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13 Steps to Winning Monopoly

Updated on October 13, 2012
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Philip Orbane's 13 Steps to Winning Monopoly, summarized by Joey Rickert

1. Never forget the object of the game. To win at Monopoly, you must bankrupt all players (obviously). NEVER let an opponent off the ropes! Luck is important, but hopefully luck will never overrun your strategies.

2. Know the equipment well. Remember that there are 32 houses and 12 hotels. You can use this information to create housing shortages! Of the 16 chance cards:

a. One is a Get Out of Jail Free card

b. One makes you pay for repairs on buildings

c. Two take away money

d. Two give you money

e. Ten move you somewhere else on the board.

Keep in mind that the chance and community chest cards are NEVER shuffled except at the beginning of the game. When you draw a card, after completing what it says, the card goes on the BOTTOM of the deck.

Of the sixteen community chest cards:

a. One is a Get Out of Jail Free card

b. One makes you pay for repairs on your buildings

c. Two move you somewhere else

d. Three take away money

e. Nine give you money

Also know that the most commonly rolled number on the dice is seven, followed by six and eight, then five and nine, ect.

3. Keep track of how much money is in the game. You are supposed to start out with $1500, unless you have house rules in effect. In one circuit of the board, (if no buildings have been built yet) you will make about $170. This takes into account the $200 you earn from passing Go. If you know how much cash an opponent has, you can use that information to estimate how much he will pay for a property or auction. You can also estimate how many houses he/she can build of how much he can trade for.

4. It usually takes five turns to go around the board.You will probably roll doubles one time. You will also usually land on four of the 28 properties. Here’s a neat tip: Count up all the unmortgaged properties owned by opponents. Divide by seven. This will give you a rough estimate on how many rents you can expect to pay on your next trip around the board.

5. You should always buy an unowned property if…

a. No other player owns a property in its color group

b. It gives you or another player the second of third property of the group

c. It blocks an opponent from making a monopoly

d. It is an Orange (Orange properties are the most commonly landed on properties in the game)

6. Know the pros and cons of each color group.

7. Know when to pay 10% income tax rather than $200.Pay 10% the first three times you go around the board, or if you are very low on cash.

8. Know when to stay in jail. Pay $50 to get out early in the game. You’ll need to buy properties. Stay and throw for doubles if it is late in the game and many houses and hotels with steep rents have been built.

9. Know when and where to buy houses. You should build when…

a. You form the first complete monopoly

b. You can build and still be left with enough money to pay an expense or high rent.

$150 or $200 is really all you need if there are no other monopolies yet in the game. Late in the game, build all you can to bankrupt an opponent. Always try to build three houses across a color group before developing another. Rents rise dramatically between the second and third house.

10. Know when to cause a building shortage. If you have low-rent color groups, quickly build up to the three- or four-house level. This will prevent players from building too many houses on higher-rent properties. Never build up to a hotel if you could block an opponent from building houses.

11. Know how to get the most out of mortgaging. Mortgage single properties first to raise cash. Mortgage color groups as a last resort.

12. Know how to conduct yourself as a player. Present yourself as a player people don’t mind losing to! If you are a know-it-all or are inconsiderate, players may stop trading with you altogether. Trading is essential in Monopoly!

13. Know how to trade. Make sure trades benefit both traders, not just you and not just them. Use common sense; make a trade only if it will help you win the game.


I got this information from this book, which I recommend to any Monopoly fan.

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