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Monopoly: Strategy to Beat Even the Best Opponent

Updated on December 3, 2014

Monopoly Board

Monopoly Board
Monopoly Board

For Starters

Here are the basic rules regardless of who you're playing with:

  1. You start out with the same amount of money as everyone else
  2. Doubles allow you to roll the dice again as long as you haven't been sent to jail
  3. Free parking is just a free space, NOT a place to put all the accumulated taxes
  4. The object of the game is to bankrupt the other players and be the last one standing
  5. Trades will allow you to get properties you want from other players. You're able to trade money, other properties, Get Out of Jail cards, and goodwill.

Some ways to spice up the action:

  1. Put a time limit on the game and encourage quick decisions (60 minutes)
  2. Immediately auction properties when someone chooses not to buy it
  3. Make additional houses and hotels so you never run out of improvements
  4. Have players take a Community Chest or Chance card whenever they pass Go
  5. A friendly wager like the losers buy pizza always make for extra fun


Monopoly - The Best There Is

Monopoly is that rare board game that is fun for all ages and statuses. Young and old, rich and poor work their way around the board putting together monopolies of color-coded properties with the goal of putting the other person out of business.

If you've ever been to Atlantic City back in its hayday, you know the streets well. You walk down the boardwalk, take a trip down Pennsylvania, and stay from away from Oriental Avenue. But hey, that just all adds to the fun of the game!

And as with any game, the point is to win, and you're in the right place. What you're about to read is the essential guide to winning every game of Monopoly.

Monopoly

4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Monopoly

Alternate Monopoly Rules

Basic Strategy

You have the dice in your hands and you're ready to roll. So where do we start?

  • End properties on each line cost more, are worth more, and will allow you to charge more. Example: Boardwalk beats Park Place
  • It's really hard to win without a monopoly or comparable property ownership like railroads or utilities. So focus on getting a monopoly first.
  • Find the weakest person and identify your trade partner.
  • Don't buy every single thing you touch, especially if that means you won't be able to take advantage of auctions when a rival can't afford a property

Dark Blue Monopoly

Which Monopoly is Best?

Which Monopoly is Best?

See results

Monopoly Power Rankings

Which monopoly is the best? Which monopoly should you value over all others?

  1. Light Blue - Oriental, Vermont, Connecticut. I know what you're thinking -- isn't the best monopoly obviously Boardwalk and Park Place? Honestly, no. The high cost of those properties makes it very difficult to get a monopoly in the first place, and more importantly, difficult to improve the properties with houses and hotels. In sharp contrast, the light blue group is cheap, cheap, cheap and easy to improve. At it's best, you can get $600 for a hotel on Connecticut which is a sharp blow to any rival. Also, because these properties are six, eight and nine spaces from Go (and all the cards that send you to Go) there's increased chances that someone will land on these properties.
  2. Orange - St. James, Tennessee, New York. The story is much the same with the light blue properties. The houses and hotels are the same price as if you were improving the magenta properties, but you get a lot more bang for your buck. I've won many many games with a hotel on New York Avenue and the $1000 surcharge. You get a small bonus because of your proximity to the jail, and poor unsuspecting fools that are rolling their way out of jail often land on the Orange.
  3. Navy Blue - Park Place, Boardwalk. Once you've got some money, and you're probably in the latter stages of the game, the Navy Blue properties are the equivalent of wielding Excalibur. As soon as you have the money to develop these properties, get to it! The look on the face of a competitor that has to pay $2000 on Boardwalk is priceless, and never gets old. The other big plus is obviously that you only need to get two properties as opposed to three for most other monopolies.
  4. Four Railroads - Reading, Pennsylvania, Short Line, B&O. I love, love, love having four railroads in Monopoly. They cost $0 to improve and are well worth the investment once you have at least 3. A set of four gets you $200, plus there are several cards that force the roller to pay double so you could get up to $400!
  5. Yellow - Atlantic, Ventnor, Marvin Gardens. How cool is it to have a property named Marvin Gardens!? Again, you get relative value compared to the Red properties since houses and hotels get you more bang for the buck. Yellow is not a great monopoly to have, but it's clearly expensive enough and powerful enough to win a game for you.
  6. Purple - Baltic, Mediterranean. Laugh all you will. It's the easiest monopoly to get, especially because competitors have no problem trading one of these properties to you when you need one. You will rarely if ever win because of this monopoly but it can be a good investment to fund future improvements for one of the top 5 monopoly groups.
  7. Magenta - St. Charles, States, Virginia. A really unexciting but dependable monopoly. If this is all you've got in the latter stages of the game, you are very likely to lose. Slight bonus for the St. Charles place card.
  8. Utilities - Water, Electric. Minimal investment, minimal return. If someone else at the table values utilities, sell them for better pieces.
  9. Red - Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois. Another unexciting monopoly that someone else will work really hard to get while you're doing better for yourself.
  10. Green - Pacific, North Carolina, Pennsylvania. I'm not saying that I wouldn't rather have the Green monopoly than any other monopoly in the game. But at this price, you're not really getting much, are you? Your money and efforts are best spent elsewhere.


You're Ready, Go Win!

So now you're all set to take on a table of other players at Monopoly. As with anything else, look for weaknesses in the others, and rely on your strengths to pull off a win. And if you've used any of the tips above, drop me a line so I know.

Houses and Hotels

About DealForALiving

I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.

I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.

Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.

Most Sincerely,

DealForALiving

PS. I've also started writing on my own site: dealforaliving.com.

DealForALiving

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    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Monopoly is a fantastic personal finance game (the older versions at least) and your note on the 3 Ls is definitely true. Thanks for writing.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I find Monopoly as one of the best educating games for kids. They learn so many valuable lessons about finance and life in general in entertaining way, it is almost a pity it is not included in official school programs.

      You, for instance nicely presented one of the most valuable lessons from the field of real estates, where only three things really matter: location, location and location:)

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      So true. Now that kids don't really grow up playing monopoly, you end up having to face fair competition instead of taking advantage of newbies.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      It has been too long since I played a good game on Monopoly. A good strategy is important to come out ahead on this game. Or, just play with people who do not know what they are doing.

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Well then, Au Fait, we will have to meet at the next Monopoly championships! But now you know my secrets... I'm doomed...

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I win pretty much any board game, dice game, or card game I play. Yes, and Chinese Checkers too, and not with just one set of marbles, but 3 against 3. And regular checkers too. If a game is new to me I might have to play a couple of rounds to catch on, but before much time passes I'm beating everybody else at the table. :)

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I doubt any other board game has as many different "house rules" versions as Monopoly. Life surely doesn't.

    • DealForALiving profile image
      Author

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Glad you enjoyed it cat on a soapbox! I'm practically unbeatable with either the light blues or railroads so I hope they work for you.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Interesting, and I enjoy the game, but get to play only extremely rarely, as everyone else I know (family included--or especially), absolutely HATES this game.

      Good pointers, and the video on alternate scenarios is good. When we do play, we always use "house rules" including the bonus of landing on 'free parking' and collecting the assorted income from the chance and community chest cards.

      Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I really love this game and enjoyed reading your tips. I agree that the light blue properties and railroads are among the best bets for winning, but learned that others are not and why. Love the suggestions for spicing up the action and will try the time limit. Thanks!