Only used in Texas Hold 'Em games, you win a small number of chips from every player if you win a hand having been dealt a seven and a deuce of different suits, the worst possible hand you can be dealt and nicknamed The Hammer.
    • "No check-raising" was a popular one for a while, but it's currently out of favor for making the game (especially limit games) more mechanical.
    • Bad beat jackpots: Players who suffer particularly bad beats are given a large consolation prize, often larger than the value of the hand itself. Common in casinos.
    • In home games, it's becoming popular to give each player one "Show Me" chip at the beginning of the night, which can be used once after a hand is completed to force a player to show whether they were bluffing or not.
    • The straddle bet: If you're sitting under the gun (i.e. to the left of the big blind, where you normally have to act first), you may place a bet equal to double the big blind before looking at your cards. This essentially turns you into the new big blind position (i.e. you get to act last in the first betting round) while simultaneously doubling the stakes for the first betting round. Some variations of the straddle bet rule allow the player to the left of a straddle bet to re-straddle for double the straddle bet, and some allow this doubling to continue until the player to left of the last (re-)straddle bet doesn't have enough money to re-double.
    • "The Rock": a player (either the first to deal or the winner of the first hand of the night) is given a specially-marked chip called "the rock." When the holder of the rock is in the under the gun position (left of the big blind, first to act), they must straddle as described above, and the rock is placed in the pot as well, to go to the winner of the hand, who is forced to straddle when they are next under the gun.
  • In Chrononauts, a purely-for-flavor house rule is that whenever you change a linchpin, you have to explain how you're changing it. If someone changes it back, they need to explain how they changed what you did. This can lead to some very amusing chains of events.
    • Hitler was killed by an orbital laser cannon. Then he wasn't, because Bob stole the power source. Then he was, because that was a decoy power source. Then....
  • Also very often in the most popular German card game, Skat. Many of these help to drive the score Serial Escalation (and note that Skat is often played for money, albeit not that much, depending on the score).
  • How Blinds (bidding X books before the cards are dealt) are supposed to work in Spades, or even if said gambit is available. Whether you can call for one at any time or only after you're down X points. Do you automatically get them if you go into negative points? Standard scoring for failed blind or double-points? How they work usually depends on who you play with.
  • Hoyle's Rules of Dragon Poker: There are "only" around 250 conditional modifiers, but the rules provide a mechanism for players to invent more.
  • Cards Against Humanity has many:
    • When playing more than one card at a time, are cards read from top to bottom, or bottom to top? Better establish in advance whether you're playing with a bunch of dirty bottom-to-top heretics....
    • Many groups allow players to take a pass and spend a turn discarding as many cards as they like and drawing back up to a full hand.
    • Since Murphy's Law dictates that the card you draw to replace the one you just played will always be better than the one you played, some groups let you "bet" a black card to play that card as well. If either of your cards win, you win your black card back; if someone else wins, they get your black card.
  • When playing Jungle Speed, engaging in a tug-of-war over the totem is, according to the rules, a foul, and should result in the player who starts it collecting all the cards on the table. Many older players disregard this rule, and in fact encourage fighting over the totem.

    Comic Books 
  • In one issue of Runaways Molly argues with Victor and Gert over these while the three are playing a game of Monopoly. She's used to using the "Free Parking Jackpot" rules when playing with her family, while they're going with the baseline rules.

     Comic Strips 
  • A Running Gag in Sally Forth (Howard) is Ted coming up with increasingly absurd house rules for Monopoly, until it isn't really Monopoly any more. He has tried to introduce zombies, time travel, and giant robots, amongst other things.


  • Kea's Flight: As an adolescent, Kea becomes obsessed with chess. She invents dozens of sets of rules for between one and eight players. Nobody wants to play House Rules Chess with her, so she spends hours playing by herself.
  • Stim: When Chloe and Robert play Monopoly, they add extra features to make the game more realistic, like "printing" new money to simulate inflation.

  • The faux-game Mornington Crescent consists almost entirely of the players "arguing" about which house rules are in effect for the particular game. Minutiae such as what day of the week it is, whether the House of Lords is in session at the time of play, and how many buttons are on the shirt being worn by the player to your right can all potentially be of significance. Rumors that the actual gameplay just involves shouting the names of Tube stations until time runs out or someone says "Mornington Crescent" are to be dismissed without comment.
  • The radio panel show The Unbelievable Truth, where four panellists each give a short lecture on a subject that is entirely false save for five true facts which the other panellists have to try and spot, has established two "unofficial" rules over its lifetime. The first is that a panellist can guess that the next thing the current speaker is going to say is true before it's actually said (although the rule that you lose points for an incorrect challenge still applies, so it's a risk), and the second is that panellists can get bonus points from truths the speaker accidentally included apart from the five they were given (which tend to be examples of Exact Words or Loophole Abuse more than anything).

  • In addition to rules that apply to all its ballparks, Major League Baseball has a list of ground rules which apply to specific ballparks, as the shape and design of the field of play vary considerably between them (most notably the outfield fences, sometimes supporting infrastructure like catwalks as well). For example, the outfield walls of Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs) are covered in ivy, so special rules are in place that only apply to Wrigley Field (namely, if a batted ball gets lodged within the ivy and is no longer visible, play is dead when the fielder stops looking for it and all runner are awarded two bases). At present, of the 30 ballparks in MLB only three do not have ground rules beyond the universal ones that apply to all fields.
  • Cricket has many house rules when played casually. These have hundreds of variants and different names, depending on where you live. A small sample of the more common:
    • "six and out": Instead of a hit out of the field of play counting as six runs, a hit over a neighbour's fence or similar scores six runs but also the batsman is deemed to be out.
    • "one bounce catch": A struck ball may bounce once and then be caught in one hand, and the batsman is out (as if caught conventionally, without bouncing).
    • "electric wicket-keeper": If the wicket is set up against a wall, then a ball edged off the bat directly onto the wall is considered caught by a fielder, and the batsman is out.
    • “trial ball”: Every new batsman gets one free hit where runs can be scored, but the batsman cannot be dismissed.
  • Specific golf courses might come up with "local rules" to deal with rather unique terrain they either can't get rid of, or is way too much of a pain in the ass to deal with. A general example could be power lines running through part of a course. The rules for "Immovable Obstructions" allow a player free relief if such an obstruction (like the poles or towers used to hold the power lines) interferes with their stance in addressing the ball, or their swing in attempting to play a stroke. They don't allow any relief if such an obstruction is simply in the possible path of the ball after it has been struck, except on a putting green. Many courses will nonetheless have a local rule saying that any ball unlucky enough to hit a power line can be replayed as if the original stroke never happened, simply to avoid undue frustration from really, REALLY bad luck in managing to have a stroke deflected by a quarter inch thick metal wire.
    • Recreational golfers playing games between themselves may also agree on rules just between themselves for the duration of whatever game they're playing. Common examples are that any putt less than a particular length (commonly set as the distance between one's putter head and the grip on the other end of the putter's shaft) is considered "good" and can be picked up as if one had tapped it in, you can roll your ball over in the fairway (usually to get out of divots), or "putt and pick up" (take one putt, if it doesn't go in, pick your ball up as if you had made the second putt) on recently "airified" greens.
    • Even entire tournaments might impose a rule dealing with situations that arise. Commonly, if the tournament is being played "out of season," "winter rules" may apply, which usually means you can clean and place your ball in the fairway. Similarly, if a course had received an ungodly amount of rain, the tournament may play "preferred lies" in the fairway, allowing players to clean mud off the ball and set it on some grass if their ball lay in the fairway, often specifically restricted to ONLY the fairway of the hole they're currently playing.
  • Rugby rules are mostly set in stone, but for "friendly" matches between usually amateur clubs, the rules regarding substitutions may be relaxed. "Rolling subs" sets no limit on the amount of substitutions one team can make, and allows players who have come off to come back on (provided they came off and weren't sent off). This will allow recreational clubs to substitute less in-shape players in and out as stoppages in play allow, let everyone get in on the play and have some fun, and possibly let clubs with "test" matches (matches whose results actually count for the purposes of a league table, tournament qualification, or the like) try out different players and schemes in advance of those test matches.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Spanish comedian/magician Luis Piedrahita discussed the House Rules in a monologue, claiming that the phrase "That's how we play at my house" is a perfect summary of the rules of every board game ever.
  • In a Victoria Wood routine about spending Christmas with a friend's family, one of the things she mentions is a Monopoly game. If you play Monopoly for the first time with people who've been playing it together for years, then everything you do will be wrong.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chess has a common house rule that when a pawn gets promoted to Queen, that Queen can be represented with an upside down rook. This can happen when the actual Queen is still on the board and no replacement is available. This house rule is actually included in the official United States Chess Federation rulebook, but not in the FIDE rules that are used in the rest of the world, and doing so under those rules will result in an arbiter coming to the table, turning the Rook back the right way up and forcing you to play on with the "Queen" becoming a Rook instead.
  • Wargames suffer from this a lot. Munchkins often come up with new and unusual house rules to "improve" the game or to settle some "obvious imbalance". In reality, very few house rules of this sort were ever good; house rules are supposed to be things like "My hill with trees counts as a hill and a forest" or "The bunker is sealed and indestructible, it's just impassable." House rules should not be "All Eldar always strike first because they are cool".
    • Victory in the Pacific often uses a few of these when experienced players meet, because the game's balance varies at different levels of skill (newbies tend to find the Allies easier to play, casual players with some experience tend to find it evenly-matched, and serious players tend to find the Japanese favored). Most of them revolve around changing the opening turn's surprise attack to guarantee preservation of all 5 US carriers - while the chance for the Japanese to take out an American carrier is realistic, it tends to make things very difficult for the Allied player.
    • The tiers for this seem to go "More Fun> More Fair> More Realistic> Fluffier".
  • Rifts, in particular, is often modified. It's intentionally created with no balance to speak of, and each power, spell, and piece of technology is written without considering how it interacts with the rest of the system. Most of the rules were initially created for other Palladium games that focused on human (or human-ish) characters: Ninjas & Superspies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, etc. Since Rifts has everything from super-powered humans to giant mecha to demons to gods in it, there aren't any guidelines for, say, when your martial arts stop being effective. (6-foot human throwing a 7-foot insect with Judo? Not mentioned, but probably okay. 6-foot human throwing a 25-foot demon? Still not mentioned.) For bonus points, the rules are (intentionally?) just slightly vague. For extra special bonus points, the entire Palladium game system (of which Rifts is a member) is supposedly cross-compatible, but each particular game uses slightly different rules. House Rules to the rescue!
    • Its gotten so bad that the creator of Rifts uses house rules in his own campaign. Frustratingly, he refuses to put them in an update supplement, even as optional rules.
  • Virtually all Pen and Paper roleplaying games have house rules of some kind, and in fact many games encourage a DM to alter or change rules to make for a smoother game.
    • 'You are not playing White Wolf's Exalted, you are playing your ST's Exalted.'
    • One common such rule is 'no takebacks'. Once an action is declared, it is to be taken. This is generally implemented to stop players from endlessly changing their actions based on other people's actions. Intriguingly enough, White Wolf's World of Darkness (pre-reboot at least) contained an actual mechanic for changing one's action in the combat round.
      • GURPS suggests 'no takebacks' as an actual rule, with the caveat that if the player regrets their decision on a time frame that would have been fast enough in game, they can undo their action. The example they give is burning a document. If you shout "Wait!" within a few seconds, your character can probably salvage the document. If your character was using a flamethrower on the other hand...
  • GURPS suggests various possible house rules in the sourcebooks. Apparently the most popular house (that isn't suggested) is to separate the extremely broad IQ stat from also raising Perception and Will.
    • That got suggested in Compendium I, before the shift to the newest edition.
    • And one that became basically Ascended Fanon was the change to hit and fatigue points. Formerly, fatigue points (tiredness) was based on Strength, while hit points (being cut to pieces-ness) was based on Health. Compendium I suggested reversing them; after all, muscles can help stop injury, while someone who's fit should have more endurance in a marathon, right? As of 4th edition, that's official. (Also helps mages from trying to get 12 ST to help get the FP needed for their magic..)
    • Another notable line in GURPS: if a spellcasting roll critically fails, "the GM is free to impose any backfire he finds amusing, so long as he doesn't actually kill the caster. If this sounds unfair, it is! Magic is fickle."
  • The Fantasy Trip specifies that characters die when they reach 0 hit points, no exceptions. Most players find this a bit harsh, especially since player characters start with an average of 10 hp and rarely get much above 16, and healing is pretty severely limited. So most campaigns either have an "official house rule" allowing characters to survive having their hit points reduced to 0 or below, or the GM does a lot of fudging.
  • Actively condoned by the rulebooks of Warhammer 40,000, which generally operates by the idea that if you and your opponent agree to the house rule, why not?
    • The "snake eyes on a Leadership test means an automatic pass" rule was taken from 40K and absorbed into the Warhammer Fantasy house-rule pool so spectacularly that a) many people were convinced it was an actual rule and b) with the latest edition these people became right.
    • Fans of Warhammer Fantasy got tired of waiting for Games Workshop to publish rules for armies from the parts of the world map that approximately correspond to North Africa and Asia, and set out to create their own army books. To date, Cathay, Albion, Araby, Nippon, and Estalia have got fan-made army books.
    • Warhammer 40,000 has got an expansive group of house rules floating around on the internet, including among other things rules for fighting battles set during the Horus Heresy, a fan-made 5th edition Inquisition Codex, rules for designing your own Special Characters, rules for designing Land Raider variants, and Apocalypse formations for large numbers of Exorcist tanks.
    • These days, Mordheim has been abandoned by GW, so a variety of sources have put together a series of campaigns and variant rules for taking the system out of the ruins of the titular city.
    • By far the most ambitious attempt is Waffle Edition 40K which is trying to re-balance the WHOLE GAME after 6th edition produced little of value while screwing up the balance even more. Progress has been slow though and a lot of people have given up on it.
  • Playing Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition without House Rules is nowadays pretty much unheard of.
    • In fact, what ended up in 3.x that wasn't in 2E?
      • Critical hits and misses. Critical hits in (A)D&D were house rule territory. A natural 20 might always hit regardless of the target's armor class, but that hit itself was still a perfectly normal one dealing standard damage with no additional effects by the rules as written. (Now, some magic items like wounding and vorpal weapons would have abilities going off on certain high to-hit rolls, but that was just part of their magic, not the overall combat rules.) Then in AD&D 2, critical hits became an "optional" rule in the book. Unfortunately, one of the suggested options for critical hits was that a natural 20 always hits and deals double damage, so anyone who could only be hit on a 20 effectively had half as many total hit points!
      • So "AD&D 2.5" (Player's Options) got two critical hits options, one of them being a reasonably detailed and unified way to use both Subsystem Damage and Hit Point systems. To handle really big critters (giants vs. zaratan sort of thing) "believably" it needed expansion of size categories, but its uniformity made this trivial.
      • "Confirming" critical hits. PO did it via victim's saving throw. D&D 3 did it via requiring a second attack roll — many players took the opportunity to house rule that part out since it slowed down play.
    • A number of late-run 3.0 books were designed to be easily adapted to 3.5, but still require certain degrees of interpretation.
    • The 3.5 book Unearthed Arcana was nothing but a collection of common house rules as official variant rules. Since it was released under the OGL license it's available as part of the SRD online.
    • Natural 1s and 20s are very frequent house rule targets across the board. Many DMs consider them automatic success/failure on almost any sort of roll, and sometimes add additional effects to be rolled on a natural 20. By default, the only normal rolls affected in any special way by a natural 1 or 20 are attack rolls, saves, and the Use Magic Device skill. (In fact, some books explicitly state that 1 and 20 are not special on skill checks, but many DMs make them special anyway) One solution made a better use of the "exploding dice" probability regression mechanics AD&D2 had for firearms. Another used extra condition "and beat the target number by X", used in PO.
    • Rather than simply an automatic hit or miss, there are numerous homebrew tables for adding extra effects to critical hits and fumbles. Opinions are divided on these, though, as while they might make a fight more colorful, they tend to disproportionately affect the martial characters who make far more rolls than the mages. Some DMs split the difference and prefer to just narratively describe the action (or encourage the player to do so) without mechanically altering the outcome.
    • The 3.x Diplomacy rules are particularly conspicuous, as, by the book, a focused character can persuade a horde of bloodthirsty enemies he does not share a language with to "take risks to aid" him in approximately six seconds. Unfortunately, some common house rules result in things like noblemen refusing to accept taxes from peasants because the deal of "I give you money for nothing" isn't rewarding enough to overcome the level difference.
    • Probably one of the most popular house rules in the 3rd Edition is adding experience points after each accomplishment (eg. defeating a monster) instead of at the end of each adventure (as suggested in Player's Handbook). Obviously the limit of one level-up per adventure is usually omitted as well.
      • The complete inverse is popular, too: ignore all of the math around tracking experience points, and everyone levels up when the GM says so. Removing that bit of accounting saves sanity for both GMs and players. It does, however, interact problematically with magic item creation, spells, and other systems that involve spending experience points.
      • Lots of house rules, in fact, revolve around ignoring unwieldy rules or not tracking cumbersome equipment.
    • Original D&D was so convoluted it required much interpretation. Effectively each different interpretation was a house rule. It also expected that you'd have a copy of an earlier game Chainmail and a game from another company, Outdoor Survival. While the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia got all necessary rules within one roof, there were still a few things left undefined but either mentioned in other rulebooks or implied as knowledge in some other random rule. (e.g. Does drawing a weapon require 10 seconds, or does it cause you to lose initiative?)
    • Many groups also implement more generous ability score generation methods than the defaults listed in the book or allow rerolls when a character is stuck with nigh unplayable stats. This was more common in earlier editions when Honest Rolls Character was the default (six ability scores rolled in order with no rerolls). With 3rd Edition, the rules were changed to favor above average rolls (since the main characters are heroes) and to allow a complete set of rolls to be thrown out if they didn't meet certain minimum criteria. Point buy is also an official rule variant. So now, the Honest Rolls Character is a house rule.
    • Different groups have different rules on when you are allowed to reroll dice. Some say that you have to take the roll regardless of whether the die falls in the toilet, while other groups say that if the die hits something on the table (and you don't like the result) you can reroll it. Of course, the latter rule requires honest players who don't deliberately throw dice at obstacles.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition has received such a plethora of House Rules that it would take a dedicated page just to list them all. All that can be said for now is that it has led to tales from players and DMs alike, and even the famous Critical Role show.
  • Paranoia is particularly suited for house rules as the players are not supposed to know the rules and the GM is encouraged to remove, add or change the game any way they see fit. The GM can even change things as the game is progressing and the players are supposed to praise the decision.
    • Then again, half the time Paranoia is played without any rules as the GM pulls shit out of his ass, rolls dice behind a screen, and pretends to consult charts that don't exist. Typically this is for the best.
    • Players knowing the rules is treason.
  • ICE's Rolemaster system is designed to be very flexible and encourages the use of house rules.
  • Mutants & Masterminds is built on this trope. In a game where it's very easy (and surprisingly affordable) to get infinite attacks in a round, the core rule book spends a great deal of time letting the GM know that they have every right to disallow certain 'legal' actions. It's also not uncommon for certain rules to be ignored if they'll slow down the game.
  • House Rules for most Hero System campaigns were more about the flavor of the setting than modifying the actual game, though there were always additions to the already long list of Advantages and Disadvantages.
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth, having been built with the entire anime genre in mind, requires House Rules and various GM fiats to keep the vaguely-written, easily exploitable phrasing on the book rules in check. While most of them are internally consistent, conflicts between opposing Attributes can very quickly devolve into shouting matches.
  • Spirit of the Century despite being the first FATE game to hit the market had a notoriously bad stress system that was almost universally house ruled over. There are still a great many variations out there.
    • When Dresden Files came out it used one of these variations to have consequences be conditional, but mostly left things the same save for decreasing just how much stress characters could take. Well, without getting into Toughness Powers.
    • To wit, pretty much any incarnation of the Fate system post-SotC handled stress differently from it, and not all of them even did it the same way — Evil Hat's own The Dresden Files shortened the stress track as above, Cubicle 7's licensed twins Starblazer Adventures and Legends Of Anglerre kept the length but turned the tracks strictly linear so that each point of damage would take off a box...
    • In addition, pretty much every incarnation of the Fate system invites players and Game Masters to create their own stunts as needed, though earlier versions with their extensive stunt shopping lists could make this task look rather daunting. The Fate Core System released in 2013 explicitly puts the responsibility of customizing the system to their own needs more into each playing group's own hands — tweaking the skill list to taste, creating new stunts and other add-on "extras", it's all on the table, usually complete with guidelines, explanations, and examples.
  • Exalted second edition has had many rules issues that led to everything from minor tweaks to massive mechanical rewrites to get rid of the problems. For example, some groups issue XP at character creation instead of the normal point-buy or hand out bonus points instead of XP, since the character creation system has flat costs for attributes and abilities while XP-based advancement has each dot cost progressively more, leading to people who failed to optimise being left in the dust due to the higher cost of reaching the same levels as their more min-maxed peers. Others have engaged in enormous projects to rewrite the more catastrophically broken material, such as most of Scroll of the Monk.
  • Star Wars d20 has a common house rule regarding Force Pointsnote . Normally, players gain a certain amount every time they level up but a common house rule is to gain a smaller amount every day instead. Likewise, because Destiny Points are ludicrously overpowered (allowing things like making an attack automatically crit or an attack against the player automatically miss), a common house rule puts a cap on how many players are allowed to have at one timenote .
  • BattleTech tends to be fairly firm in its ruleset, though there are a few recurring types of house rules that turn up.
    • Relaxed restrictions on wheeled vehicles, allowing them to enter rough ground at a movement penalty rather than cutting them off entirely.
    • Ultra autocannon unjam rules similar to the rotary autocannon unjam rules.
    • Relaxed restrictions on Land-Air 'Mech construction rules. Normally the Land-Air 'Mech unit class is not permitted to use highly desirable weight-saving technologies that would permit them some relevance in 3050-onwards (ostensibly as a balancing measure, but mostly to keep the notoriously litigious Harmony Gold from honking out another lawsuit). Fans of Land-Air 'Mechs tend to ignore these restrictions so that the class is not fully relegated to obsolescence.
    • Anti-infantry rules for PPCs, which are canonically charged particle weapons with an explosive impact. This allows PPC-armed 'Mechs such as the Awesome to sweep away pesky infantry with ease rather than constantly firing its main battery at a single infantry platoon for several rounds on end just to be rid of it.
    • Headshot ejection rules. Normally headshots that decapitate a 'Mech instantly kill the pilot. Some tables permit a roll for ejection chance to save the pilot. Very common for games where pilots are actual characters in the infantry-scale Mechwarrior RPG played alongside the tabletop wargame.
    • Reactor explosions occurring if a fusion engine suffers three critical hits in one turn; normally this would cause an instant shutdown of the reactor and count as the (salvageable) destruction of the unit, but some tables use the cinematic reactor explosion option based on the Expanded Universe novels. This house rule is unique in that it has a universally accepted name: Stackpoling, based on author Michael Stackpole, who was fond of writing reactor explosions into the various battles in his novels, far more often than 'Mechs should explode normally.
    • There's also "Cinematic Battletech" which doubles all weapon damage (except for shots that strike the head) and forces all critical hit rolls to add +1 to the result (meaning greater odds for critical damage). This makes the game much more dramatic in the 3025 timeframe and frighteningly lethal in any era after 3050 (a Gauss rifle will stove in most medium 'Mechs on a single center torso hit!).

    Video Games 
  • Competitive speedrunners as a whole make frequent use of house rules, as very few video games are designed with speedrunning in mind. They are used first to ensure that runs are timed fairly and consistently, and second to keep things as fun as possible. (For example, the consensus that a game's long, boring Forced Tutorial can be skipped.)
  • A pretty common feature in most multiplayer games is to include options in multiplayer game configuration screens is to remove specific elements, be they maps or items, from play, either for challenge reasons or because they were seen as annoying gamebreakers in a PvP situation.
    • Game Mods could be considered the opposite of restriction house rules, as they are also in essence house rules, but typically add things or fix balance issues.
    • Players of most MMORPGs tend to forbid using health potions during PvP as they immediately turn a skill and/or gear contest into a war of stock attrition.
  • People often impose restrictions on the battle system when doing battling in the Pokémon games, often based on popular tournament formats. Pokémon Battle Revolution even allows you to hardwire in these restrictions before the match begins.
  • SimCity, in all its Kobayashi Mario glory, is nothing but a game to be set by Self Imposed Challenges and House Rules. Considering you can even use real-world urban planning and rules, it's no wonder why some incredibly well-built cities awe so many people... unless they used a Game Mod.
  • Real-Time Strategy multi-player games often have an agreed "5 minutes no rush" rule, if the game doesn't support it itself.
    • Is sometimes taken to extremes. In Age of Empires, No Rush agreements can stretch as high as 45 minutes, even though the game includes the ability to start with extra resources or later in the tech tree specifically to avoid this issue.
    • Age of Empires III actually made this official with the "Treaty Mode", which prevents all combat until a time limit is reached.
      • It can even go further, some games have common rules amounting to "no subterranean/airborne/warping units can be used until you pass a "gate" or other arbitrary barrier around the enemy base" with ground units. Such rules are designed to prevent base building being a race to build said rapid-transport units to bring in engineers/monks/converters/other capturing units before the enemy can build effective defenses. While it's a noble intent, the rules can be so specific as to be annoying, and often unbalance games where one faction relies on traditional firepower and the other faction relies on stealth/trickery/speed/etc.
    • Rise of Nations has its own "no rush" mechanic that can be enforced before players reach a certain age, typically the Gunpowder Age. Outside of games using this mechanic, rushing is considered an acceptable strategy, due to its inherently high risk.
  • Most if not all electronic versions of Monopoly have selectable house rules built-in.
  • Mario Party:
    • If you want to make the games even more chaotic than they already are, try skipping all the minigame explaination screens.
    • Some Mario Party games allow you to pick and choose which minigames come up in the board game mode, allowing you to more tailor the game to your liking.
  • Certain multiplayer features of Halo get this treatment. In fact, Forge mode, originally introduced in Halo 3, is designed so that players can invoke this trope.
    • The Living Dead/Infection gametype started out as a juggernaut variant in Halo 2. Bungie officially made it a gametype in Halo 3, and 343 Industries even made unique skins for the zombies in Halo 4's version of this, Flood.
    • This was also the beginning of Grifball (basically rugby with swords and hammers), as well as numerous other games in the Action Sack playlist.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront II, assault on Mos Eisley has these unofficial rules: 1) The arena is for dueling, 2) Interfering in a duel is a bannable offense, 3) Ayla Secura is cheap, 4) No Yoda either.
  • The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control II) has a few for online games, mostly because the game itself doesn't enforce any standards:
    • Both players are limited to a number of "points" (which indicate how strong each ship is), usually 200.
    • Players pick their teams before connecting. No peeking at the other player's selection.
    • No more than one of any given ship is allowed. Without this rule, one player would be able to get a huge advantage by having multiple copies of tough-to-counter ships, like the Chmmr and Kohr-Ah. A variation is to allow duplicates, but only for ships that are worth less than 30 points (the largest number of points any ship has in the game).
    • Thraddash is banned. The main reason, other than it being a Game-Breaker, is the way to use it properly drags out games way too much (staying away from the opponent with the afterburner while slowly draining the other ship's crew with the peashooter).
    • If a stalemate happens, whoever controls the fastest ship at the time is responsible for breaking the stalemate.
  • Culdcept allows for players to set a large number of house rules in multiplayer mode, including banning or limiting certain cards in decks, just like a judging board for a physical card game would.
  • In many arcades, players often line up coins or markers on the cabinet to set up a queue, and whenever the current player's turn ends, they must get off the machine so that the player whose marker is at the front of the queue goes next. This is usually the case for Rhythm Games, fighting games, and driving games, but on Light Gun Games, Shoot Em Ups, and some other types of games, not so much; most people who play such games tend to keep feeding credits unless someone else asks if they want to have a turn.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Due to the customizability of the matches, house rules are easy to implement. And due to the Smash series being random and chaotic by default, they are widely deployed in competitive Tournament Play scenarios to remove chaotic elements and create order and fairness to ensure that the winner is determined solely by show of skill. The tournament ruleset is varies slightly by installment and is too complex to list here but always restricts play to a limited subset of levels and requires that the random appearance of items be turned off.
  • GoldenEye (1997) has the infamous "No Oddjob" calling whenever the game starts. Oddjob, being shorter than everyone else, is at an advantage over the other characters. It's also not an uncommon rule to allow a player to use Oddjob if they lose several times in a row.
  • The HD re-release of Guardian Heroes gives players the options to create their own set of rules for a Versus Mode match. These can range from, but not limited to: the minimum and maximum level of any character, the damage scale, alter a character's moveset, whether or not elemental attacks apply, MP consumption, and much more.
  • Organized scrimmages in MechWarrior Living Legends often had a rule preventing the usage of the Shiva "Echo" variant, a Game-Breaker Space Plane that could handily One-Hit Kill anything flying and then rain death upon ground forces with impunity thanks to its heavy armor and speed; matches without the rule were in many cases decided by which team had enough pilots to field as many Shivas as possible. The game's final update nerfed the Shiva "Echo". Various other rules were implemented for the sake of fun and brevity; in no-respawn matches, Powered Armor and aircraft couldn't "carry" the team, so if all the teams' ground vehicles (tanks and Humongous Mecha) were destroyed, the team would lose to prevent endless games of "hunt the last battlearmor" or enemy aircraft spinning in circles in the sky past weapons range to force a draw.
  • On Grand Chase PvP, it was a common house rule that if a player was disconnected early on, that the team with more players would have the number of players that left sit out until a teammate was eliminated. To a lesser extent, some players would do the same thing if the other team had eliminated players, but it usually ends with the worse team winning because the best player could beat anyone on the other team 1 on 1.
  • Even players who don't follow Smogon rules in Pokémon battles generally agree to ban any moves that increase evasion or lower accuracy so as to keep matches from turning into Luck-Based Missions.
  • Fire Emblem has "draft"-style play, a common houserule for people playing together, where the players pick characters one by one, then play games side-by-side using only the characters they picked (similar to a sports draft). How exactly the draft shakes out can vary, but usually both players can use the Lord, and particularly centralizing or overpowered characters (i.e. a very strong Crutch Character) will be limited in some way, such as both players being allowed to use them early on, and then them being banned afterward.

    Visual Novels 
  • Discussed in-universe in Melody, when a bunch of people at the college party play Suck ‘n’ Blow. The protagonist mentions that while he played the same game when he was in college, the rules are slightly different from the ones he played with.

    Web Comics 
  • Here in +EV. Be careful to play against Konsta with his own deck.
  • Ozy and Millie has House Rules Parcheesi, which appears to have more in common with Calvinball than any board game. We never hear anything about the rules or gameplay, seeing only snapshots and aftermath.
  • In Charby the Vampirate when Kavonn is DM he applies the rules of their 'verse's actual magic to games. This tends to kill off the player characters more quickly.
  • Dork Tower:
    • One strip had Kayleigh seeing Carson and Igor playing a board game about Mississippi riverboats, and congratulating them on playing something non-violent for a change. After she'd gone, Carson commented it was a good thing she didn't know about the house rules, which included cannons.
    • Another sees Igor describe the rules for what appears to be a typical RPG, until Matt frustratedly reveals in the last panel that they're playing Candy Land.


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Alternative Title(s): House Rule


Wartime Monopoly

A World War II-era Monopoly set came with something unexpected when unearthed: a custom game board drawn by the original owner introducing new mechanics.

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5 (2 votes)

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