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Monopoly Game Strategies

Updated on February 4, 2013
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

Monopoly and How to Win It

So, you want to be a big winner at Monopoly, huh? Are you tired of not making enough money in real life, so you figure you may as well make a lot of fake money? Yes, I understand the need for money and power. Even if it is only fake money and power, I understand. It is time to make you a Monopoly Millionaire.

Let me first explain to you, there is a certain amount of luck involved in any game. No matter how great your skills, sometimes you are just not going to have luck. There will be some nights when no one will land on the last piece of property you need to purchase. There will be other nights when your opponent will try to block you if you use the same strategy too often. These things happen and they cannot be helped.

However, there is a way to increase your chances of winning. I myself am a Monopoly game enthusiast. I play the game as if I own real property and as if that Monopoly money is the real deal. If you listen to my advice, you might just start winning in a major way.

It's Time to Embrace Your Inner Slumlord

Some people will tell you to start buying the expensive properties all throughout the board. I am here to tell you that is not the right way to go. You want to start cheap. The best place to start is what I like to call "Cheap Street." I am sure you can think of a number of less pleasant terms for that street, but we will call it Cheap Street. This is the stretch between the "Go" corner and the "Jail" corner. Hmmm... jail is located in the poor neighborhood. Who'd of guessed?

You will want to start buying the dark purple and light blue properties whenever you get the opportunity. Since these are the lowest priced neighborhoods, you will have no problem making those purchases affordable. The first time you play with new, unsuspecting opponents, they will probably happily allow you to buy that entire strip. Once you buy each piece of property... (enter intense music)... you will begin to dominate!

Start building houses as soon as possible. Upgrade to hotels the first chance you get. Those properties are barely worth any rent until the hotels go up. That is when you can start cashing in. I love making people squirm as soon as they turn the "Go" corner. Once you own the entire street, players will be at your mercy!

Never Pass Up a Railroad

If you have an opportunity to buy a railroad, buy it. If you have an opportunity to bargain with an opponent and take their railroad, take it. Railroads are a quick and easy way to make money.

If you have every railroad on the board, you can collect $200 every time someone lands on one. Even if you only have a couple, you will still collect $50 every time a person hits one. Trust me, people will usually land on railroads quite a bit. Typically the railroads pay for themselves within a few rounds (depending on the number of players).

Some people will tell you to buy the utilities. I say no to utilities! First of all, the amount you can charge each time someone lands on the property is too inconsistent. If you only own the Electric Company or just the Water Company, you charge 4 times the dice roll. Even if you have both, you can only charge 10 times the dice roll. The most you will ever make is $120. I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of free time for extra dice rolling and then math just to barely make any money. Stick to the railroads - the profits are fast and easy!

Taking Over the Rest of the Board

Once you start making some big money with Cheap Street and your railroads, you need to start scoping out the next location you would like to take over. Take note of the locations where your opponents seem to land the most. Take note on what is available. Make sure to base your priorities on these findings.

Did your opponents already spend too much money on fancy property and now they can't even afford to buy houses? Someone usually always makes that mistake. Now is the time to start making them sell you that property to pay for any rent they may owe you. Focus on a neighborhood and do what it takes to get all the property. Always bargain with others and take a railroad when you have an opportunity. You should be well on your way to Monopoly Domination!

Some players will just give up at this point. As soon as they start to lose property, they throw down their cards like a sissy and walk away. Force them to come back to the table and determine who gets what property. If at all possible, bribe them so you can get the property you really want.

For the remaining players, you are going to have to go head to head with them. At this point, what really matters is who is holding the most money. If you have plenty of money, you can continue buying. If you own all of one color for any section, build, build, build. If your money is running a little low, hold off until more folks land on your property and you collect your rent. If you continue with this strategy, you've got a good shot at winning all the money and property, and ultimately, the game!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I play with the same people all the time. They've figured out my strategy. What do I do?

A: Change it a bit. Instead of buying all of Cheap Street, go for a Cheap Corner instead. The corner with the Jail has another reasonably priced set of properties that are light purple. Start buying that and then add the light blue later on. If people keep blocking you from dominating that part of the board, you can try buying the orange properties (beside the light purple) instead. Perhaps, you need to "throw" a couple of games by buying Boardwalk and Park Place for a bit. See if maybe you can even make that work for you.

Q: Can I allow a player to give me an "I Owe You."

A: That is up to you. You can determine that BEFORE the game begins. The rules say you can't do that, but the rules also say you can create "house rules," so do what you feel is right. Just remember, if you allow one person to owe you for a while, you have to allow that to anyone else in the same situation during that game.

Q: Should I pay to get out of jail or just roll the dice?

A: This depends on your financial situation. If this is the early part of the game, ALWAYS pay to get out or use your "Get Out of Jail Free" pass. This is a perfect opportunity to scope out the board and purchase property. If everyone has built a lot of hotels all over the place and you are low on cash, STAY IN JAIL! While you are rolling your way out, you are buying time. Someone may lose all their cash on someone else's property and lose some hotels before you even get out. Keep your fingers crossed on that one!

Q: Which game piece is the best to use?

A: You should pick whichever you feel will bring you the most luck. If possible, try not to pick something too similar to other players' pieces. I personally like the man on the horse the best.

Q: The game has been going on for 3 hours now. Should we just give up?

A: Never give up! Monopoly is a wonderful game! Play as long as necessary in order for you to become the almighty powerful winner of Monopoly. Good luck to you!


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