Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott get competitive
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Underhanded tactics commonly deployed include hiding pieces, stealing someone’s turn, and peeking at another player’s tiles or cards.
More than half (52 percent) claim they have a competitive streak when playing against their loved ones, while 45 percent admitted they are guilty of trying to win by any means possible.
But when things don’t go their way, 50 percent have “rage quit” – and 43 percent of those are adamant their actions were justified.
Throughout the festive period, 46 percent recognise there will be at least one row over a board game.
The research was commissioned by Mattel to launch the new Scrabble Trap Tiles edition – and saw TV personalities Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott show what can happen when sabotage is at play.
Sam Thompson said: “Anybody who knows me, knows I love winding people up.
“But what most people don’t know is that I’m the ultimate games night saboteur, loving nothing more than using my brains, wit, and a few underhand tactics to win.”
Kelly Philp, from Mattel UK, said: “Playing games at Christmas is a much-loved tradition – and it’s interesting to see how many surprising traits come out the woodwork in gameplay, from sabotaging to cheating.
“Whatever your favourite way to play, board games are an integral part of festive celebrations, and this is such a brilliant way to bring the entire family together – and no matter who wins or loses, a good time is always guaranteed.”
The research also found 44 percent admitted to trying to sabotage a board games night by pretending to have a worse hand than they do, feigning to know a word that might not exist, and deliberately stalling.
And 35 percent act as if they are less skilled at the game than they actually are.
The gamers were asked about what their best skills are – with many claiming to be a strategist, and having the nous to make the right move at the right times.
While others believe their patience gives them the edge, and many believe they are somewhat of a wordsmith.
Nearly half (45 percent) think Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a family row over a board game – with husbands and wives the most likely to clash, followed by confrontations with brothers and daughters.
But the road to victory is paved with deceit, as 57 percent have caught someone cheating.
And claiming the family bragging rights is the ultimate aim of the game for 42 percent of those polled, via OnePoll.
Overall, families will sit down to play an average of four board games over the festive period, with 57 percent saying it is a family tradition.
More than a quarter (27 percent) are creatures of habit, and will play the same board games each year – while 31 percent will play a mixture of new titles and old favourites.
Kelly Philp, from Mattel UK, added: “Seeing how much Brits love to mix up games night means no game is ever the same, and seeing the hilarious tactics game fans create has been illuminating.
“The Scrabble Trap Tiles edition is an all-new way to play the classic game – but this time, we are giving fans all the tools they need to sabotage their opponents by stealing points, tiles, or even the game.”
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