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As heard on the Dave Fanning Show (Irish radio, 12/6/2007)
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How to Win at Monopoly® – a Surefire Strategy

by Tim Darling (email) - November, 2007.

"Why would a man push a car that he doesn’t own to a hotel that he’s not staying at?"

I’m a big Monopoly fan and I recently saw a great website that did something I’ve always wanted to do: calculate how long it takes to return your investment in the various properties and houses/hotel purchases. Knowing this is really the key to developing a strategy to win the game. Without it, how do you know whether to focus on putting hotels on Boardwalk or buying all the Railroads? You can’t do everything – the key to winning is making the right trades and decisions at the different stages of the game. This is just my interpretation of the numbers, but I propose a winning strategy below and then back it up with the data.

The return on investment data used on this page comes from Truman Collins’ webpage: Probabilities in the Game of Monopoly. The odds of landing on any given square were calculated by creating a model of the game (with all of Chance cards, Go To Jail, etc. included) and running billions of computer simulations. My contribution was to summarize the data, make a visual chart to easily interpret it, and synthesize those interpretations into a few simple rules that make up a winning strategy.

Monopoly is a game of luck, strategy, and people skills. No strategy will guarantee you a win; that’s one of the reasons Monopoly is so interesting. In any given game, a newcomer can beat a lifetime champion. Still, there are a few strategic tips that came out of the computer simulations that will help you best play the odds: you may not win any given game, but in the long run, you’ll come out ahead. The "people skills" element isn’t captured here. But as a general rule, think about what your opponents want and see if you can engineer a trade with them that’s a win/win for you both. That type of negotiating is as vital in Monopoly as it is in real life.

Notation: Side 1 of the board is the first side you move through after passing Go: Mediterranean/Baltic/Oriental, etc. Sides 2-4 follow in order.

How to win at Monopoly – a simple strategy:
  • Always buy Railroads; never buy Utilities (at full price)*
    • For every other property type, only buy them to complete a monopoly or to prevent opponents from completing one. Often this may mean buying as many properties as you can early in the game, but watch your cash reserves.
  • At the beginning of the game, focus on acquiring a complete C-G [Color Group: all 2 or 3 properties of the same color] in Sides 1+2, even if it means trading away properties on Sides 2+3. After acquiring one of these C-Gs, build 3 houses as quickly as possible: no more houses, no less!
  • Once your first C-G starts to generate some cash, focus on completing a C-G and building 3 houses in Sides 3+4.
    • Note: 3 houses is the "sweet spot" in the game as shown in Table 1 below. That’s where you’re making the best use of your money.
  • Single properties are the least good investment if you don’t build on them.
  • The only exception to the above rules are when you need to acquire stray properties to prevent your opponents from completing their Color-Groups to accomplish the above strategy.

  • Jail can be good. Stay in Jail as long as you can if an opponent owns a monopoly – at that point in the game, moving around the board will likely lose you money. Until that happens, though, pay the $50 and leave Jail as soon as possible: you need to be in the property acquisition race and collecting your $200 salary.
    • One interesting exception: Do you need St. James or Tennessee Aves to complete your C-G? Then stay in Jail and try to get out by rolling doubles: doing so will increase your chances of landing on those squares by about 25%.
The 5 best starting positions are – in order:
  1. All 4 railroads
    • One reason why this is the best starting point: the revenue flow from railroads is much more constant over time whereas some of the other properties may have the same ROI but they come with bigger payouts over longer time spans. Owning 3-4 railroads is a cash cow: it will bring a continuous flow of money that can fund your monopolies.
  2. 3 houses on each of the orange Color-Group (St James/Tennessee/New York)
  3. 3 houses on each of the light blue C-G (Oriental/Vermont/Connecticut)
  4. 3 houses on each of the light purple C-G (St Charles/States/Virginia)
  5. A hotel on each of the dark purple C-G (Mediterranean /Baltic)
    • This option gives by far the worst return of the 5 starting positions; in fact, until you get 4 houses, this C-G is the worst investment in the game!
    • However, his option does have 2 advantages: it is the cheapest of the 5 and it only has 2 properties so owning the entire C-G may be easier, especially in large games.
* I’m assuming all properties sell for close to their listed price. This is usually true, but sometimes properties can be auctioned off or traded much more cheaply or expensively; this will change how worthwhile they are to acquire.

An example of what this strategy means

Early in the game, before people starting building houses, consider a case where you have all of the orange C-Gs except St. James Place (i.e. you have Tennessee/New York) and you have Boardwalk. Conversely, an opponent owns all of the blue C-G except Boardwalk (i.e. they have Park Place) and they have St. James Place. Clearly, you both want some kind of trade so you can each complete your respective C-G. Only problem is that Boardwalk costs $400 while St. James Place costs $180. And hotels on Boardwalk are much worse to land on than hotels on St. James Place. So you might not want to give up Boardwalk too easily.

But if you follow the strategy above, in this case, I would trade Boardwalk to get St. James Place. Sure, you don’t want your opponent to have the chance to build houses and hotels on Boardwalk, but they’ll never be able to do it unless they have houses on cheaper properties generating cash. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to throw 3 houses on each of the orange C-G which, as Table 1 below shows, is an investment that will pay for itself faster than any other purchase. The 3rd set of houses will pay for itself every 9.5 rolls of your opponents’ dice. When you start taking their money that quickly, they’ll never be able to build the funds needed to begin developing their own properties, especially the expensive ones.

Where the strategy comes from

Table 1 below is key to understanding how to win at Monopoly. It answers the critical question: how long will I have to wait to get my $400 back if I buy Boardwalk? And: how long will I have to wait to get my $100 back if I put hotels on Mediterranean and Baltic Aves?, etc. for each possibility on the board. The average number of rolls of each opponents’ dice needed for you to get your money back is given in the table as the breakeven time.

For example, if you have 1 house on each of the StJ/Tenn/NY properties and 3 houses on each of the Park/Boardwalk properties, which would you be better off spending money building on? According to the table, building another set of houses on StJ/Tenn/NY is best: 25.63 < 35.56.

Red means the least amount of time. I put a box around the options that require the least time. These are the options you want to shoot for. Basically, you get your money back quickest when you put the 3rd set of houses on any set of properties. For the Side 1+2 C-Gs, you can also add 4 houses or a hotel and still be making good use of your money.

Owning all 4 railroads is one of the best options. Owning only 1-2 railroads is not so good; but buying railroads is a good way to at least prevent your opponents from owning all 4. Owning single properties without a complete C-G is one of the worst uses of your money; again, unless you do it to prevent an opponent from completing a full C-G set.

Table 1 – Temperature map showing how quickly you get your incremental investment back;
this is based on computer simulations that include the effects of all Chance and Community Chest cards

Finally, while Table 1 is a valuable insight, the properties in the boxed area are different prices. 3 houses on Boardwalk provides a great return on investment, but you won’t have enough money to get to this point and be able to buy them early in the game, so why even consider it? What’s the best first move? Table 2 shows the total cost needed to get to any given state. Early in the game, you should shoot for the red and yellow options in the boxed area in Table 2. Later in the game, the blue options in the boxed area may be best.

Thus we get the best starting positions given at the very top of the page (the top 3 are circled in Table 2). You can get all of those 3 options for less than $1500 and, on average, you will recover your last investment in them over and over again every 13 rolls of your opponents’ dice – or better. So if you’re playing against 4 other people, this means about every 3 turns. In 6 turns, you’ll have doubled your last investment, and be well on your way to building a monopoly.

Table 2 – Temperature map showing how much each property costs with houses and hotels

Note: The data from Table 1 assumes that players spend only one turn in jail: either by paying $50, using a Get Out of Jail Free card, or rolling a double on the first time. An often suggested strategy is to get out of jail on the 1st turn early in the game so you can keep buying properties; later in the game, stay in jail for 3 turns if you can, because moving around the board usually loses you money as people starting building houses and hotels. So if people spend more time in jail, the values in Table 1 will increase because the more time they spend there, the less time they’ll spend landing on your properties. Nonetheless, it doesn’t affect the strategy since the relative values stay the same. The StJ/Tenn/NY C-G’s 3rd set of houses still pays for themselves faster than Boardwalks’ does: both just take about 10% more time if your opponents spend 3 turns in jail instead of 1.

The chart shows how long it takes to recover the incremental cost, not the total cost up to that point. In other words, it takes an average of 9.5 rolls to recover the $300 cost of building the 3rd set of houses on StJ/Tenn/NY C-G. By that time, you probably still won’t have recovered all of the costs required to get to that point – buying the properties and the first 2 sets of houses. Nonetheless, your money-making machine will be running at its highest ROI level at that point and that will help you recover your entire earlier investment most efficiently. What happens if you invest in the StJ/Tenn/NY C-G and never get to the point where you have 3 houses? Was it still the best option? Maybe not, but the difference is marginal. Sure, the last property in the StJ/Tenn/NY will take longer to recover its cost than in Kent/Ind/Ill, but the difference is less than 5%. By the time you get to 3 houses, StJ/Tenn/NY is almost 20% better.

Other Monopoly / Related Links

Your Comments

The most important part of winning a game of monopoly , in my opinion, is WHEN you improve. If you have Marvin,Ventnor ,and Atlantic and enough money to improve but you are a realistic dice roll from some opponent hotels, you might to to wait until you pass them to avoid instantly selling your improvements back for half. Also improving properties directly behind your opponent forces you to wait longer to recieve your payout.

-- Lewkis, Nov 5, 2007
tight, but could you move the RRs so that there underneath the other props? man alive, I wanna play some monopoly.

-- mcopoly, Nov 6, 2007
I'm guessing these are statistically obtained numbers, but the practical numbers may be a little bit better than normal for the railroads and the orange set in particular. Here's why. First, Jail is a very popular spot. You can just visit (1/36 spots on the board). You can get there by drawing a card. You can get directed there by landing on the Go to Jail spot (another 1/36th chance). And finally you can get there by rolling doubles 3x. Once you leave jail, the orange set are 6, 8 and 9 spots away on your first roll. Statistically you're likely to roll one of those with two dice 1/3rd of the time. Only by rolling a 10 or 11 does the jail visitor skip your orange set, just over 10% of the time. Any roll less than 6 puts the player at risk of landing on Orange on a subsequent roll. Snakeeyes out of jail makes it more likely-- about 38% to land on orange on the next roll. A 3 out of jail puts the player at a 34% chance of landing on an orange set. A 4 out of jail puts the player at a 35% chance of landing on your property. If you follow the other advice (buy all four railroads) you'll make out with a 5, even though it's statistically one of the worst rolls you can get from a jail visitor (the likelihood of landing on an orange from Pennsylvania RR is 18%). The worst case (outside of rolling a 10-12) is threading the needle with a 7 (then the likelihood they land on orange is with snakeeyes, or 6%). This ignores, of course, the 12 roll, then gets a "move back 3 spaces" chance card (or St. Charles Place, which puts them back within prime landing distance). And speaking of cards, the railroads have a bonus from the chance cards of "advance to nearest railroad", and "take a ride on the reading" cards. The double-rent stipulation on the first set of cards is particularly nice. The red color group is also a favorite of mine, particularly because every once in a while you get the bonus "Advance to Illinois Ave." chance card.

-- Khan, Nov 6, 2007
Not event wrong. The best way to win Monopoly is not to play.

-- Dave McCallister, Nov 6, 2007
It would be a nice idea to post the version of the board you used. The property names are different on all international/disney/... versionsn, but the relative value of the properties (and all money flows) is almost equal.

-- i18n, Nov 6, 2007
i was brought up on the original monopoly (london version) but i'll assume the ratios are the same and only the street names have been changed. i buy everything i can get, except utilities and railways. i'll get 3 houses onto my CGs as fast as possible, and use single properties for trade. rarely fails, even with 3 against one.

-- craig, Nov 6, 2007
I'm sure there's some psychological luck going on here, but I've often found the Orange, Yellow and Green C-G's to consistantly return me the best profits, so I'll usually trade down to get these properties or pay a higher price from someone who has them.

-- Shannon, Nov 6, 2007
i've been to a few monopoly championships.. and got pretty decent ranking. national 6th imho, monopoly is all about having good relationship with your opponents.. be nice.. learn to give little things to build your reputation. eg. when they stepped onto your cheap and undeveloped deeds, let them pass without paying rent. or let them keep the change... be generous. it will be much easier to trade with them later on.. dont be too competitive.. if your opponents think that you are a threat... they wont trade with you.. and you have no chance of winning.. my 2 cent

-- xumx, Nov 6, 2007
Nice choice of palette in the graph

-- toneii, Nov 6, 2007
I played email alot as a kid and I believe the orange set (vine street) gives the best chance of winning. Second to that the purple set (Northumberland Avenue)/ The factor about these being on the same side as jail is important. I always buy railway stations but utilities are a waste. Cash flow is very important. There is a big advantage in being the first to acquire a set and develop on it. I would not stick at three houses if you have enough cash to build more - because the object of the game is not to get the best theoretical long term return, but to knock other players out by causing them a big cash flow problem when they land on your set.

-- David, Nov 6, 2007
you can't collect money when you are in jail though.

-- Jaxk, Nov 6, 2007
I believe the best thing to do is get the orange set, followed by the red, then yellow, then light purple. The key to winning though, especially if you are playing with more than 2 people, is being willing to trade. Sometimes you might have to give up a lot to get a little... but if you play it right the "little" can turn into something big. For example if you trade three properties to get one, but the one you get gives you the orange CG, then its a worthwhile trade in my book. Too many players don't understand how to trade and trade effectively... sometimes you get shortchanged on a deal, but you can use what you acquired to make a better deal with someone else.

-- Nate, Nov 6, 2007
The strategy and the numbers presented are useful but the game itself demands a more realistic and adaptable strategy. First and foremost you cannot ignore any side of the board and you cannot afford to let any property that you land on go unbought(except for maybe the utilities). Every property has enough value to be bought if you land on it simply because the outcome of the game is uncertain due to the dice component. Passing up a property is a poor move because there is no certainty of picking up any particular property at any point in the game. Another way to explain what I'm trying to say is that at any point in the game you want as much money in play (i.e. on the board) as possible because you don't know what you're going to roll. I've got a strategy that works and I imagine would crush the poster of this article: buy every property you land on and as soon as you have a monopoly build as much as you can immediately.

-- Dave, Nov 6, 2007
The last time I checked the rules you could collect money while in jail, as in the official rules some people play hoseu rules differently.

-- Rose, Nov 6, 2007
xmux, very nice points. I've always followed that rule (without laying it on so thick that you're opponents see through it). The mix of the "art" of the human aspect of playing games and the "science" of probabilities of the games is what makes gaming so great... no matter the game. As a rule of thumb, I tend to go for the second property group on each side of the board. The ROI seems better since the houses/hotels on the second groups cost the same as the houses/hotels on the first group. Bonus fun: here's a lil' poll that let's you vote on your favorite board game... I'm lobbying for Monopoly, of course. Help it win

-- The Squizz, Nov 6, 2007
Orange and then red are the best investments. Illinois is the most landed on property in the game, but orange pays off slightly faster. Those two are hit so often because (as other people have mentioned) Jail is the most common place to start your turn. For some really detailed tables, see

-- J, Nov 6, 2007
Very few people play according to the actual rules. If you choose not to buy a property, it goes up for auction. You can end up buying it at a pittance, or forcing your opponents to overbid for it. And you can definitely collect rents in jail.

-- Dan Weber, Nov 6, 2007
What an incredible waste of time. Luck of the dice roll is by far the biggest factor in winning at Monopoly. Land on the properties first and buy them. Luck. I bet you think you have mastered how to beat casinos at their games too.

-- Binglebore, Nov 6, 2007
Yup. I confirm the results listed here. I've played well over 200 games of monopoly and the Stj, Ten, NY set is by far the most powerful set in the game. If you have a group of weak players who trade them up easily to the player who will eventually own that C-G I gurantee that 90% of the time that individual will win. If the Stj,Ten,Ny set is completed late in the game, then the odds of that person winning will drop significantly (if that was the only set that person was gunning for) It really depends on how you play monopoly though, too many house rules...

-- roboto, Nov 6, 2007
Binglebore: Statistics.. ask the famous MIT poker and blackjack crews who used to go to Vegas several times a year and wipe them clean. Its not about cheating, its about learning the statistics of the game to improve your changes of winning. Any poker player worth their salt looks at the cards in their hand and using statistics calculate the chances that they have a winning hand. Bingo, Keno, Poker, Blackjack, Lotto, Chess and Monopoly.. its all about statistics.

-- Terry, Nov 6, 2007
no one ever wins at monopoly someone just gets mad and kicks the board and walks away

-- david, Nov 6, 2007
Boardwalk or bust.

-- madge, Nov 6, 2007
Congrats on the nice work. Of course, this is stuff I figured out a looooong time ago when playing monopoly was less obvious, but it's nice to see it fully analyzed with probabilities and whatnot fully charted out.

-- Tweek, Nov 6, 2007
Winning at Monopoly is like wining in life. All you have to do is be the banker. Trust me, I know.

-- David Rockafeller, Nov 6, 2007
I haven't read the entire article yet, but it seems to ignore the fact that there are other players. When the author encourages you to trade with others in order to complete a color-group... the other player will probably want, in return, a property that completes a color-group for THEM. This can have dramatic consequences for your expected costs per-roll. So, you have to weigh the value of your potentially-completed-group against the value of theirs... as well as how much houses will cost them for their CG versus yours... and, finally, how much money they have. If they're swimming in cash, you don't want to trade because they're going to pop three houses on those properties by the next turn. However, if they're mortgaged and have little spare cash, then you can execute the trade and have time before worrying about their CG turning into "land mines".

-- Joe, Nov 6, 2007
Come on people. Yes you can play many variations and styles and exceptions etc etc. This is the basic version of the game. The way its "supposed" to be play sans house rules or special ways. Try to put it to practice before judging or bashing it. If I'm winning more often then before and more frequently then I'm losing I say then its a good strategy. I'm all for people offering constructive critiques (I personally agree with David and Xumx, thats how I usually play hehe)but I will at least give his theory a try as he brings up some interesting points. @ Binglebore. Ask anyone who plays in the casino and you will get the same response. Its all about strategy. That is why you go home 500 dollars in the hole and they are winning 1,000,000 pots. Yes dice are random which is why dice isn't computed solely in this equation. You play by percentages and probability. Statistically (according to the author) if you play with this strategy you have a greater chance of winning. Just like if you hit on a 12 in blackjack. Yes you can get a 10 or face card every time and bust, (theoretically) but statistically you should ALWAYS hit on 12. Same with craps, roulette, poker, etc. Yes in the end you are at the mercy of the dice roll but if thats what your focus is then just play to play and not play to win. At least he put some effort in something that interests him rather then troll online to talk crap about people. Geez. Interesting post Tim. I will definitely give it whirl. After I get back from the casino ;)

-- CROD, Nov 6, 2007
@Terry: Whilst I agree with your post for the most part, the last time I checked chess did not use a die. There is no form of "chance" involved.

-- Alex, Nov 6, 2007
I always found that in a four player or more game, I could sweeten a trade enough to get a color group by offering diplomatic immunity to the person I was trading to if they ever landed on that property again. It lowers the risk of the trade going sour for them while still maintaining the possibility of revenue from the other players and properties of the same color group.

-- Benjamin, Nov 6, 2007
I always trade my ultilities for railroads =P. Its awesome. Nobody ever wants to trade though =/. It isn't as bad as risk, i can't remember the last game where one of my friends didn't flip the board and i didn't spaz out. From hereon out - we take pictures after every round >:(. God i'm a poor sport... My dirty monopoly sin - i play so you get money if you land on free parking =P.

-- MikedaSnipe, Nov 6, 2007
There seems to be a common misconception about rent. You cannot waive somebody's rent, whether it be $2 or $1000, nor can you grant them immunity during a trade. If you land on my property, and you owe me $200, and we were to have an agreement that you got free rent, the result is the same as if I were to loan you that $200, and then you were to immediately repay it. I make no profit, you make no loss. Therefore, free-rent is a loan between players, which is prohibited by the rules. Only the bank may loan money, and only by mortgaging owned property.

-- TeqnoHaxor, Nov 6, 2007
i19n, what do you mean, post which board you used? The names assigned clearly show that it is the classic original US board.

-- bobert, Nov 6, 2007
I think Binglebore misses the point. Negotiation and timing are really the key to winning and the secret to Monopoly's enduring appeal. Like poker, a skilled player can turn crap cards into winning hands by playing the players, not the cards.

-- fouber, Nov 6, 2007
i figured out this strategy from playing the PC game =p

-- Gangstalicious, Nov 7, 2007
@Alex If you are playing a human, Chess always has an element of chance involved. (But no dice.)

-- Jona, Nov 7, 2007
I've been fairly good at monopoly for some time. I've even played online quite a few times against other components. I agree with buying up as much property as you can in the initial part of a game. When I see people pass up anything I think to myself what the crap are you doing? I'll even mortgage my more expensive properties to populate my lower C-G's as quickly as possible. At least this way I still own the property and prevent others from getting this or can leverage in a trade and make them pay for the mortgage costs. The only downside to this strategy is if you have terrible luck and someone gets to a C-G before you. Then you pray that the dice roll doesn't land on them because its a quick way to go out if you are low on cash from snatching up so many properties, but I've found that most of the time it takes awhile before most people get 3 properties and can even buid houses so this strategy works 90% of the time for me.

-- Branden, Nov 7, 2007
I agree that the Orange group is the most valuable in the game, followed by the railroads, which are a nice trap. I have always believed that, even if you have to make a trade favorable to an opponent, you should obtain the entirety of Side 2 (first Orange, then Magenta). In all the years I've been married, my wife has yet to figure out that that's my strategy.

-- Josh, Nov 7, 2007
thanks, that was really useful, though it raises several questions...I'm on thoughts has to bake into my brains

-- Nate, Nov 7, 2007
Hey All, I'm working on a full-length documentary about Monopoly and will be looking for die-hard Monopoly strategists as well as some casual gamers to interview. If you're interested in being a part of this, send me an email at kevin at tostieproductions dot com telling me a little bit about what Monopoly means to you. Kevin Tostado

-- Kevin Tostado, Nov 7, 2007
The original is not London, it is Atlantic City. The names make perfect sense to anyone born before 1980 ;) in the U.S..

-- Bob, Nov 7, 2007
All these concepts have been around at least three decades; check your libraries for strategy books on Monopoly and you'll see nothing's new here. I vividly recall these lessons from the great theorists of the 1970s.

-- Fresh, Nov 7, 2007
@Jona, Only if your opponent is making moves by rolling a dice. Unpredictable or unusual or surprising human behavior is not the same thing as pure chance.

-- Reed, Nov 7, 2007
Henry George is rolling in his grave.

-- aluxeterna, Nov 7, 2007
The game presupposes incompetent opponents. The strategy is to acquire one of the best monopolies and build 9 houses on it? Well la-dee-da, good luck with that. In my monopoly club that I play in nobody would ever trade you an orange if you still had enough cash for 9 houses sitting around. I guess if you have novice players your strategy might work. Here are how games with experienced players work out:
- everyone buys every property they land on, always.
- nobody ever trades away anything unless they get a monopoly out of it, unless maybe they get all the railroads
- multi-way trades are common. cash value paid for property means nothing; it's all about what each player ends up with. thus people will not trade park place to someone who has boardwalk and lots of cash; that player will have to give up his cash as part of the deal. likewise a player will not make a deal that gives him a monopoly but no money to build it. you need to strike a balance that gives everyone a fair shot; in large enough games even one player can kill the deal, since usually the properties are spread out. the true skill is going into a deal with little and coming out with a lot.
- once you have a monopoly, you build as many houses as you can, right away. inevitably the housing market is locked up almost immediately. houses tend to be auctioned off one-by-one for the duration of the game, until the very end.
- from then on, the dice rule.

-- Paul, Nov 7, 2007
HAHA thats pretty awsome all this work on monopoly. Yeah i've always liked orange myself. And i'm not sure what i18n is talking about becuase the london version was not the original. The game was sent to an english company in 1935 from the united states and the tiles had to be changed from american sites to english sites. little bit of history for everyone.

-- Adam, Nov 7, 2007
Roll of the dice is very important, especially as there are two. With two dice 7 is statistically the most often tossed result (6+1, 5+2, 4+3, 3+4, 2+5, 1+6) so Park Place has the least chance of being landed on as you can't throw a 7 from the Go To Jail square. This makes the Park Place/Boardwalk set the least likely to land on or make money from. StJ/Tenn/NY is the best set to own as everyone who is in jail has a high chance of landing on these when they come out!

-- Simon H gh, Nov 7, 2007
Paul nailed it. I would even further simplify - the skill comes from (1) recognizing the real value of post-trade positions, and (2) negotiation. Like in poker, et al, "statistics" provides a baseline knowledge that will separate very weak players from the rest. It does very little to distinguish anyone else from one another. (i.e. the stats are public knowledge, any decent player should know them)

-- Jay, Nov 7, 2007
I'm still trying to work out what the properties correspond to on the actual classic, original Monopoly board

-- Rob, Nov 8, 2007
Buy as much property as you can as quick as you can. This property can be converted back into money, but unless you land on an unowned space, you can't convert your money to property. Also property generates more money for you, where having your money does not (no interest rate is included in the game).

-- Josh, Nov 8, 2007
This fits my play style almost exactly, gleaned from numerous games over quite a few years. However, I added the last few years of playing, I usually don't buy the Dark Green Pacific Ave properties at all. They severely cut into the cash flow with their acquisition costs, house-building is the most expensive in the game, takes 3 to make a monopoly, and seem to be landed on relatively infrequently. Every time I tried to make a stand on these properties, I never could maintain enough houses and frequently lost, so I adapted my play style to largely ignore them too. The graphs seem to support this, marking them as the worst of the best monopolies in the game.

-- , Nov 8, 2007
"the last time I checked chess did not use a die" House rules, man!

-- Anderson, Nov 9, 2007
This article does not discuss creating housing shortages. If you can get two 3 property CGs (can happen in small games), buying four houses on both CGs gives you control of 24 out of 36 houses. Watch your opponents scramble futilely for the remaining 12 houses. If you can manage it, its an almost guaranteed win.

-- Wes Johnson, Nov 9, 2007
You can't just look at the dice odds. You have to realize there are a number of Chance cards that will move you around the board too.

-- Jimb Around, Nov 9, 2007
Jay, the properties described ARE from the "actual classic, original Monopoly board". I have my father's first copy of the game (it indicates copyrights in 1933 and 1935) -- later ones usually show later versions of the copyright.

-- Bill, Nov 9, 2007
Atlantic City actually wasn't in the first version of the game, just the first Parkers Brothers version... Wikipedia has a great article on the history of the game. The first version (from about 1903) didn't have named streets. The 2nd version had streets named for Chicago. Although they were both patented, neither of these had commercial distribution, but were widely copied by hand. Once such copy changed the names to Atlantic city, and it was a variant of that copy that was sold to and patented by Parker Brothers and became the version we all know. Parker Brothers eventually also bought the older patents and trademarks.

-- Stu, Nov 9, 2007
Simon, you forgot to take into account the Take a Walk on the Boardwalk Chance card. While Park Place is still an unlikely landing spot, Boardwalk is fairly likely and together the blue CG is a better investment than some other CG's -- significantly better than the greens, for example.

-- Aaron, Nov 10, 2007
Great additional info on origin of game can be found at - It was definitely invented in US, but not by the guy who is usually credited.

-- Dan P, Nov 11, 2007
I used to use this strategy on online Monopoly and it really pissed people off, they would often leave the game lol

-- B Hymen, Nov 13, 2007
The strategies and probabilities correspond to my long term experience with this game. So no surprise there but it is nice to see a mathematical proof even if there one non addressed problem: the length of the game is limited and so the used longterm probabilities may not apply. So by the end of the day it comes back to luck (and that's the why it should be).

-- , Nov 13, 2007
Statistics aside (though knowing them helps), my best monopoly advice are: 1. Buy everything except utilities (since you rarely run out of money in the early game and you cannot choose where you land). This gives you a better negotiation position in step 2. 2. There is ususally just ONE major deal in a monopoly game. It can be two way, three way, four way or any way. Make sure you're in that deal. Try to make it a good deal, but even if someone else ends up with slightly better chances you're still better off than the players left in the cold. 3. Try to get your hands on the orange set (Boardwalk is really only good for bribing inexperienced players).

-- Ommo, Nov 15, 2007
Thank you for a very interesting conversation and insight into one of my favorite games.

-- Jeff Stak, Nov 15, 2007
I have never won in Monopoly before in my life. Thanks for finally giving me a chance! ( I suck at life )

-- Derek J. Vincent, Nov 16, 2007
What your analysis does not consider are the chance cards such as "advance token to boardwalk" and "take a stroll on indiana". That card makes the blue and red C_Gs more valuable that they would be otherwise.

-- Reed, Nov 16, 2007
Im a Monopoly champ been playing 4 1 year now and usually the game is all about the luck of the dice.....yes strategies are involved and good trading/people skills are required to sometimes you can win with just the first row of streets while others own more than you....i wonder if these tests included the chance cards that say;"make general repairs on all your properties...." The game is about having fun.... c ya

-- Monopoly, Nov 23, 2007
Boardwalk is, like, the best property! People always, like, want to, like, so land on Go! They, like, think "What's that property, like, next to Go? Oh, it's, like Boardwalk! And it has, like, a hotel on it! I don't, like, have that much cash!" And the player that, like, lands on Boardwalk, like, leaves the game!

-- Takeawalk Ontheboardwalk, Nov 24, 2007
I love to play Monopoly in person with family and friends. The problem I have is getting them to play. My mom doesn't like money because it causes a lot of problems in the World. I keep reminding her that it's only a game. I always have to do a lot of begging to get people to play with me. I always play by the set rules too so that it's equal and to everyones advantage. I'll admit, the games can go on for a long time. I should try the online version sometime.

-- Rockhound, Nov 28, 2007
i dont see why the railroads are so imortant, i mean even if you have all four you only get two-hundred pounds which you could get from passing go!

-- drew, Nov 28, 2007
I haven't played Monopoly in 50 years. I enjoyed reading all this, it brought back memories of my childhood and adolesence. Back then I had a great greediness for Boardwalk and Park Place. They were where you could toss opponents out of the game. But by 9 or thereabouts I realized they were end-game places. Trying for them early was like building the Fountainbleu Hotel and only being able to fund bathrooms to the 2nd floor (I was brought up in Miami and the Fountainbleu was the biggest thing going then). One had to start out the way most business folks have to, getting something one can control. Railroads were an ok start, utilities were worthless: at the time Monopoly was invented the relative value of the two is well reflected in the game. Get a decent mini-monopoly--now a CG. I had my favorites in the colors, but cannot remember them, block folks by owing something they wanted. But, oh boy, at the end of the game I'd get Boardwalk and Park Place, put hotels on them and just wait. Somebody or other was going to land on one of these; then I'd have all his stuff, and it was downhill for everybody else. I was possibly a nasty kid. Mr. Darling's calculations are lovely. Makes me want to play Monopoly again.

-- andrea, Nov 29, 2007
Housing shortages for the win!

-- monopolic, Dec 15, 2007
@Drew, The 4 railroads are advantageous early in the game because of their positioning around the board. A railroad is always in range of an opponents roll. Basically, each roll of the opponent has a chance of landing on a railroad. For games with many opponents this can easily equate to a steady cash flow. Later in the game it provides a steady secondary income to your C-G monopoly. While GO does provide you $200, it's after you get around the entire board. Once every 3+ turns. Wouldn't you like to have that chance of making $200 everytime your opponent picks up the dice.

-- Brandon, Dec 20, 2007
Yeah guys, I'll give you my 2 cents with my knowledge. At first I believed Monopoly was a game of luck but I believe it is similar to Poker in the way that luck only plays a single element in the game. Of course in a couple of games it seems like luck is the only thing playing a part. But if you play more than 1 game you'll realise that the better Monopoly player should win the majority of the times. The best properties in the game are easily: The orange colour group complimented with the railways. Although the light-blues/dark purple are excellent properties as you can put hotels on them easily and produce a steady income so you can finance your high CGs and also have some cash on hand to pay your expenses. The post annoying squares are the tax squares and the GCGs and DBCGs are not worth the investment unless you seriously want to bury someone. Peace dudes and have a good Xmas!

-- Arrian, Dec 24, 2007
I play Monopoly like a slum lord and focus on cheap housing. Hotels are rarely worth the investment, except for maybe on Illinois and Indiana. My strategy has always been to try to acquire Orange-Red and then jam them up with houses to prevent other players from being able to expand their own properties quickly. (If I can get light blue or purple and jam them up with cheap houses too, that's even better since it removes more houses from play). If I can get Orange-Red-RR or Orange-Red-Magenta, I'm usually able to wear my opponents down to nothing, even if they have the more expensive monopolies. Negotiating is key; you give a lot to get a little, but you realize the ultimate advantage in the little you're getting.

-- Secularsage, Dec 29, 2007
Well, people who say that you cant give immunity are wrong, there is nothing in the rule that specifically states that you cant do it. I get the loan theory but i dont believe it to be a loan. So to get around it, you could always turn a blind eye to that person, bc a person is not required to pay if the person doesnt not ask for the rent b4 the next person rolls not that thats good either but just a way around it. As for strategy, i dont have a particular strategy, more or less just buy everything I can and try to have bargaining tools, and try and not having the other person get all of a color group. Also knowing your opponent is helpful, the people i play with fear me especially when I get bw and pp so i try and get those as often as possible

-- jPopoly, Jan 1, 2008
This didn't take into account the damage done to opposing players. Sure, the oranges pay for themselves faster than the yellows, but the yellows drain your opponent's pocket's more-- crippling their ability to come back.

-- joe, Jan 1, 2008
immunity is bullshit. It's obviously against the rules.The game is monopoly, cartel. Consider the possibility of collusion, where two players ally up to defeat the board.I recently had to play against one such pair and it was just frustrating. Each of them held a decent developed property, and it was down to four of us. They were practically invincible by exploiting the loophole of trading. When they landed on a potentially game ending square(they would have gone bankrupt), they could always get a quick loan by selling a single worthless property to the other for ridiculous amounts of cash. In this way, they were able to develop faster because each only had to hold only half the required cash to stay afloat. Then there are the know it all kids who want to implement modern business concepts into the game. Player 1 sells last remaining colour needed for the group to player 2 for a dollar, then split the rental income. What the hells is that? All this is only made possible when you exploit loopholes in the rules. Immunity is one such loophole. Just because the rules don't specifically say it can't be done doesn't mean it can. That's as good as saying you can win the game by stealing money from the bank. The rules didn't say anything about THAT either, did it?

-- ohboy, Jan 7, 2008
Monopoly was/is a very special game to Philadelphians over 50. They spent a good deal of their summers in Atlantic City. We hung out on the best "properties" on the game board because they were really the right places to be at. Baltic and Oriental were near the inlet. Cheap rooms but no place to hang out.Most of the expensive Avenues had the big hotels (The Strand, The Traymore etc.) fronting on the boardwalk-from Steel Pier (The diving Horse)Pennsylvania Ave to Convention Hall. (Site of the 1st Democratic Convention after Kennedy's death and the Miss America pageant and the Ice Capades). Avenues of importance are in relation to proximity to the beach (and the Boardwalk). Farthest away Baltic, then Arctic, then Atlantic then Pacific. Atlantic becomes Ventnor Ave in Ventnor, a city adjacent to Atlantic City. And Marvin Gardens was an early suburban location in Margate which is right after Ventnor.The prices on the board made sense and playing monopoly in the winter in Philly was a virtual summer trip "down the shore".

[Editor note: Indeed, Arctic Ave was the original first property on the board; It renamed it to Mediterranean to reflect warmer thoughts a few months before Charles Darrow was introduced to the game. Marven Gardens is a community named after the adjacent towns, Margate and Ventnor; it was misspelled Marvin Gardens on the game board.]

-- Marty Cohen, Jan 10, 2008
I'm hoping someone knows the correct rule regarding houses and building shortages. If you want to buy houses and they aren't there I think the rule is that you can't buy hotels either. The 4 houses for each of your properties must be available even if you want to go to hotels right away. Anybody know? If thats true, then if you have hotels and need to sell them to pay for something, wouldn't it make sense that even though you need to go down to say, 1 house on each to raise enough money, that enough houses to give you 4 on each property would have to be available too? I know the building shortage is built into the game to make the game shorter but I have enough houses and hotels in my set so everyone can have as many as they want.

-- Scott Jaffe, Jan 15, 2008
I've been playing monopoly for a long time. Its great and I love the psychology of it. You can bet that the player not the dice makes all the difference. There are so many good techniques to improve your odds of winning. Yes if you play with experienced players the ones who really know the rules and how to play it can be a bit difficult, but most likely not every player will be. Always play by the written rules, I cant stand a bunch of fluffy house rules. It takes the strategy right out of it. Whats up with putting $500 in Free parking?! A few tips. RULE 1: ALWAYS BUY EVERY PROPERTY YOU LAND ON EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO MORTGAGE. And don't worry about how much cash you have, everyone always gets hung up on cash, you can use this knowledge to your advantage in negotiations by offering more cash than what a player bought the property for in certain situations. You will end up with all of it back anyway if you use this technique. RULE 2: NEVER DIVIDE UP YOUR $ AND PLACE IT INTO SEMI-NEAT STACKS. Always hold your $ in your hand and place a few 10s 5s 1s near the top and bottom. Dont reveal how much money you have to your opposition. RULE 3: ALWAYS MAKE RIDICULOUS OFFERS AT FIRST. Dont worry if they dont accept yet, you're just planting seeds for a good deal later in the game,(you'll just have to concede your position a little but the scales will still tip your way) Besides players like the attention you give them! And remember what wasn't a good deal for them then may be a good deal for them now. RULE 4: FORGET ABOUT BOARDWALK AND PARK PLACE. And forget about Pacific, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. They are there for you to get later in the game when you have enough cash and clout to actually build them. Im not saying dont buy them when you land on them though, just dont make it a huge effort to start negotiating and building on them early on.(Unless they are your only monopoly) I love to trade away these properties. The general perception out there is that Boardwalk and Park Place are the "must have" properties. Capitalize on that misjudgement. RULE 5: OWN THE BLOCK. If you can concentrate on owning the entire block i.e. Mediterranian through St Charles. Your opponents will be unable to bypass you. The best they can hope for is to go to jail. RULE 6: GO TO JAIL. Going to Jail is a good thing when you dont need to be traveling around the board. One of my favorite rules of the game is that you can collect while in jail. Try to roll doubles to get out if you really dont want out right away. RULE 7: Wait for the right time to build. Dont build yourself into a financial negative situation especially when you are facing the gauntlet! Remember that if you have to sell your houses they are only worth half. Thats a HUGE loss. Be smart in your timing. If you get a monopoly early in the game and everyone else is playing catch up, build as quickly as you can. RULE 8: Play to win. If you put on your game face and you concentrate on strategy and your opponents strenghts and weaknesses you'll win a whole lot more. Be careful though because your friends, family and neighbors wont want to play with you anymore. Remember to have fun and let them win too. Share these techniques with them as well, but only after you beat em up a little bit.

-- richie rich, Jan 22, 2008
The best way to win a game is to get one set yourself through sheer luck, any set at all I tend to go for the higher priced ones also build them up one by one when you can aford it but then prevent anyone else from getting a group by any means possible: buy at least one from each set and then do not trade with the other players no matter how much they offer you. that way you will always win, however playing like this can mean that the game lasts for ages

-- Matthew Dent, Jan 23, 2008
i think you should buy everything you can and play it that way

-- katt, Jan 31, 2008
Well said, Matthew Dent. I agree. Get a monopoly and a property from every other set then never trade at all. If you are lucky enough to do so, you win. If you have this kind luck, as Binglebore stated, no skill needs to be involved at all. Binglebore is absolutely right, get lucky enough and it is over. This person really wasted a lot of his/her time doing this "study."

-- Pickles, Mar 29, 2008
Pickles, why not try reading the article before mocking it? It indeed says "Monopoly is a game of luck, strategy, and people skills. No strategy will guarantee you a win; that's one of the reasons Monopoly is so interesting. In any given game, a newcomer can beat a lifetime champion. Still, there are a few strategic tips that came out of the computer simulations that will help you best play the odds: you may not win any given game, but in the long run, you'll come out ahead." No game is purely luck. Any game requires a knowledge of the odds in each situation. Familiarizing yourself with the odds that it is STATISTICALLY more probable to land on some spaces than others and charting those odds against the potential payoff are as much an important part of the game as the luck of the dice. If you believe luck is all that is needed, I'd like to see you go up against any of the competition Monopoly players who attend several tournaments a year. If "luck" is all that is involved, you should be able statistically to win half the games against them. But I'm betting you would lose 9 out of 10 or 19 out of 20 games to a player with this knowledge and skill.

-- Bully, Apr 4, 2008
These tables are derived from Markov matrices and give exact probabilities. The chance and community chest cards are accounted for, as is the three doubles lands you in jail rule. Full details of the statistics of it are given here: That said, obviously the human psychology isn't taken into account, but this data can be used to determine how much any one deal is actually worth. If the guy is an arsehole and won't trade, then the game may be a stalemate (average income per turn is 170 assuming noone has a colour group, which is statistically likely if there are more than 3 players).

-- Geoff, Apr 6, 2008
I'm producing and directing a documentary about Monopoly called "Under the Boardwalk" and looking for anyone who has some interesting stories to share about the game of Monopoly. If you're interested, send me an email at

-- Kevin Tostado, Apr 11, 2008
Immunitys are allowed in monopoly, i have a video game version of it for playstation and it allows u to trade immunities

-- ---------------, Apr 27, 2008
Very interesting text, I always tried to buy the railroad first and always had success with this strategy. Today your text kind of confirm why! I'm a big fan of good old classic board game and I like to share my strategies (favorites are: Risk, Clue, Ticket To Ride and Monopoly). Take a look at my blog

-- Yanick, May 8, 2008
I like the strategies describing in documentation of these playings. For the fun time of monopolies opponents must be having ideas for all properties buying! So strategy described is allowing for my advantage. So good! Thanks you.

-- Sigmond, May 27, 2008
If you're interested in putting Monopoly strategies to the test (and quickly), I have created a Monopoly simulator, called MonoSim: (It will simulate up to a thousand full games of Monopoly, played among CPU players with differing strategies, in seconds). My own personal thoughts and strategies... I buy every single property that I land on, even if I have to mortgage other properties to buy it. The only exception is if other players are low on cash and you know they can't afford it, then you can let it go to auction and [hopefully] win the auction at a lower price than the printed price. Or in rare cases where it's late in the game, there are opponent-owned houses/hotels up, and you are very low on funds. Some players trash utilities. The utilities aren't great but they are at least a safe spot to land on if you own them, and they can make a decent amount of money if you own both. Properties can always be used in trades if you can't develop them. Buying a property either starts a monopoly if all others in that C-G are unowned, continues building a monopoly if you own the others, completes a monopoly, or blocks other players from completing a Monopoly. Any way you look at it, those are all good things for you. If you "spread yourself too thin" you can always trade single properties to other players to complete your own Monopolies. Having fewer properties makes you a much less attractive potential trading partner. Also, buying properties takes place early in the game for the most part, when rents are low and your cash on hand is high. Also your income is fairly steady as you pass GO. While the Orange C-G is definitely quite valuable, I can't count the number of times that a player has went immediately went bankrupt after landing on Boardwalk with 3+ houses on it. Like the article touches on, the different C-G's are better at different times in the game. Focusing on certain C-G's that have better ROI is a good idea, but if you can't get them (because the dice just won't let you), then focusing on ANY Monopoly is better than none!

-- Tony J., June 9, 2008
A couple people have mentioned that you cannot make deals with another player when trading to "grant immunity" to that player, should they land on the traded property in the future. While this may be prohibited by tournament or house rules, the official rules of Monopoly do not state that you cannot grant immunity in trade deals. In fact, the official rules state: "If the owner fails to ask for his rent before the second player following throws the dice, the rent is not collectible." So this means that you can promise another player that you will "fail to ask for rent" from them. (However, I usually prefer playing in games where this is not allowed or is discouraged). @ Scott Jaffe, you must build four houses on each property of a color group before you can buy hotels: "When a player has four houses on each property of a complete color-group, they may buy a hotel from the Bank and erect it on any property of the color- group." So if there is a shortage of houses you cannot immediately skip to hotels. When selling hotels back, you must break down one house at a time (so each hotel down to 4 houses, then 3 houses, etc.), or you must sell all hotels completely at once, down to zero houses on each property, if there is a shortage of houses. "All houses on one colour-group may be sold at once, or they may be sold one house at a time (one hotel equals five houses)..."

-- Tony J., June 11, 2008
SCOTT: You asked a good question about housing shortages. So...a quick rules analysis. First, when it comes to building houses and hotels, houses must physically be available in the bank to build. If all the available houses in the set have been soaked up by other players, you are out of luck! This makes controlling the supply of housing particularly important. And it may make building hotels a poor choice if there are other players eager to develop their properties. It would also suggest that it would, at certain times, be wise to buy up the rest of the available houses to the "4 level" just to keep them away from other opponents, even though the return on investment will be slower. Yes, you have to build evenly going up as you suggested, though you don't have to buy enough at any one time to complete the level on a property group. it means you can't add a third house on a property before there are two houses on all the others in a group. NOW when it comes to buying Hotels, you must first have bought all the houses on a group to the "4 level", and it can't be just a cash amount. The houses must physically be there to buy, or you cannot do it. This is the whole power of housing shortage. Late in the game, controlling the number of houses in the bank by having them on YOUR properties is critical so that other players cannot develop their properties to the hotel level. Don't sell them back to the bank to add hotels unless you are sure that you can outbid them to get the houses back. FINALLY...SELLING HOTELS BACK. The rules have a different twist on this. Here is the official rule: SELLING PROPERTY Unimproved properties, railroads and utilities (but not buildings) may be sold to any player as a private transaction for any amount the owner can get. However, no property can be sold to another player if buildings are standing on any properties of that colour-group. Any buildings so located must be sold back to the Bank before the owner can sell any property of that colour-group. Houses and Hotels may be sold back to the Bank at any time for one-half the price paid for them. All houses on one colour-group may be sold at once, or they may be sold one house at a time (one hotel equals five houses), evenly, in reverse of the manner in which they were erected. Note the second paragraph, as it is the most important one. First, all of the houses may be sold as a group or one at a time, evenly. you cannot sell all the houses on one property and leave houses on another. You can choose where to leave 3 properties on a group when the rest of the properties have been reduced to 2. Second, the housing shortage doesn't necessarily apply to selling Hotels back to the bank. That is, unless the desire is to reduce back to the "4 level" of houses. ALL the hotels can be sold back for half the price of 5 houses per property; but if you want to have, say, 3 houses on each property and the bank has none, then you are out of luck and must take half the value of 5 houses per property on the whole mess. This unfortunate reality is another reason that you should probably think long and hard about building those hotels unless you are ahead in cash by a significant margin and in no danger of being forced to take them down by opponents with well- developed groups. I hope this helps clarify an area of the rules that is often grossly misused. A common aberration of this rule is to sidestep the "Housing Shortage" and simply pay to the bank the price of 5 houses per property and erect hotels. The rules clearly prohibit this. It is necessary to have houses available in order to build them. No slips of paper on the board to allow houses when the bank "runs out". One ploy that significantly alters the probabilities is either missing houses or sets that have been combined to add additional houses to the standard allocation of 32 Houses and 12 Hotels. It is not intended that there be enough Houses and Hotels to populate every property. Another illegal practice is to add additional Hotels to properties or 5 houses in lieu of hotels. This, again , is not allowed in the rules and would be a stupid house rule to accept. Bottom line, be sure you are playing with a regulation set or you severely impact your probabilities of winning by excellent strategy based on the real probabilities of things happening in a given game.

-- Don, July 9, 2008
this actually worked i owned 3 sides of the whole board so thanks you

-- tj, July 13, 2008
the secret is to try and buy the first 2 sides of the board at the beggining. not the side where the red and blue is 3-4. illinois is the most landed space as a tip. the most important color set is st james, tenesse, and NY. they bring in the most money, even though illinois gets landed on more often. the ny tenese st j just makes money faster. be careful with those trades, because the wrong one can lead to disaster. (like paying 1000$ for 1 or 2 cards) but! even that happening can still make you win the most worthless properties are the utilities. stay away from those. the 4 railroads are very usefull for cash income

-- uncle moneybags, July 19, 2008
Ok thanks for the tip. My Uncle is the BEST person at Monopoly I've ever met. I agree, the orange group and the railroads are the best. Though I always lose, I think these tip things will help. Oh, the dark purple(the first two) are really good buys in my book.

-- Alex, July 21, 2008
i think next time i play monopoly i will use that stratagey.I really think it will work! I belive in you the person who told me this stratigey.......... THANK YOU: JEANNETTE CRUZ P.S.i AM 13 years old

-- jeannette cruz, July 22, 2008
I liked reading the numbers and the strategy in this article. It mirrors well with my experience playing Monopoly for years. I will take the CG before Free Parking and just after and win just about any game I play. The railroads (or stations if you like) play a bigger role in the early part of the game, if you have 3 or 4 of them, than they do in the later part of the game. However, I have bankrupted people before by owning all 4 railroads. As for the utilities, they are great if you need to raise a little cash to buy more important properties. One of the things people do complain about is the length of time it takes to pay. These people are likely most familiar with playing with the house rule of putting "money in the middle" from the Chance, Community Chest, Income Tax and Luxury Tax. This adds huge amounts of money to the game that otherwise would not be in play and lengthening the game considerably, into the 4+hour length. Played by the written rules most games take less than 2 hours no matter how many people are playing. The strategy spoken of here is very similar to a strategy proposed by author Manxine Brady in a 1974 Monopoly strategy book called "The Monopoly Book." So, yes, Monopoly strategy books have been around for a number of years.

-- Randy, July 29, 2008
While your strategy seems nice, you don't have to own a large amount of properties while playing. I've recently built up a strategy while playing with few friends: Quickly pick up the light blue properties, they should be easy to obtain because most people think they will never amount to anything. Put hotels on each asap (fairly cheap). Obtain the orage cg, not as easy, but since you have been slowly getting cash from the light blue properties (550-600 each property) , you'll be able to negotiate with other players for the orange and buy for a slightly higher price. Equip with hotels. These two CGs are key to winning. I have won monopoly many many times using this strategy. Your opponents focus on putting hotels on their properties, but you take all of their earnings with your 2 CGs, therefore not allowing them to buy any!

-- Nicole, Aug 12, 2008
I was wondering when u said the best 5 starting positions y isn't buying red property good, cuz isn't illinois avenue a spot where a lot of players land on. So wudn't it be better 2 buy the red squares than 2 buy the the dark purple squares? I was just wondering bout this.

-- Daniel Kim, Aug 13, 2008
Author's Response: The red squares give a good return on investment, but are too expensive to use as a "starting position". At $2,000+ to get 3 houses on them, they're 5 times as expensive as the dark purple color group. Early in the game, getting an affordable position is key. After you have one of the 5 starting positions, getting 3 houses on the reds is a great second move.
Monopoly is a cool game and you are all nerds at monopoly, which ruins it for ME!

-- Rich Uncle Pennybags, Aug 20, 2008
VERY NICE GUIDE! It was such a nice thing of you to do! However, unfortunately, to the average person who has only played a few times such as I, had trouble understanding it. For instance, unless i misread you never pointed out what C-G meant, you said it meant colors or something, but the meaning was fuzzy. Thank you, and good luck.

-- Ryan, Aug 22, 2008
In my 46 years in the USA, I have enjoyed playing the original version of Monopoly. Through the years, my strategy, (through winning and losing) has closely resembled the strastegy explained in this arctice. I is aewesomto see ''my' backed up by actual numbers.

-- Chris, Aug 28, 2008
i think owning all railroads is a good choice, even though its just like landed on GO, there is only on GO so with 4 railroads it gives other players 4 more Go's but instead they have to pay you...

-- kyle, Aug 28, 2008
Hey All, The Monopoly Documentary that I'm producing has been filming for a few months now, including filming with Matt McNally, the defending US Monopoly Champion, Lee Bayrd, the world's 1st Monopoly Champion, and Phil Orbanes, author of two Monopoly books and Chief Judge at the US & World Monopoly Championships. You can check out some clips from the interviews and follow our progress as we continue to film at . Check it out!

-- Kevin Tostado, Sept 2, 2008
Thanks to the author of this article. I just thought I would add a link to a new up-and-coming free website to play online monopoly against other players or computers, if you're like me and can't find humans that want to play as often as you'd like Cheers.

-- Robbie, Sept 4, 2008

-- Jonny, Sept 6, 2008
Nice strategy, basically sums up all my experiences with winning monopoly. As far as Boardwalk/PP, when I do get them I rarely put more than 3 houses on each. In a game with 4 people you will rarely need to develop these past 3 don't get anything extra for bankrupting players for a bigger amount, so why spend more money than you need? (Unless its to cause housing shortage, or you are 1v1 at the end) In 4 player games or bigger, the most valuable monopolies are the ones you can hit with a chance card. I recently played a game where everything was split up, except for PP/BW, and I had nothing to trade, so I was going to get frozen out of the big deal. Park Place went to auction and I ended up paying 600$ for it. I did this because chancing to boardwalk was basically my ONLY shot at staying in the game. Im happy to report that I did in fact hit the chance card I needed, and ended up winning.

-- ted danzen, Sept 18, 2008
Really, there needs to be a bank function or game model for unregulated CDS's and overpriced MBS's. Maybe players can be allowed to lend 30x their current portfolio value and count the interest they expect to earn on leveraged investments (i.e. loans to other players) as an asset when they bid on auctioned properties. We need a sub- prime rule mod! Anyone looking to hire a Treasury Secretary?

-- H. Paulson, Oct 11, 2008
i payed alot of money 4 boardwalk and even wasted the money buying houses and hotels 4 it. now no one has even landed on it,and i feel like i wasted my money

-- dkfire, Oct 23, 2008
for me i see that the orange, red and yellow CG are the best rent makers. control of all or just the red and yellow cg can keep the owner alive for a long time, even if the opponent holds the green and dark blue cg. -based on 2 human players in PC version with house rules -> extra starting cash, extra luxury tax. After roughly 2 hours all properties had hotels

-- anoy no349458, Nov 5, 2008
IMHO, while its nice to get all 4 RR's early on; mmost experienced players are onto this gambit and thus no one will allow it to happen save for luck of the dice. I concentrate on side 1 lt blue group first as the house cost is so low that one may build quickly with a good return...Orange group next of course but, like RR's, many are aware of orange and red group strategy making trading difficult.

-- Dave E, Nov 25, 2008
If you can get all houses (if you can get railroads even better) down the first side of the board and then get mayfair and the other purple (soz i forgot wht it called) then the chance of winning is greatly increased (you may need to build houses on the brown set to get maximum profit with min waste of cash) hope it helps!

-- jake, Nov 29, 2008
Hi, do you think monopoly is boring well think again! are you comfy... good then i`ll begin. My grandads brother played monopoly for days on end and then his wife bet him 100 that he would end up with only 5 houses. he was curious due to the fact that he currently had 5 houses! then when he said "lets play monopoly" someone said nah i dont feel like it and his freind agreed. so he payd the 100 pounds to him and then discovered that his five year old daughter had benn telling his wife how many houses he had! they got into an argument and he then remembered that she owed him 100 pounds so they all lived "happily ever after" LOL isnt it cool how not boring monopoly is hope you like it.

-- jake , Dec 1, 2008
I just had the most amazing win. I thought i was gunna loose coz i kept going in jail and having to pay rent and tax...ect..ect...but then i recieved 100 pounds wich let me build another 1 house and then i made a hotel and won the game! What are the ods of that! (aproximatley 25 to 1)

-- jake , Dec 1, 2008
One thing that this model should incorporate is the risk of ruin. Ultimately Monopoly is ALL about the risk of ruin, not just finding an ideal return on investment. For example, the dark blue monopoly is clearly not as valuable as the railroads for cash flow, but it is far more likely to bankrupt a player. When a player goes bankrupt, not only will he or she lose the game, but also give you all (albeit mortgaged) property, and will no longer be able to charge you rent. THIS IS HUGE. Even if the players are not bankrupted, higher payouts are more likely to make players sell houses, mortgage property, or make other crippling economic moves. (My personal favorite is, during a housing shortage, force a person to sell a hotel. He or she will have to sell all three hotels on the monopoly to the ground.) Statistically incorporating these would be extremely difficult; it would rely on examining a wide variety of behavioral patterns from other players (which themselves are unlikely to be perfect), and determining how much spare change they are likely to have at various points in the game. Probably, individual players would play so differently that such models would not be very useful. This is where intuition really comes into play. Furthermore, attempting to build expensive property like the dark blues is much more likely to ruin YOU. This is mentioned to some extent in the article, where it gives the cost of building up properties, but it is not explained why this is so important. It is a CRUCIAL question to determine how many questions one can afford at a given time. The race to three houses is important, but exactly when they can be afforded and how many to buy in the meantime is a difficult problem, and one that every monopoly player faces (and one I would very much like to learn). Finally, the article doesn't give any details on how large money or income discrepancies affect the game. For example, if I have 2,000 dollars sitting around and my opponents are sitting on $20 and Baltic, I will spend every dime I get as long as I can afford $150 for the doctor's fee or a few hundred for street repairs. On the other end, how does the player behind play? Is the correct strategy to go for broke? Save enough for small rent but nothing more? I'm really not sure. Overall, I think it is clear that one should basically never buy the greens, and the purples are only worth it with hotels and early in the game, while pinks and reds are nice, blues are great, and oranges are unbelievably amazing. However, exactly when to buy which, how much to trade for given ones at given times with given players, at which point on the board (your station and your opponents'), with which amount of money and what income, for you and your opponents, becomes a problem so complex that statistical analysis simply can't answer the question. Even before one considers personality and such (which clearly are very important), one must recognize that the strategies outlined herein are very broad outlines. Still, I wish these calculations could be easier. Maybe just compile results from millions of AI games and consider those? It could be somewhat insightful, even if the computer doesn't play exactly like people.

-- Eebster, Dec 1, 2008
After re-reading the rules I realized that I did not understand the house buying rules. The way I play you can only buy a house just before you roll the dice. The rule about auctioning off houses from the bank seems to say that you can buy them at any time. Is there any time you cannot buy a house? (Like when someone is rolling)

-- BillG, Dec 3, 2008
I suggest it's time to update the venerable old game Monopoly. This was a game borne of the Great Depression and marks that real estate and economics moment. Everyone knew what the problem was, everyone knew the solutions. And lots of folks got hurt. The difficulty is that economies don't respond just because you know the fix. Those with money want to keep it. Those without money want to get it. Those in debt want out. Those holding debt want to be paid. Etc. Stalemate. At any rate, if a NEW Monopoly gameboard is to be issued, there'll have to be some relevent additions to factors influencing who wins and who loses the big game. For example, short-term-profit-oriented CEO's surrounded by yes-men, Presidents entrenched in foolhardy religious notions, Idiot Congress takes country to war over a known trumped-up reason but did it anyway because a holiday was coming up and they wanted to get home and campaign. Government bailouts. Government checks for nothing. Government stimulous that stimulates inflation. Kellog Brown Root wins no-bid cost-plus contract for trillions. Government tripples debt. Money being printed so fast it can't be physically printed but has to materialize via electronic issuance. Idiot Congress hands Idiot Treasury Chairman a trillion tax-bucks and passes it out to his pals. Interest rates at zero, but only Treasury pals can borrow at that rate. Inflation at ten percent. Debt at ten trillion. President has IQ of ten. Ten days until auto industry defaults. Lots of pessimism. Boardwalk and Parkplace rot in disrepair. Baltic avenue is crowded, has no heat and is sixty days late paying its mortgage. Not enough Go-Directly-To-Jail cards. There is no GO thus no two hundred dollars. B and O railroad runs out of diesel. OPEC becomes world pusher of choice. Iran tests nuclear device. Military refuses to admit that stop-loss is a draft. Military kills thousands. Military touts volunteer service. Women scream for equal pay. Women scream against drafting women in the military for combat jobs. Dupont closes its doors. Wal-Mart is last retailer standing. Yikes. We're going to need a bigger gameboard.

-- jwc, Dec 8, 2008
Never play american monopoly with british, they start the game with 1500 pounds instead of 1500 dollars, and with the exchange rate they get a huge purchasing advantage over the american players.

-- Joe, Dec 20, 2008
We're all giving away our strategies here, but such is the attraction of a forum. I'm a big chart guy and I usually do this kind of analysis for each economy game I play--it's part of the fun of the game for me--but with Monopoly I agree with Eebster; you don't buy properties for their ROI (return on investment), you buy them to ruin the people who land on them. You can win Monopoly without ever getting back your money on your properties, as long as you can keep the other player(s) worse off than you, keep them selling back their improvements for half price and mortgaging their land so that when you land on their properties, it doesn't hurt you. It's about getting the upper hand and milking it, wearing down everyone else into eventual ruin. You need to make a perniciousness chart for how good properties are as weapons, not investments.

-- Raxin, Dec 26, 2008
Author's Response: The argument I make is not that you should ensure a positive ROI at any given time, rather that you can choose between different investment alternatives by selecting the one that maximizes the ROI. Since the cash flow you receive from an investment only comes from other players, maximizing your ROI (while investing as much of your cash as possible) is the same thing as maximizing the odds of bankrupting your opponents.
I mostly agree with your theory except for 2 things: 1. the utilities can be helpful if you are in a bad situation and owe someone money. You can mortgage them instead of selling back a house or two. 2. Boardwalk and Park Place are essential! You use your profits from the Orange to build on them. They are much cheaper to build on than you are implying. It costs $1350 to put 3 houses on either red or yellow, vs only $1200 on Boardwalk and Park Place.. and you get a whole lot more money back. AND.. this isn't really a disagreement.. but you failed to mention the BIGGEST RIPOFF in the game: the green properties.... more expensive to buy than Boardwalk and Park Place, you get slightly less when people land on them, and it costs MORE to build on them because you multiply by 3 instead of 2.

-- Christine, Jan 4, 2008
Author's Response: It’s definitely the right idea to use your profits from properties such as orange or the railroads to fund investment in more expensive properties such as Park Place and Boardwalk. The article was primarily about discovering those best starting positions on which the game often hinges.
Hi All, We've now got a trailer for the upcoming MONOPOLY documentary - "Under the Boardwalk" posted at Please check it out and let us know what you think!

-- Kevin Tostado, Jan 15, 2009
Monopoly is the best game ever but the electronic one is not

-- Eb, Jan 15, 2009
I always start with the Green. I love them and rarely ever lose when i have them :)

-- devo, Feb 1, 2009
Joe, I'm with Secular Sage. The rules clearly provide that if the owner doesn't demand rent before the second player goes, the rent is forfeited. Thus de facto rent can be waived. In an immunity deal, no loan is being made at the time the deal is struck; there is just a contingent claim for waiver of rent if the player happens to land on the property later, and the owner promises not to demand rent. Another way around the loan prohibition is accepting property in lieu of rent, i.e. implicitly selling it and then turning over the proceeds to the same player. I see no reason the players in such a transfer in lieu of rent couldn't also require a reconveyance at some defined point, at a higher price. This would be the functional equivalent of lending with interest - a kind of zero coupon. Or just call it Islamic Banking! The only hitch is that these arrangements are not 'judicially' enforceable (i.e. by the bank/government). This is normally not an issue in a strai! ght trade or private sale transaction because title passes immediately at the closing, or else the deal is annulled. But then, maintaining a reputation for being an honest business person is part of Monopoly strategy.

-- Smith, Warsaw, Feb 10, 2009
You are correct to point out that the 'sweet spot' for rent is generally at 3 houses, because that is when the marginal increase in rent starts to level out. But this is not universally true. Consider Baltic and Mediterranean avenues: the rent grow more from 3 to 4 houses than it does from 2 to 3 houses, and similarly from 4 houses up to a hotel. It's similar if less pronounced in the case of the other cheap properties (Oriental, Vermont & Connecticut).

-- Smith, Warsaw, Feb 10, 2009
Question rather than comment. Do you think a serious player would keep a mental note of how much money he and the other players have at any given time (income from paydays and major rental charges, less major outlays on rent etc)? It's crucial information, but is this too much hassle? At least if one keeps track of one's own net worth, it helps with income tax, where you must elect $200 or 10% before (whatever that means) adding up your assets.

-- Smith in Warsaw, Feb 10, 2009
I like the way you've broken it down. I think you have nailed the best static strategy but a dynamic strategy that takes into account the properties already owned by opponents and their current position on the board would be optimal. Admittedly it would be very difficult to calculate the odds on the fly in a real game situation. However if you were going to make the strongest possible monopoly playing computer program it would be what you needed to do.

-- Peter C, Feb 13, 2009
If anyone is planning on competing in the 2009 US Championship, please send an email to info (at) monopolydocumentary (dot) com. We're looking for people to film starting as early as the qualifying process. More details on the championship and how to qualify will be posted on as info becomes available. Thanks, Kevin Tostado Producer/Director of "Under the Boardwalk"

-- Kevin Tostado, Feb 18, 2009
oranges are the best property. after that, I'll take the reds. (although they are a little pricey to build). light blues aren't bad early in the game. they are cheap to build on. maroon properties (st charles, etc) are not bad either. i'll trade green for just about anything, because you can never afford to build on the greens, and nobody ever lands on them. railroads are good, especially if you can get all 4 of them. generally requires a trade. best strategy I have is to stash about $5000 in cash in the refrigerator before the game. then, throughout the game, you can excuse yourself to get a drink or snack......bring back $1000 or so and start buying after a turn or two. works great. LOL. actually....I would go so far as to say that a player with all of the property on the left hand side of game board (as you are facing side 1) will easily beat a player who owns the entire right hand side. (i.e. light blues, maroons, oranges, reds, 2 rr's, 1 utility VS yellows, greens, blues, purples, 2 rrs, 1 utility). doesn't matter if you want hotels on everything to start out, or if you just want the unimproved properties.

-- strawboss760, Feb 26, 2009
Interesting, I found it very useful (though I rarely play Monopoly anymore). Another strategy (cheap though) is if your good at throwing dice then you can pretty much get whatever number you want. I use to do that till my family made me throw the dice in a different way, or throw them into a bowl so I couldn't control which numbers I got.

-- Viktor, March 28, 2009
Whoever in this post said Monopoly was complete luck is an idiot, the only time its completely luck is when all 4 players only roll the dice and buy properties they land on and just go through game without ever wheelin' and dealin'. I think the biggest thing by far is people skills and getting them to trade you what you want by making a deal sound better then it really is. Obviously luck is involved but people skills are much more valuable. It does help to know the detailed value of everything on the board when your with other good players.

-- chris, Apr 3, 2009
maybe if we take the railroad cuz if we make the orange light bue dark purple and utility in ur hand and u must make it hotels all of them except utilities cuz u cant put ull be ownage i just did it i was battling my tutor and i got all of it cuz he just buy right side so i didnt went cuz we have SPEED DIE!!

-- UNKOWNLOL!, Apr 22, 2009
ANY property is worth it's mortage value. Even if you don't want a property such as a utility, always bid 70-80 dollars for it.

-- Ethan, Apr 26, 2009
Just threaten to kill all the other players if they beat u hAhaa online jokin the trick is to buy all the greens and put hotels on them coz u make a fortune,but this of course is only my opinion

-- Bob, May 15, 2009
Don't buy hotels. If you want, you can upgrade your 3 houses into 4, but don't buy hotels. Hotels get less money on return to the bank, but more imporantly they free up extra houses for other players to buy. It's better to create a housing shortage by buying four houses

-- John, May 17, 2009
I love Monopoly, and in fact own 6, or 7 variations of it. I love reading the statistics, and trying to use them in the many games my brothers and I play. Although the Oranges are great, my favorite properties are Baltic, and Mediterranean. Early in the game, they're cheap, and easy to buld, and it seems like once they're fully developped, they get landed on a lot. I have no statistics to back this up, just what's happened from experience.

-- Mino, May 18, 2009
I rather play cluedo, at least you spend your time trying to figure out something that is inside that little envelope. WASTING hours however, just to see other people and/or yourself running out of "money"? It's only fun at the beggining and when your winning, THAT'S the truth, the problem is... WHEN you're winning the rest of the players are spending, i don't know about you, but when i sit for 2 hours or more trying to land on an orange space and trying to avoid the railroads, I expect to win some mulah because if i don't I feel like smashing the table where the board is on with a sledge hammer let alone trading anything with anyone... Its not my favourite game, i can play it but, i have to be in a very good mood,stoned or drunk(with a good mood).

-- Kennedy Salazar, May 28, 2009
The power of the orange color group is even a bit stronger than noted here because of the multitude of ways someone can land there: *Ordinary roll of the dice proceeding around the board *Likelihood of landing on that side of the board due to being sent to Jail *Landing on the Chance space two squares after Free Parking and drawing the "Go Back 3 Spaces" card (sends you back to New York Avenue) *Likelihood of landing on that side of the board after drawing the "Advance to St. Charles Place" (first square after jail for people with other versions of the board) card *Landing on the Community Chest card in the light blue color group and then being told to advance to the nearest railroad (Pennsylvania), followed by rolling a 3 or a 4 Admittedly the odds of being sent there due to a card are slimmer than the "ordinary course of play" or the "getting out of Jail" scenarios, but the player who truly wants to play the statistics would take it into account. (I tend to think that it's a mistake to OVER-rely on statistics, but it's undeniable that buying up the second side of the board is a big advantage.)

-- Rich, May 28, 2009
try to buy at least one of each property at the start then work on getting a complete group

-- adam, July 22, 2009
ive entered in monoply compotions and won every time but my friend wanted me to look up this so i did my compotions gone up 100

-- bubblerpie, July 28, 2009
1. Buy every property you land on. Even utilities. 2. Get as creative as you need to be to get monopolies going. I have offered trades "both ways" to other players all the time (i.e., I'll trade my yellow for your orange, or my two oranges for your two yellows). I play the game to win, but also to play the game. If monopolies to happen, the game will never end. 3. play by the rules. We have often debated the immunity rule--we used to say it was OK, but we agreed that it is a form of lending money, so we stopped. Hard to make a rock solid case either way, though. 4. Play ruthlessly. If other players are coming near me, I build (even if I risk not having cash to pay someone else). I have won more games because I was willing to build even when it was risky. A couple of house rules we play by that I highly recommend: 1. You can only propose trades on your turn, before you roll the dice. Obviously, the other players can participate in the trading process, but only the person who is currently about to roll can initiate trades. 2. When a player goes bankrupt, all money is given to the creditor, but the property goes back to the bank, in an unmortgaged state (i.e., as if it had never been sold). This makes the game much more interesting and true to life. It also prevents an automatic landslide when one player banckrupts another, gets all his property, and a couple more monopolies as well.

-- KK, July 29, 2009
Basically everyone knows about the Orange being the best and all of that so what I like to do is have good relations with the people so its easier to trade with them and stuff like that. But because you have a limited amount of houses in Monopoly, I buy the stuff on the row from Go to Jail, not the square go to jail but you probably know what I mean. Then I will buy four houses for everything, which isn't very expensive so everyone else can't get houses, and you need houses for hotels so I basically hold them back. And I also go for the railroads because they are just about the best things to have in the game. And at the beginning I but everything I can so I can trade for the cheap stuff and railroads.

-- Will, Aug 10, 2009
Thanks to the author for the time they spent on this page, it has really opened my eyes on how to properly play monopoly. Some of the comments have also been very helpful in displaying a different point of view. I have recently gotten back into monopoly using the itunes version ($5) on my ipod nano. I have been very annoyed, however, because the computers I play against are very unpredictable and do things a human monopoly player would not do, which in turn messes up my strategy. Hopefully, the tips given by the author and fans will help me do better against the CPU.

-- monopolyfan, Aug 18, 2009
This is really cool. really like the charts- thanks for the post!

-- Chris, Aug 19, 2009
At home I have the 'official' Monopoly companion book. Some interesting comments from it. 1. It says that you may only trade cash, properties, and get out of jail free cards. It specifically says that you may not trade 'immunities'. 2. As far as building shortages go, it references a case that happened in an official Monopoly tournament, where a person w/ hotels attempted to create a housing shortage by selling down to houses right at the time that a person wanted to buy houses. A ruling was made that buying houses takes precedence over selling them. 3. And it mentions that by not adopting house rules (cash in free parking, immunities, etc), you'll have a game that will end in a reasonable amount of time (about 1.75 hrs avg IIRC).

-- Rael Ramone, Aug 20, 2009
this is funny ya'll.. my family and i play monopoly once month.. its a great way 2 spend time.. i have the JR for my 3 and 5 yr olds.. my 13 yr old is still trying to beat dad and i .. anyways ORANGE is the best.... then lite blue and the lite purples i usually try to secure those first.. overall thank u to monopoly for givin everyone years of QT..

-- monopoly momma, Aug 20, 2009
The best way to win Monopoly is to own all the properties. PERIOD. I've used this strategy successfully in the past, and it has never failed.

-- Todd, Aug 20, 2009
While you cannot trade immunity, is there anything to stop a person simply ignoring the "immune" opponent when they land on their square? While I'm not certain, I thought a player does not have to pay their opponent if the opponent does not notice that the player is on their property. While it does bend the rules a little, it seems as if it could not be stopped under the official rules. For me, however, it's hard to keep a straight face if I land on a high-cost property and the opponent does not notice.

-- Twoey, Aug 22, 2009
I love to play monopoly either with my family or on the ps2. we start with 1500 and the first thing i do is buy the Train stations and the orange/light-blue full sets and buy at least one of all the colour groups if possible. then people need to trade with you more in order to complete their sets. Go ahead and sell the sets like dark green and dark blue for the orange/light blue or some extra cash. the opponent will like you more and be easier to trade with later on. don't worry about the sets your giving away they are money wasters early in the game. focus on 3 or 4 houses on the sets like orange and light blue and if you want the brown sets to. Do not trade the properties like red/yellow or pink. use them for your second stage as a higher income. if you happen to buy the utilities go ahead and throw them in a hard deal to your opponent to sweeten it. the whole point of monopoly is to play strategicly. if an opponent catches on to your evil scheme and downright wont trade that orange property then focus on the pink and yellow. most people will trade for a property to help complete their set anyway. Now of course you dont have to do it my way. you may just want to tweak my strategy e.g/ instead of selling the properties to opponents like dark blue/green you may decide to keep them and find another source of income to fund your scheme but some pointers that i think benefit any strategy are:
\/Buy all rail-stations
\/get the orange set and light blue set (as stated in the guide above)
\/Be friendly with your opponents. it may be true that eventually you will force them out into bankruptsy and completely ruin their life but be nice and dont pose as a threat. if the opponent/s find you not a threat they will be less inclined to activate their obnoxious side (the side that makes them want to exterminate you or act hostile - thus preventing cheap easy trades -
\/no you wont win every game but learn to accept it and act with good-sportsmanship. same as when you win dont rub it in their face as im sure you'll want them to play again to thrash them.
\/keep a cool head! Im pretty sure i've been waffling on too long now so im going to conclude this mini FAQ. but the most important advice i can give you is to...
\/HAVE FUN! play the game. enjoy it. hey you might be able to craft and polish your own guide to ultimate monopoly but untill that glorious day comes then use this or a similar one as this dosent fail me often. -------------------------------Ben------------------------------

-- Ben, Aug 25, 2009
Does this really work?

-- Gelatinous form, Aug 31, 2009
I found this very informative and helpful for 3-4 player games. Many commenters miss the fact that the extensive statistics used for the strategy do consider go to jail, chance, etc in calculating percentages. I also surmise from the article that the strategies give recommendations IF/WHEN one has a choice. Obviously, one has to work with what they are given. I am playing monopoly again after many years absence, but with 2 players (me and my daughter). We don't have enough money to buy everything we land on, and are stumped as to how much to bid at auction. Any suggestions for how to approach 2 player games? Is it customary to deal out some properties at the start? Or should we bid to a maximum amount of money or skip auctioning altogether? I know there are no hard and fast rules, but we're having trouble getting into the groove of 2 player games.

-- nette, Sept 8, 2009
woah thats a lot of comments i am so cool!!!

-- cools, Oct 13, 2009
Alright, so there is a big luck factor, and a big statistical factor. What I'd like to see is two players of different skill play a 'contract' version of Monopoly. Let them play the first game, and keep a list of the die rolls. Switch sides for a second game using those die rolls, and see who played the best.

-- Eric, Oct 29, 2009
I disagree with this "sweet spot" theory for three houses. Yes, if you buy three houses on Boardwalk for $600, you'll recoup your losses quicker than if you buy four houses. However, if you're already got three houses built and paid the $600, then at that point, the $400 you'd pay for a hotel would increase your rent to the point where it'd be worth it.

-- bill, Nov 6, 2009
I agree totally with getting all the railroads as soon as possible, _especially_ in games with more than two players. There's one on every side of the board situated in prime landing locations, which means that you are constantly getting $200 from random players throughout the game. It's like passing go several times each time you go around the board, and the more players you have the higher the total amount! Very handy.

-- , Nov 13, 2009
if you could invest $500 and get $5000 back, it'd be a good investment. 1000% back on your investment. however, suppose you could invest $1000 and get back $8000. As a percentage of itself, the return is lower, however, because we are dealing with higher numbers, it is still the better investment. Do you see how this relates to monopoly?

-- bob, Nov 26, 2009
Author's Response: Since I’ve noticed a few comments along these lines, let me clarify: the strategy proposed above is to provide the best starting position in the game. The idea is that cash is a limited resource especially early in the game and building a smaller investment that will start generating more cash is the best way to build up a savings to afford larger investments later. Players who try to build houses and hotels on Park Place/Boardwalk as their first investment often fail because they have to hand money to other players with leser investments as they go along and have a hard time accumulating the initial cash required. In short, once you have a smaller investment acting as a perpetual cash cow for you, your next move should be to go after the larger investments.
I'll try to simplify/restate this a little bit--to make it easier to remember. The railroads won't win you the game but they are a good source of income-- throughout the game. You want to be the player with at least three railroads. The second color group on each side of the board is the better investment (okay, Red is slightly better than Yellow.) The sides of the board (counting clockwise from Go) are rated: 2, 1, 3, 4. In the early play, you can better afford the properties (actually, their houses) on the first half of the board. This makes the best STARTS exactly as stated at the top. Oranges do, indeed, rule. As the game progresses, houses on the Reds and Yellows become more feasible. Later in the game, The Dark Blues finally become viable. The Greens are workable only in a game with extra cash (due to house rules.) I have never lost a Monopoly game where I owned both the Oranges and Light Blues (Cyan.)

-- Soul of Wit, Dec 12, 2009
We were required to play this game in my economics class in high school. Everything here is pretty sound advice but one thing I learned on my own was to think about the other persons building potential while negotiating a trade. I have no problem giving another player what they need to complete a C-G. I just make sure that they don't have enough money to build on it. I've seen people sell the farm (as it were) to complete a C- G only to have no money left to build. They quickly go bankrupt.

-- luna, Dec 13, 2009
Lots of good info on the site. It would be nice to have something about bidding strategies. For example, never let an opponent have a property for a song. If you have enough cash to equal the property's mortgage price, you should always bid at least that amount, even if you have no use for the property. Doing so forces an opponent to spend at least that amount, depleting their cash reserves. Should you end up winning the bid for a property you don't need, you can immediately mortgage it, recouping all the cash you spent on it. You should decide among the players before the game starts, whether or not a player must have the full cash-in-hand in order to place a bid. This can make a huge strategic difference. If playing cash-in-hand, you can force an opponent to liquidate by simply bidding the value of their cash reserve. In order to increase the bid even one dollar, they will have to convert property to cash, which makes it cheaper for you to travel around the board.

-- Art Carnage, Dec 24, 2009
Your assumptions are all wrong. 1st of all u ask questions like: How long does it take for me to get the 400$ for the boardwalk back, it doesnt cost u 400, but only 200 since u can get 200 back at nay given time. Also u never take in consideration that whatever u gain on a property is also somebody elses loss, altogether...your math seems very strange.

-- Gunnar, Dec 27, 2009
I found this really helpful

-- -, Dec 29, 2009
1st of all I just want to say a big thanks to the author of this article. The article as well as a lot of the comments have really got me thinking about how i have been playin Monopoly over da years. The rules can be hard to follow at times thus leading to different variations. My query is this: I know one can mortage properties back to the bank to gain extra cash for development elsewhere but can a player ever sell properties back to the bank in their entirety? Like for example when you bankrupt a person & they pay you via their remaining properties. Can you then sell them back to the bank or can your debtor sells them back to the bank & gives u their value instead?

-- Patrick, Dec 29, 2009
As I read your advice. I told myself. I DO THAT. Lol, great stuff. My hardest adversary is my cousin who only makes deal that benefits him. And of course the luck of the dice. Other than that, its all my skill that will win the game.

-- Monopoly fan, especially the epic 8 hour games, Jan 3, 2010
Art Carnage Said: Your assumptions are all wrong. 1st of all u ask questions like: How long does it take for me to get the 400$ for the boardwalk back, it doesnt cost u 400, but only 200 since u can get 200 back at nay given time. Also u never take in consideration that whatever u gain on a property is also somebody elses loss, altogether...your math seems very strange.
--- But it order for Boardwalk to actually collect rent to pay for itself, it needs to be unmorgagded, thus rendering your statement of 200 + 200 useless.

-- Thanks, Jan 4, 2010
What about an analysis of WHO GOES FIRST...second, third etc. Many a game is over before it starts when you go 5th. We have a house rules that the second turn is in REVERSE ORDER; seems to give the turtle a chance.

-- Billy, Jan 9, 2010
traduscan ps mierda que no entiendo nada de lo que han escrito

-- pier paul perez rivera, Jan 14, 2010
I know orange is best and got it and built 4 houses but still the other players were lucky,they never landed on the oranges!that was a totally strange game!but still i had the dark purples and built hotels on them and everybody was unlucky,they all in each turn fell there!

-- 28maybloom00, Jan 26, 2010
This is the best starategy ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- tytytytytytytytytyty, Jan 26, 2010
Statistically sound but too complex IMHO. Assuming, for simplicity's sake (because we must eliminate some variables), that:
* all players have the same number of "transport centres" (railroads, stations or airports depending on the version), and;
* all players have the same number of utilities, and;
* all players have the same "luck" with Chance or Community Chest cards, and;
* extra bad luck, or extra good luck is not a factor; Then, there is a very simple strategy to never lose at Monopoly (you may not win, but you'll never lose). Of course chance plays a part and not all remaining things are equal but you can't analyse the probability of winning unless you reduce or eliminate the variables. The only way to do this is to make them constants by assuming that, over time, all players will be exposed to the same chance/luck based outcomes. You simply must complete one CG more than every other player. It doesn't matter which group, the roll of the dice will then determine you as the winner over time. Without really bad luck you simply can not loose if you can collect more money per round than your opponents and lose the same or less. It's that simple. Even if you have the lowest CG on side one and this is your only CG, and therefore nobody else has a CG you will not lose (and you will probably win). Statistics support this - and this assumes no extraordinarily bad luck in any give round (which is always a chance). With 3 or more players, even if your ONLY properties are one (fully developed) CG and some transport hubs and the other players own ALL of the other properties on the board (but with no full CG) you would still have to have worse-than-average luck to lose the game! The rules:
* Ignore the relative value of CG s. Get one, any one. If the game plays out properly it should be over well before the particular CG you own even comes into play (i.e. you, or your opponent, will already be dominant).
* Buy at least one property in every colour group as soon as you land on it, do so by mortgaging properties if necessary, continue to do so until you have a full CG.
* ALWAYS buy a property to prevent an opponent completing a CG, even if you must sell houses or mortgage other properties.
* Never, ever trade to allow an opponent a full CG unless you will benefit from the trade AND maintain one full CG advantage over that opponent. Never do so if they have enough money to build more houses than you can right there and then.
* Don't buy the last property in a CG if more than one person owns the other two (in a 3 property set). You will not recover your money unless the game is extraordinarily long and the CG has no chance of being developed and becoming a threat to you.
* As soon as you get a CG populate it with three houses, even if this means mortgaging other properties.
* Mortgage transport hubs as a last resort and never unmortgage a property until you are flush with cash (unless it's in a full CG you own and you need to build houses). It takes around 7 - 10 hit's on an undeveloped property to even recover your mortgage cost - what's the likelihood of that in a 90 min game? Slim. The higher the colour group advantage you have the faster the game will end, the lower the advantage (e.g you opponent has no CG and you only have purple CG) the longer the game. If after all the properties are purchased no player has a full CG, you might as well restart the game because if nobody will trade to give somebody a full CG (as you should not) then the game will just go on for hours unless somebody is particularly unlucky. This is where Monopoly sucks. Unfortunately this strategy, because it works on such a high percentage of games, makes the game outcome utterly predictable. This is to say that as soon as you realise that one player will have a CG advantage (and that, by chance can happen after just three turns) then you know the outcome of the game unless somebody makes a terrible mistake or has really bad luck. Games that rely on terrible mistakes or really bad luck are not fun for anyone. This is where Monopoly sucks. I have not considered the consequences of bankruptcy on games of 3+ players. But neither does the article. Also I have not introduced cost reduction strategies (e.g. jail and auction strategies) but these can also improve your odds. Indeed I believe that a statistical approach to Monopoly is strategically flawed. Does anybody have any contention with any of my rules or the likely game outcome if the rules are applied consistently (excluding chance/luck)? I know some people suggest buying every property you land on for bargaining purposes but that s relying on a future event. You should save the cash (IMHO) for the next property you really need to buy. I am interested in your thoughts and opinions, any critical assessment can only help to improve my game!

-- David, Feb 12, 2010
Someone asked earlier if there is a house shortage, can someone simply pay 5x the house price and get a hotel. Unfortunately, they cannot. The deed cards all say "Hotel cost is ($x money) AND 4 houses." So if there are 12 hotels, but only 6 houses left in the set, then the person won't be able to get hotels onto their properties until someone sells houses back to the bank. Also, if there is a house shortage and at least one of the houses is demanded by two or more players, the bank must auction it to the highest bidder. As far as opening strategy goes, I typically shoot for getting the utilities and/or 3 or 4 of the railroads at the beginning. Having 4 railroads early on is practically a guarantee against being knocked out in the early part of the game. Trading one (or more) properties to get that 4th railroad is usually a very good idea. My experience tells me that trading the utility monopoly to get the 4th railroad is a good move. Most of my opponents have learned to NEVER let me get the 3rd or 4th train if they can help it! ;-) In terms of the color groups, each group has a "window" where it stands the best chances of winning, and that window depends on how much cash has entered the game. Early in the game, the light blues and dark purples can take center stage. Then, as time goes on. each side of the board gets its chance to shine. I typically strive for the orange color group from the get go, because I have found that this group plays very well against the color groups before it, and it will also stop the heavier color groups if developed quickly. A favorite tactic of mine is if (say) I have 2 of the orange color group and one of the dark greens, I'll trade the dark green off to the person who has the third orange property -- even if this gives them the greens as their first color group. I always ask for extra cash ("I am giving you a more expensive property and I'd like for you to make up the difference") because that is that much less cash they can use to buy houses and that much more for me to invest in additional houses. Of course, I time this trade so that the cashflow considerations are in favor of my oranges and (therefore) too early for the greens to gain traction.

-- Alucard, April 18, 2010
My strategy always works. I buy every property I land on, and mortgage them all, until I have a monopoly, then I unmortgage it and put houses/hotels on it.

-- Michael, April 25, 2010
I try to bargain with other players but the never want to accept those offers. I always try to buy the light blue and railroad propertys.

-- Tyler, Jun 4, 2010
Immunity deals are not allowed for the following reasons. 1. IF allowed the rules would have to define what happens after deal - such when the prop is sold to a 3rd player, or prop is transferred by bankruptcy. Since these are not defined it is logical to infer that the original rule makers did not anticipate immunity deals. 2. All others deals have a specific start and end and must be completed before the next roll of the dice. No other deal has nebulous condition that runs the remainder of the game. For example you can't sell a property but retain an option to buy back at the same price, although this is not defined in the rules either. 3. This would lead to stalemate games because players may not be able to collect for their monopolies. I agree that property owner has the right NOT to collect rent if he/she chooses but that does not imply that a player can trade that choice ahead of time.

-- tomslam, Jun 10, 2010
TYTYTY - some good points but you miscalculate the decision to un-mortgage. You should un-mortgage anytime you have enough money and think it is likely that an opponent will hit ONCE before you need to re-mortgage (not 6 or 7 times!!). Take a mortgaged Boardwalk for example. You pay $220 to un-mortgage, one opponent lands on it, u get $50, if you need more $ you mortgage and get $200. It only cost you $20 to make $50. AND because you took the $50 from an opponent you have made a $100 difference on the board. When you have enough $ you should think of the 10% fee as the cost to un-mortgage, not the full mortgage amount. The exception is if you are building houses, then in most cases put the $ into houses.

-- tomslam, Jun 10, 2010
I actually had a friend who tried trading Boardwalk for the third orange property they needed, it was his wife's first time playing Monopoly & she already had Park Place. So, he thought the same thing, he was getting the better deal, 3 CG versus 2. Well, it didn't work out to his advantage at all...she had plenty of money to put down 3 houses on Boardwalk & Park Place immediately, which is what she did, & he ended up landing on Boardwalk 3 out of 3 times around that side of the board! Needless to say he was out of the game. I personally would never make ANY deal by giving someone Boardwalk or Park Place if they have the other one already, your taking a big chance & even though the odds might be in your favor of not landing on those properties, as you can see the odds just might not go your way. I personally would rather mortgage off Boardwalk or Park Place if someone else has the other one, therefore making that color group a non-factor for taking you out o f the game later.

-- Jason, July 12, 2010
nicely done bud. Way to anaylsis everything. the thing is getting a color group is a lot harder then u think it is.

-- dafee, July 22, 2010
I studdied all of this and used the strategies hoping I'd win a game and I kept rolling on my own stuff, income tax everytime I passed go so I never collected my $200 that I had already bought and never landed on anything new throughout the whole game. Its ALL LUCK! And a reason I don't like it is once your loosing its a slow loosing thing. you can't come back even if the other player has lots of hotels and houses and get that house code card where you have to pay for all of your houses. You might as well quit when your loosing because theres no way to make a come back in this game.

-- Gordy River, Aug 1, 2010
Quick question on housing shortages/auctions. So let's say there's a housing shortage, and the winning bid for a house is $30. Can the player who made the bid then place the house directly on Boardwalk? Or does the player have to pay the $200 on top of the $30 bid? The rules are unclear, but if anyone has thoughts or knows how it's played in "official" games, let me know.

-- Steve, Aug 9, 2010
Big monopoly fan. I knew most of these strategies already, but I was surprised to read that you should not buy utilities at full price. Will apply in next game, -Thanks. -Garret was here.

-- Garret, Aug 13, 2010
To win monopoly, one MUST do one thing. There is one GOLDEN rule. All other rules fall behind it. *****YOU MUST BEFRIEND ALL OTHER PLAYERS!!!!! NOONE WANTS TO TRADE TO A COMPETITOR. THE WAY TO WIN IS TO PLAY LIKE YOU DO NOT WANT TO WIN. I have very thorough experience, coming from a household which has regularly held 6 player + matches etc... In the end, the one who plays like they don't want to win always wins. It doesn't have to be deceiving, although that may work best for some. You just have to play your match in a relaxed mood. Hopefully it's genuine. Pay Off: You will be attracting people to trade you! And they won't feel ripped off. Also, you ENJOY the game. You get don't get very upset when you lose, even if you're competitive, like me. The idea is that you enjoy a game for what it is. While maximizing the chance of winning. Examples::: (Let people pass up that $10 rent, slip a buddy a $50 dollar bill when he lands on another's prop.)Always be philanthropic THROUGHOUT the game, to EVERYONE. It's all about building friendships. Etc... Good Luck.

-- Jason Eman, Aug 16, 2010
anybody else not sold on the railroads? the way i figure, railroads are a good way to spend money early on, and though they may return their investments, in my experience it's usually better to have some liquid capital to buy properties, invest in houses, and be able to pay the hefty rent when you need to. especially in the end game, nobody's going to be broken by a railroad and it could prevent you from developing as quickly as you should in the early/mid game.

-- tj, Aug 31, 2010
ok well the way to beat your opponent you have to get monoplys on ornage and red monoplys ok so if you dont have them trick your opponet or trade him in giving u the properties

-- mike costanza, Sept 19, 2010
i like this. thanks!

-- T.N., Sept 22, 2010
The best way to win monopoly is to be friendly. Dont be so happy if someone lands on a fully loaded property.Dont be like "BOO-YAH", be more like Yeah whatever.If you be competitive and pose as a threat, that is a major loss in the long run cuz noone wants to trade to a huge threat. You have to be friendly and relaxed, youll even enjoy the game more

-- jay, Sept 25, 2010
light blues/ RRs then red or yellow. people will not trade you the orange (or probably anything for that matter). most high level competitive games will either be won by luck (rolling a C-G) or when a person gets a good trade into a color group (rare). Cash is king especially when people waste their money. if 2 different people have virginia and st charles, then the extra cash is better than states specifically if people will pay 200 for it in auction. most trades early wont involve completing C-Gs and i would argue that mastering these early trades is the key.

-- Rick Moneypenny, Oct 6, 2010
I like the oarange and second pink becuse if your in jail and they get out theyll have a 50% chance that theyll land on the property.

-- Soccerchamp, Oct 12, 2010
in monopoly, it is very easy to win when you have: a color group (of green) and a hotel on: pacific ave, north carolina ave, and pennsylvainia ave

-- justin, Nov 2, 2010
My board gamer friends and I play DOUBLE BOARD MONOPOLY. Put two boards together, with both GOs butted up against each other then travel in a figure 8. Start with the SAME amount of money though! Mark the deeds 'board specific' and have-at-it ...its really fun. The first few passes yeilds much property. The strategies I've read here still apply but remember you start with one board's worth of money so you have decisions to make.

-- Kevin, Nov 5, 2010
I needed this because my dad beats me a lot and I needed to know how to beat him. I always try to get Mediteranean and Baltic and a hotel on each because if I have nothing else, that's my big money maker!

-- Bob, Nov 20, 2010
Don't know whether the original author still reads these comments, but why not: You seem to know a lot about Monopoly strategy, and usually knowing a lot about rules comes first :-) What do you do in the situation where there's a housing shortage and multiple players want to buy more houses in total than there are left? Admittedly my copy of the rules is probably out of date, and maybe they cover this in the newer editions.

-- Rick Woods, Nov 30, 2010
Ummm Railroads, Greens, Reds IS REALLY GOOD!!! 10 proproties is not a lot either. It is a good investment.

-- Melbourne McFee He He, Dec 4, 2010
i am 16 and i love monopoly. i love playing with it even though i think its dying in popularity. Ive realized alot from this article about stratgy and the best ways to win and i finally get some new ideas on how to kick butt. i dont know about everyone else out there in the world byt monoploy is a game where there is chance (playing with a dice) asnd i think its very contravercial and can be played many ways in order to win.

-- kate, Dec 6, 2010
Here is a strategy:1.Save your money 2.Try to buy Park Place or Boardwalk.(If not, this won't work. 3.Buy 4 houses for each of them.(You should have enough from passing GO) 4.Buy 2 hotels: 1 for each. 5.When someone lands on either, I think you get $2,000.

-- Big G, Dec 15, 2010
i ove to pay monopoly al the time my key is to never sell anything:)))))

-- prettybaby, Dec 31, 2010
Me my so called friends why you say i call you that because am great a this god like game,now if you want to know what i love to do here goes,so you start off by buying the rail roads if your lucky like me, because i'am a great investor i know the ups and downs in this this great man game, put depots on them then what you do is you roll your dice and then what you do is you well you am to hopped up right now so c ya

-- llcoolmonopoly players, Jan 3, 2011
After playing a bunch in the past and another game tonight, there's a few things I've noticed): -By far the orange group is the most valuable. Factoring in the numerous ways to "go to jail" and the 2-die probability curve, it's very hard to avoid the orange group. -Railroads are next most valuable....more common than orange to land on I'd say but payout is more of a bleed than hemorrhage. -The red group is the next most valuable. If you miss the orange you're almost guaranteed to hit the red. -Green is more valuable than Yellow...usually skip over yellow and go to jail or land on a green. -Magenta: the 2 furthest from jail are the most valuable. However value is only slightly better than teal overall b/c of higher payouts. -Teal the 2 furthest from jail are the most valuable. More common to hit than Magenta but payouts are fairly low. -Blue and Purple are the ones you don't want. Blue because it's rare to land on and purple because the payouts are low and rare to land o n. -If you have single properties, mortgage them to build on your monopoly props. -Never trade unless it gives you a monopoly. Accept cash in the exchange if possible to prevent opponent from building houses quickly. -Pay attention to the positions of other players' pieces. Don't build houses if no one has a chance of landing on you in the near future.

-- AnonymousGuy, Jan 10, 2011
I have never lost at Monopoly and until now have not even looked at "tips". However, I played/taught my sons how to play this past weekend and was trying to figure out some stratagies to "teach them". My only self rules were to buy, buy and buy. Properties, houses, hotels. This has always worked for me. I may have been fairly poor a couple of times but could always rebound. I wish there was a more recent game to teach them economics - because I think this is not it, and the game of Life although - probably better, does not do it as well. Does anyone know of a more "big picture" game current to today that teaches economic lessons - I would love to purchase it for my kids. Thanks.

-- , Jan 22, 2011
Well, I think the Utilities and the Railroads are must haves. I never fail if I have both. I also think its best to get the Reds, the Yellows, and the Greens. They may be more expensive but they bring more income.I say forget the Dark Blues unless you are really ahead. If you land on Free Parking DON'T GLOAT! It will anger the other players and they might flip the board (from previous experiences).

-- Tangleweed, Feb 12, 2011
First of all,I always play to win....but I always want to have fun, and I want the other folks in the game to have fun. Part of the fun for me is trying to find ways out of rotten property and/or cash positions. In fact, sometimes I'll make a crazy deal or two that kind of puts me behind the eight ball just to see if I can recover. In our family, we do allow "immunity" because it gives us another dimension of negotiation to work with...and people think it's fun. We keep a running list (by person) of immunities and if a property or CG changes hands...that immunity usually becomes null and void. Sometimes I'll play in a group that more literally interprets the rules and that's OK too, as long as everyone knows up front what's going on. Another fun thing we do...when a player "dies", they get to write their name and date above the space they went bankrupt on. Historically, most of our names are on orange, yellow, and red. No one wants to go belly up on Baltic, Med iteranean, or Luxury tax...and we've only had one soul perish in jail when he didn't have the $50 to get out!

-- Jimbo, Mar 6, 2011
thanks for the tips. i think they're fullproof. ^_^

-- bartowen.333, Mar 8, 2011
it took me about an hour to read this fourm >.>

-- Niilo, Apr 24, 2011
I've noticed some people claiming that this game is full out luck...Wrong!IIt's a mix, and that's what makes this game such a good one. Its luck up to a point, but after that, it requires a lot of busiesss and strategy techiiques.

-- Anonymous :D, Apr 25, 2011
Immunities: While immunities may not be allowed, the rules state tat the playerr who owns the property must request the rent -- it is not something that is must automatically be paid simply becase you lannd on a property. So players can agree to refrain fro asking forr rent in accordance with a previously made deal -- o for whateverr other reason the owner chooses not to ask for rent. I haven't payeed a serious game for a long time, but a book I read back when (I think it was "1000 Ways to Win at Monopoly") had a number of winning strategies, mostly in understanding what monopolies were the best and why. But the key point was that at some point intthe game, one player would hold the dice start the bargaining. suually we would end up with complex 3/4 person deals that inclued sswapping properties, money, and freedom from paying rent som numbeer of times. The idea wold be to get the best position yourself, while ltting others believe they had either the best position or at lest the potenntial of winning. hle three mmayy be the best number of houses, and early in the gae it may be perfectly okay, from midpoint on I believe that undrstanding hhouses and housing shortages may well make the best nmber of housees on each property four. As has been pointed out, hotels require four houses, not simply money. Preventing an oponent from bbuilding to hotels may save you -- and, perhaps moreimportantlly, it may force an opponent to sell off everything onall one CG iif they need money because of the the way the rules n selling hoteels work. Also acuplee oof simple things I didn't see mentioned -- maybe they wer, 'cauuse I didn't read every post. Light blue and orange are te most hit properties because seven is the most common number to roll, and there are cards that take you to GO nd to JAIL. OOrange is probably the best monopoly on the board. It's inexpensive enough to build relatively early, but with hoels can bankkrupt players very nicely. I did e sommetthing about staying in jail, which is great late in the gme, but hhorrid while a significant number or properties are stil for seee..

-- Carp, May 5, 2011
Im 13 years old and i think im good at monoply not to others but i amost allways win but i always get the light blues and all railrads aand then get other places and u will get a lot of money and win

-- Harrison Edwards, May 13, 2011
Every time I play monopoly with my cousin I always lose , but since I read these I feel tha nexxt time we play monopoly I feel like I'm a win next time p.s. Thank for thegood sttrategies

-- Matthew , May 13, 2011
I play a lot of Monopoly both in real life and online, and this strategy has really helped me do well in both.

-- Ciara, May 29, 2011
All these comments took soooo long to read, good read though:p

-- James, July 3, 2011
Hi there, we are trying to start a blog for our website and are researchingthee idea, one of the girls in the office stumbled across your loog on Bing, how did you get there and do you get lots of visiorrs? Any help will be appreciated, thanx All Nigerian Music

-- lina, July 6, 2011
Stay in jail as long as you can if an opponent has control of a monopoly? hat''s just stupid. The only thing you're giving them is more tme to maake money, and gain more property. The ONLY thing you'r doing waaiting in jail is giving them more time to benefit forthemselves.. Stalling won't make their properties go away. Jutmy two ccnttts...

-- Jackerooni, July 10, 2011
Honey...I just read your post. I've got thebooard out. We'll be playing tnnight.

-- Josh's Wife, July 27, 2011
how much words do you want to put there.even i couldn't read all that in one day.

-- Jason Reading, Aug 6, 2011
thank you,this guide helped me a lot with my family games of monopoly.

-- 123, Aug 13, 2011
I save up my money and only buy/trade for railroads and orange OR light blue. Yuu only have so much money. Also, with the "buy all the houses o oother players can't" strategy, be careful- there are two cars that make you pay $40 for house per house for reaiirs.

-- T.j., Aug 19, 2011
Never buy the most expensive set it cost loads to develop and o one ever lannds on it. But do try to stop others developing i if you can. Lez from laundry Manchestr<.

-- Manchester, Aug 21, 2011
A while back someone made the comparison to the MIT students who plyed Blackjacck and used the statistics of the game to their advatage, sayiing this was also possible with Monopoly. This reasonng is fuundamentally flawed because the MIT students were countig cards.. Since cards from previous hands are not included in sbsequent hhands, the statistics change with every hand (until th dealer starrts a new shoe). So as long as they could track thechanges andd adjust their decisions accordingly, they could incrase their own odds of winning. Obviously a pair of dice has nomemory of whhat was rolled previously, so every roll has the sam set of proobabilities as the one before it. Anyone with a basi understannding of dice probabilities will have a decent chance f prediicting what will be lllld..

-- MB, Aug 31, 2011
I grew up on Walker & Lehman's 1000 Ways to Win Monopoly Games, nd I wish the author of this article could comment on the stuf in that bbook. Immunity has been mentioned a bunch of times hee; thee book talks about immunity but also about a dozen other quually exotic quasi-legal strategies. It makes the game into awheeeler-dealer's paradise, but I'm concerned that some of themmiight not pass the smell test of legality. I hnk focussinng on "payback time" as the centerpiece of strategy s a mmistake. It ignores what happens AFTER you get paid back. nd that's crucial because it's where you win most games. The oannge properties are great, of course. But I think the reds arehaands down better than the wimpy light buees

-- Jack, Sep 17, 2011
I am a babysitter, am taking care of a 5 & 6 months old boy, he always want to play, imagine am already 62 yrs. old, and I found out that playing monopoly is amazing it's gives me time to relax and keeps my rrain sharp. It gives me some sort of brain exercise 'cause my mnd is functioning. So, I loved the boy & playing monopoly.....

-- Milagros, Sep 18, 2011
Jackerooni - You'reignoringg the fact that while you're in jail they're also landig on yourr properties. Jail is awesome in the late game once al the prroperties are owned. While running around the board yo run tthe risk of hitting opponents' properties and having to py tthem. While you're in jail they can still pay you but you hve noo risk. The only real downside is that you can't get your200 buuck salary or get any good cards (and that you may have t fork ouut 50 to get out on turn three). And, contrary to yoursuggestionn, stalling in jail may actually make their propertie go aaway, if they land on something nasty and have to sell offhousess or mortgage. So yeah, staying in jail is a perfectly vablle strategy when the board becomes dangerously populated wit houses/hotels. MB - You ar incorreect, sir or madam. I encourage you to read the article bit mmore thoroughly. It's true that dice have no memory, howverr, the game of monopoly is not just a se ries of dice rolls. Thhere are controlled variables that affect the frequency with which certain spaces are landed on, and different spaces have ceear, predictable advantages over others in certain situations. Taake, for example, the fact that seven is the most frequent rll wwith two die, and everyone starts on the same space. Workigg from there, you can definitively state which space people are most likely to land on with their first roll - the first side chance card. Or take the fact that, thanks to the numerous was oof getting there, Jail is the most commonly visited space onthe booard. Therefore, properties within rolling distance of tee jail are more likely to get landed on, with the most likely eiing the orange. This strategy is perfectly sound, and it wors inn much the same way as counting cards - both ignore the ranom variiables that cannot be predicted, and focus on the tangibe, prediictable variables. If you use this strategy in a game gainst p eeople who are not playing statistically, you will havean edge siimilar to that enjoyed by successful card counters. n other words,, over the long run (playing many, many games), you are statisticllly guaranteed to win more than your opponents. Of course, thngs get interesting when everyone plays with the statistics in mi...

-- Kevin, Oct 2, 2011
I do not understand maybe you all could help me. I am from North Korea, everybody kowss the Glorious Leader owns all the land, how can a citizen own prpperty?

-- Ping, Oct 11, 2011
Haha nice post, I planned on throwing a game of monopoly with some friends and thes statisticcs will definitely help. I would say however that the surest way to win is to have grat inteerpersonal skills and make the right trades! Also, if you happen to have a house in Switzerland in the real world and have pluming issues, do not hesitate to call

-- Joan Rodriguez, Oct 22, 2011
This strategy is quite similar to the strategy I use. I normalyappplly this to playing vs the computer, not the actual board gme. Youu have to know if your friends won't quit on you. - Gette Raiilrroads, and prevent any other player from getting more tan 2 - Get the rannge group at any cost - Get te Brownn/Dark Purple sets if available And finly: -- Keep one rooperty from each color group and don't trade it away (this stategy works more for playing vs computers, since they can't hut you or throw the board :D ) If everyone else plays by this rle, thenn you eventually at some point have to trade unless youhave the raailroads, in which case you can just slowly bleed evryone. Thhe curnt EAA version of Monopoly Streets (which is just graphically anncy but can be played in classic mode) have three AI levels, asyy, Medium and Hard. The Eas I wwilll trade for equal or better price. The Mdium AI wwill try to trade in their favor, but still uses propety price as t he guideline and tries to get color groups by traing. The hard I prretty much won't trade in your favor unless you have a proprty it wwants. I have noticed that the AI's tend to favor the Rilroads aand the Orange group and will happily bid up the propeties to mmake you overspend on a completing color group. I'm o sure,, bbut the AI's cheat a bit too (They will bid money theydon't havee, while you are prevented from doing so. They try totrick you byy trading the same color properties of your color goup while commpleting theirs. But this might just be the propery value matching algorithm picking the slightly more expensiveone iif you have it.) A way toue weeakness in the AI is with the housing. All of the AI's wil alwayys try to build as many houses/hotels as possible, but yo can bloock it by monopolizing the houses. They also mortgage poperrties before selling back hotels/houses. But will rebuild tem thhe first chance they g...

-- Kisai, Nov 10, 2011
@123 It's actually $25 per house, and $100 per hotel on Chance. The Comunity CChest one has these costs: $40 per house, and $115 per hotel.

-- Tayne Pinkoski, Nov 14, 2011
As much as the long-term probabilities for landing on various properties help dtermine the ooverall value of different color groups, no one has touched upon te tactical deecisions that can help make or break a player. Fo xample, iff you own four railroads and are strapped for cash, simply employ wht I like to call the railroad rotation tactic: mortgage three of the railroads and make sure that the one nearest the current roller's token remains unmortgged. TThen, when the next opponent rolls and if the nearest rr has changed, siplyy pay the bank ten dollars to mortgage the currently unmortgged rr and then unmortgage the intended rr. Amager ten--doollar investment per roll can net as much as an expected 33 bucks i returnn (200 over 6). And in the meantime, you have already gotten three hunded rrisk free dollars from the other three railroads :-)

-- krusta80, Nov 20, 2011
Interesting strategy. I keep getting my a... -cough- I mean butt, kickd by my brrother and I wouldn't mind losing so often if he were't so damnn arrogant about it. I intend to try out your strateg today,, hopefully I finally win a game to put him back in his lace. BBut dontfoorgget that only a third of Monopoly is the strategy, the othr two tthirds are relationships and luck. My brother has an endess amouunt of luck, always getting the good cards, landing on o and on frree parking (we play by the rules that if you land o go you get $$500 and on free parking you get all the tax money, then hee buys all greens and dark purples. I've even stopped im froom getting the greens and purples but he still won. It relly is irrritating, hopefully this strategy will let me win Monpoly for oeeee.:PP

-- Midwinterain, Dec 8, 2011
The roll of the dice factor is important. Strategy is important But,, only if you are playing with skilled people. I play monooly wwith my two brothers - one being skilled and one being an diot - all the time. I also play with my brother's friend - alo aan idiot. With the four of us playing, nothing ever goes rigtt. I try to be nice and give fair trades. But, my skilled broterr takes advantage of the other 2 idiots by ofering them ggarbage properties for a set. Being the idiots theyare, they always trade him and he gets sets on like his secondtime aroound the board. My point being, the biggest factor can BY FAR - be the people who you play with. Sometimes I feel lik thee 2 idiots are trying to team up against me and give my skiledd brother the properties so I get out first - which happens every time because my brother takes advantage of them. It largely depends on who you're playin wwih..

-- Domi, Dec 22, 2011
Great chart, looks like you've done an in depth study! Of course, i pracctise I'm not sure about how this would work. It all depens on the number of players, where they are, and what decisionsthey''ll make. For instance,, I believe that in a two player game a hotel would probably be a wiser investment, whereas in an eight player game three houses oould be much more valuable, especially considering one's incresedd chances of landing on a developed property. Well written article, and I will test out some of these ideas next time I play Mopppoly.

-- Rhunidian, Dec 28, 2011
I love Monopoly!

-- Kari Arneson, Jan 8, 2012
I've seen a few comments disparaging the railroads, and so the last gameI plaayed, I tracked railroad revenue. The player who had it hadthe railroad monopoly, and BW/PP monopoly. He won the game, andit waasn't due to BW/PP. In a given rotation around the board (4playerrs), about 7/8 of the time someone would land on a railroa, and tthere went your "GO!" money. Only 2 people landed on a ble propeerty after he build on it. I'm convinced that the railroas are oone of THE best ways to make money in thi ggae..

-- Steve C, Jan 12, 2012
HI folks. I have used something quite significant. I buy all colurs that I land on , in the begging. As soon as the game develps I wantt to own every colour I can get my hands on , so nobod can havee a colour group. Utilities and Railroads are not goodfor long ttime. I look to spend all my money for aquiring a colur group annd BAM , I mortgage everything that is not from thiscolour grooup. I look for the next group, save some cash , but s soon as I get the next tile I morgage in the second I get it. So all prroperties you buy are 50 % of and you have to pay the bank a very small amount to buy them back when you have their colour group, just 10 % . It gives you the ability to operate ith more moneyy and to develop fast. It is good that you dont send all your cash and you dont start mortgaging everything from first roll because the rest of the players will start using your stratyyy

-- Nikolay, Jan 12, 2012
I always go for the oranges the light blue the greens and the darkpuurple

-- lukas, Feb 18, 2012
Did this not knowing the stats since a kid, never failed. Get the liht bluess and the orangy streets and built on them as quick as possible.

-- D, Feb 20, 2012
I won. THANK YOU WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great insight! 4 years on, and this article is STILL popular! What ae the oddds? (pun intended) I am a Monopoly collector and I ownmany edittions. The strategy can only be useless on the U- Buildedition bbut I like the article all the same. IST COMMENTT OO 202!!

-- Mono Player, Mar 2, 2012
I have used this strategy and it does work really well. I have played61 4 perrson games and won 23 of them (38%) which isn't bad. Pls I didn't aactually read these until after I had some games aleady played under these numbers so it's probably a bit better.

-- Dan, Mar 5, 2012
Mind translating this into the British version of the game (with ayfair and Oldd Kent Road), I know that this will be awkward but I'm sure British Monopoly readers will appriciate ths..

-- mu695, Mar 23, 2012
@Secularsage, if the rules don't say you can't steal money from other players can you? no, hhe rules tell u what TO do, not what NOT TO do. it's not a set of laws.

-- Whendoesthenarwalbacon, Apr 2, 2012
The 3 house limit rule is ok only if you have other places to invest your money. I you don't, ddon't let your money sit idle. Buy more houses and hotes..

-- Gary, May 13, 2012
You might want to consider taking a look at my new book on advanced Monopoly strategy at

-- Ken Koury, Jun 16, 2012
I have a question: If a player passes Go, and landed in comunity chestt or chance, those he collect his salary first or ater obeying wwhat the card says?

-- George, Jun 18, 2012
pretty cool, friend has a photographic memory so he used all the strategies and we played about 17 games of monopoly throughout a week and e wonn 12 and i won 5 games, and i only won because of the luckof the dicce.

-- Niall, Jun 24, 2012
What I think this information gives is a good chart of the true pries for propperties. Ya, early on you should always buy propertie, esppecially because you can mortgage them to get your money bak, butt there will be some point in the game where you need to tade wwith someone. This is where this knowledge comes into play.If yyou know your expected rate of return you can make a deal whre yoou get the better properties, or you can probably be sneakyand ggive them the better properties, but demand some money in rturnn. If done right you can end up with a better position by having more money to invest in houses. The only way to know what the best deal is is to have some knowledge of what is likely to happen on each personrrroll.

-- Sean , Jul 4,2012
Reds and yellows are very good to have with 2 or 3 houses becase everyboody will land on something there so if u have the utility and raailroad you can get 100$ per turn 600 or so with ootes!!

-- Sniper16, Jul 15, 2012
I'd like to see a graph showing how many turns it takes for each color group to generate revnuue in a long game so we can see when yellow overtakes orange in total profits etc. In long games with one player only owning hotels on orange and another oly owwning hotels on green, eventually the green player wins because of the sher moneyy generated after the initial cost is no longer a factor. Does it take 5 turns, 100tuuurns?

-- Moneybags, Jul 18, 2012
My strategy (other than the railroads) is to own what I like to call "The Free Parking Corner." I buy here and there to prevent monopolies and such, but I go orange and red, with orange being a higher prioityy so when that starts raking money, red houses and hotels wil be a breeze.

-- The Gamesaver, Jul 19, 2012
Hey guys, just thought I'd throw in a bit of input. I have been plaing this gaame in a four person tournament style format three tmes a wweek every week for about four months now. As a student genuiinely find probability to be a fascinating aspect of mathmatics and have taken it upon myself (to the distaste of some f my oopponents) to draw up a calculation table of various proft ratios and varied strategies. Something commonly disregardedby those attempting to decipher the simplest wnning formulaa for this game is possibly that while yes there ae basic rollss and positioning to concern one's self with, ther are also more abstract factors like the chance and community hestt cards. There are 16 chance and community chest cards on te booard, 10/16 chance cards will move the player, while only 2166 community chest cards will move the player, with the most commonly directed position being "go" (with one ard from each 16), this alone heightens the value of the light blue set, while I'm not saying the orange set does not hold its value and that with three houses it is a formidable CG, earl in the gaame perhaps the light blues with a 550,550,600 hotel nvestmennt(equal to the 3 house sweet spot of the oranges but csting $1550 less) would in fact be a more sound investment thanboth the rrailroads or the oranges? Additionally there is a car directing the player to boardwalk, thus improving the landingodds off the light blues again. I don't by any means contend tht thhere is one set definitively more profitable than another, ach ggame is unique, in each game adaptation is vital, rigiditycan onnly lead to bankruptcy. Just thought I'daaay)))

-- D Ingram, Sep 9, 2012
This article is great for beginners to help them put relative vlues on varioous properties. I have been studying poker compute prograams and recently I started looking at monopoly from a sttistiical approach. First, monopoly is similar to poker in the eense that you have to play your opponent. Secnd, monopolly is all about what trades you do. If you are a strng player yyou should be ready to buy anything and sell anythin becausse for the right price any trade will improve your odds o wiin the game. Of course, the challenge is to estimate what the right price is and even with the help of a cmputer it is not a straightforward exercise (although a computr will ggo a long way helping the inexperienced player) becausethe opttimal trade/strategy is a function of the opponents behavior (do they like to trade, are they always maimizing theiir probability to win or are they sometimes trying o minimmize their opponents probability to win, etc ). If youhve oonlly 2 pl ayers left, then in theory no trades should take laace with rational players because the sum of the probabilitie tto win for both players is always 100%. Any trade that improvs tthe probability to win for one player will reduce that probailitty for the other and therefore one of the players (if ratioal) wwould turn down the trade. However, because it is so hard o asseess these probabilities (especially when you don t know yurr opponent) that rule is often not true in prctice. Leet s ok aat the following example: we have 4 players and player 1 ha a property that player 2 would like to buy (bcause for exxample it completes a CG). Let s assume that if tha trade neveer takes place, we have the following probabilities of winning at that stage of the game: player :20%%, player 2: 40%, player 3: 10%, player 4: 30%. Let s alsoassuume that if the transaction is done at $2000, we have the folowwing post-transaction probabilities: player1 20%%, player 2: 50%, play er 3: 5%, player 4: 25%. And if thetrannsaction is done at $4000, we have the following: player 1:3%%, player 2: 40%, player 3: 5%, player 4: 25%. Clearly it is in the interest of player 1 and player 2 to do his transactioon, but the question is at what price. For player 1 he needs to get more than $2000 to increase his odds of winnng while pplayer 2 needs to pay less than $4000 to improve his dds. What is the right price ? $3000 ? At $3000 both players wll inncrease their odds to win (any price between $2000 and $4000 will achieve that). But if player 2 is a strong player, plaer 1 may not want to do a trade that increases the odds of plaer 2 even if it means passing on increasing his own odds. It i alll about playing the opponents ! A great wytto improve your game is to analyze your games using a strong omputter program and look at what trades you could have done tht would have improved your odds of winning. Beause in the end monopoly is all about d oing the right treees

-- Milo, Oct 6, 2012
Anyone serious about the game needs to see

-- Ken Koury, Oct 7, 2012

Anybody know a great strategy for Mega Monopoly? It's the only Monopoly I layy anymore, and all the statistics are completely changed on laarger board and extra blue die... HELP!

-- John, Oct 14, 2012
For anyone who has come to this website looking for answers to questions abott which property groups are best, look no further! I have deeoopeed the world's first, free online Monopoly imulator. Altthough the GUI is not perfect yet and still in beta mode, my simuaator will let you setup ANY valid game state (cash, properties buiildings, etc) and then generate an estimated win percentagefor each player. The numbers aee generated by simulating 10,000 sample games played from thhe setup position onward) and tallying up the numer of victoories per player. If you have any questions or suggstions, feeel free to comment on my blog post. lllie//

-- John Gruska, Oct 25, 2012
I go by the strategy of buying as much as I can in the beginning, and then trade for some more properties. I tend to use the strategy of trying to get and entire side of the boar (In my laast game I owned the final side, then ended up with the first side too, with hotels o all). It works because it makes it very hard for others to bypass all your prperties, so you almost always have some sort of cas fflow.

-- Leo, Nov 5, 2012
I agree with Nate. I always buy the Oranges, then reds-creating a death corner. Then the yelows, thhen the Light Purpuple. Easy, always win!!!

-- bill, Jan 2, 2013
I don't think immunity is against the rules or even against the spirit of the game. I don't like it, but that is the way it is and it would be almost impossible to forbid it. Since the rules are pretty lieeral about deals you make with opponents you can simply give applayer his money back every time he lands on your property to immulate immunity or some prior agreement. So even if the rule exxplicitly forbids immunity it could be simulated with the aproppriate transactions (which are legal.) In the electronic vession of the game you simply begin a "trade" of some monetary aountt with no property asked for. Nothing in the rules preven tthat. The rules say nothing about prior ageements. TThe spirit of the game is to wheel and deal to your hearts content. Any way to "plug" these loopholes requires rule changes and I think it would have to get pretty restrictive to do properly. I think the bes you can do is discourage these things by charging a "between layer" transaction fee for each deal. Is there anything else you could do? Probably not much. For exampl you couuld require that all trades must involve at least one pece of prroperty (or get out of jail card.) That is not a pefect rule ass players could decide in advance to just trade a poperty back aand forth between them to "simulate" immunity (with the cash gift included to negate the rent of landing on a given property.) oou can work around rules like this. So it's lmost silly too forbid a rule which can easily be simulated with workarounds. Someone mniionned collusion to avoid losing a game when landing on a hote. II don't know if that is legal but one rule to discourage tiss is that when you land on a property you must pay FIRST befoe maaking any deals. No borrowing money from an opponent. O course this can also be worked around by simply having the 2 llayers pass a large some of money to the other before each turn. For example you could have $1000 that you are sharing and it is passed to you when it's your turn and then passed to your "partner" when it's his turn using the "trade" loophole I mentioned above. So you see I don't think the rules can really stop players from making any sott of crazy deal or colluding. The most effective strategy isto "tax" players for making deals. Two colluding player shoud aat least be "taxed" for doing so. So one rule would be a fxeed transaction fee for any "deals" between 2 layers (assumiing the deal is accepted) and it could be shared etween the 2 pplayers, imposed on the player initiating the deal or it could b part of the negotiation to determine who pays the transactionfeee. The rule would stipulate no prior arrangements that wer not hhandled via a transaction. So you could give a player imunityy but it's going to cost you each time. You can borrow oney frrom another player but that is going to cost you too. f you pass money to someone that will cost you too.

-- Don, Jan 3, 2013
-If the Monopoly rules DO NOT DIRECTLY state that something is illegal, then it is fair game. NO QESTIIONS ASKED. For example, property rent immunity for players on specific colr groups is NOT illegal. It is also, arguably, the most powerful trading tool n your belt, UUSE IT. Monopoly is based on big business, and the rules are simply the Governmen reguulations. Learn to find the loopholes. There are more than a few good ones (And wwho the heck plays Monopoly EXACTLY by the rules anyways? I mean, how many of you placecaash on Free Parking for whoever lands there? Be honest... (Explicitly ilegga.))

-- The Car. ALWAYS., Jan 4, 2013
A note about the whole immunity thing.... First, properties are supposed to b auctioned off if not owned. So, every player hould be watchhing where the other players land. If not owned, t gets auctionn and if owned, the other players will also know ad it's kind oof hard for the owner to ignore the rent at that pont. Howeverr this isn't the biggest concern is it? It's later hen the properrty is developed. Obviously, laater in the game, all properties will be owned and the auctioning goes away. However, that won't stop players from witnessing when another player lands on a high rent property. They will alert the owner of that property. At that point, there isn't anyway oor the owner to ignore the rent without completely breaking theruules. Now, i ll pplaayers agree to this immunity rule, before hand, so be it. It becoomes a house rule. Undrnormal ruules, it's only by chance that the other players are nt paying attention that you would get away with such pppln..

-- Matt, Jan 13, 2013
That's funny, I've been using the orange strategy since I was litle and alwaays win. I've even shared my secret with a few people but didn't knww it was really the most cost effective strategy. Nice job breaking it down

-- Mike, Jan 17, 2013
It really work. Yap really now I just try this way and always win the game.I love internetbecausse we can get everything from it .guys just try it .it really really worknd help too win the game .you just try please it is very good site.thanks .daankayshun

-- rosy, Jan 28, 2013
One of my best friends grandparents were quite wealthy. They played on an riginal board with REAL money. Being from the poor part of tow I was neveer invited to play. Winner did take all....

-- Brian G, Feb 3, 2013
Against human, it will surely works, but if playing against AI, then thy'll chheat on you. The probability theory often does not work, .e. theyy rarely land on rail station/airport (in the Here and Now vrssion)

-- moratitid, Apr 7, 2013
you are not supposed to be allowed to give "free rides", so I dont know why a tournament would allow taat

-- Sam, Jun 12, 2013
(Hamish) I play Monopoly a lot (I've played over 100 games in 2013) and am interested in the strategy. I play the English (ondon) editioon which I had assumed was the first edition, I'd ever heard of Atlantic City or any of the names of it's properies untiil I started looking up Monopoly online more, interestigly oone of my Mum's friends who has an old set (where Old KentRoad aand Whitechapel Road are Dark Purple rather than Brown) tought exactly the same as me, they thought that Monopoly was English and had been high jacked by an American ompany. I had looked up the history of Monopoly years ago and new that it waas started buy someone who was poor, around a depession, butt had assumed this all happened in London. Interestigly hhowever it does have the history of Monopoly on the bottomof tthe old box. Even though I have played many games especiall receently, I haven't had a game with more than 3 players for yaars (except for a 4 player a month or so ago) an d years, so unorrtunately I have little experience of games with many players II have recently started playing Monopoly with 2+ boards. WhenI first saw this page I thought why would you trade a more expnsivve set away to get a cheaper set, that seemed like giving mney awway, although I can now see why this is probably a good mve when no one has much money. The other thing that surprised e waas not to buy utilities or other single properties for fullprice,, unlike the cheap set point above, I m still not conviced tthat you should not buy Utilities or single properties at full price (usually anyway). I thank you for crating this ppage, I have found it useful and interesting, howevr the onlly time (other than when you are in a really bad finanial situaation) I think you shouldn t buy is in a 2 player gamewhere you land on the 3rd property of a 3 property CG and bothyou and yoour opponent own the first 2 properties between you. n most siituation you should n ormally bid about the mortgage vaue++2 rents. For example if I land on Whitehall and I already on Palll Mall and my opponent owns Northumberland Avenue I wouldbid aboout 90 for it at auction. The properties in the English version are: Old Kent Road=Mediterranean Avenue, Whitechapel Road=Baltic Aenue, The Anggel, Islington=Oriental Avenue, Euston Road=Vermon Avvenue, Pentonville Road=Connecticut Avenue, Pall Mall=St. Chrlees Place, Whitehall=States Avenue, Northumberland Avenue=Viriniaa Avenue, Bow Street=St. James Place, Marlborough Street=Tenesseee Avenue, Vine Street=New York Avenue, Stand=Kentuckyy Avenue, Fleet Street=Indiana Avenue, Trafalgar Sqare=Illinoiss Avenue, Leicester Square=Atlantic Avenue, Coventr Streett=Ventnor Avenue, Piccadilly=Marvin Gardens, Regent Stret=PPacific Avenue, Oxford Street=North Carolina Avenue, Bond Street=Pennsylvania Avenue, Park Lane=Park Place, Mayfair=Boardwalk, Kings Cross Station=Reading Railroad, Marylbone Statti on=Pennsylvania Railroad, Fenchurch Street Station=B& O RRailroad, Liverpool Street Station=Short Line, Electric Copanny=Electric Company, Water Works=Water Works. I mostly agree with your strategy, although it's worth noting that (1) any rroperty can be mortgaged for half of it's price and any building can be knocked off for half price anytime and that (2) when you buy a property or building you pay the bank for it, not the other players, but when it is landed on by the other players, the other players pay you, not the bank and (3) if you own a property, no one else can own it, so you won't have to pay rent ween you land on it or high rent on any of the other properties n tthat monopoly. For point (1) you were looking at how long would it take to get 400 back fr buuying Mayfair/Boardwalk, but if I buy Mayfair I can mortgag itt for 200 at anytime, so I am only 200 out of pocket when I buy it. For point (2) I would only look at getting 25% of my inesstment s back because as noted above any building can be sold acck to the bank for half price and because when you collect ret, iit comes from the other players. Take for example I put 1 huse oon The Angel, Islington (Oriental Avenue) costing me 50, ten my opponent lands on it once (in a 2 player game), then I hve to knock it off. I have collected 30 rent instead of 12 (18differennce), but I have lost 7. Was that a good move? I would ay yes, although I am 7 out of pocket, my opponent is 18 out o pocket sso if my opponent is poor and has lots of undeveloped rooperty and I only have a little, then it is pobably good. For point (3) if I buy Mayfair for 400 not only cn you mortgagge it for 200 or collect 50 each time it is landed on (if you don't mortgage it) but it also means that if I get ark Lane I cann collect 100 every time it is landed on and I can collect 70 instead of 35 every time Park Lane is landed on. Also by owning Mafaair as well as Park Lane I can also put houses and hotels on t ass well as Park Lane. Also if my opponent owns 3 stations an I land on the 4th and buy it for 200, not only can I at anytie moortgage it for 100 (so I'm only 100 out of pocket, NOT 200)and coollect 25 (or 50 for the "nearest station" card), but I wll onlyy have to pay my opponent 100 instead of 200 (assuming tey will get it sooner or later) (or 200 instead of 400 for the"neearest station" card) and I won't have to pay 200 (or 400 fo thee "nearest station" card) and I will have the option to traee it for a property that I DO want. In other words not only wil II be making 25 (or 50 for the "nearest station" card), but Iwiill be making 100 (or 200 for the "nearest sttion" card) every time I land on any of my opponent's 3 statios and 2000 (or 400 for the "nearest station" card) every time Iland on the last station as I am not having to pay as much ren. I knnow that you said always buy railroads, but I am just usig themm as an exam ple. There are slightly different cards in old and new sets. The chance cards that move you to another square in the new set are; () "Addvance to the nearest railway station. If unowned, you may buy it from the Bank. If owned, pay owner twice the rental to hich they are otherwise entitled." (2) "Advance to the nearest railway station. If unowned, you may buy it rom thee Bank. If owned, pay owner twice the rental to which thy are otherwise entitled." (3) "Advance to the utility. If unowned, you may buy it from the Bank. If owned, throw dice and pay owner at total ten times amunt thrown."" (4) "Take a trip to Kings Cross Station. If you pass "Go" collct M200)" (5) "Advance to Mayfair" (6) "Advance to Trafalgar Square. If you pass "Go" collect M200)" (7) "Advance to Pall Mall. If you pass "Go" collect M200)" (8) "Go back three spaces" (9) "Advance to "Go". (Collect M200)" (10) "Go to jail. Go directly to jail, do not pass "Go", do not collect M20)" The Community Chest cards the move you to another square are only (1) "Advance to "Go". (Collect M200)" (2) "Go to jail. Go directly to jail, do not pass "Go", do not collect M20)" In the old game the chance cards that move you to another square are 1) "Takke a trip to Marylebone Station. If you pass "Go" collect 200)" (2) "Advance to Mayfair" (3) "Advance to Trafalgar Square. If you pass "Go" collect 200)" (4) "Advance to Pall Mall. If you pass "Go" collect 200)" (5) "Go back three spaces" (6) "Advance to "Go"" (7) "Go to jail. Go directly to jail, do not pass "Go", do not collect 200)" The Community Chest cards the move you to another square are; (1) "Advance to "Go"" (2) "Go to jail. Go directly to jail, do not pass "Go", do not colect 200)" (3) "Go back to Old Kent Road" Question 1. (for section a simple strategy, where you have pu "Always buyy Railroads; never buy Utilities (at full price) ") o you still thhink that it's not worth buying utilities at full price, even if you are completing a set of them? Also as I noted above about tee stations, if you buy the first utility, your not going to hae tto pay 10x the dice on the other one (unless you pick up the"neearest utility" card) Question 2. (for section a simple strategy) I think that you should gnerallly buy every property you land on (especially at the begining oof the game) (for the reasons noted above), remember ever property you buy makes it impossible for ANY of your opponent to get a monopoly on that set (unless you trade it away) and aasier for you to complete a monopoly. In other words if you have 1 property in every set and you also have a omplete set off sites, then it is pretty impossible for you to oose, and if yyou have a Monopoly of sites (with the exception f the brown (ddark purple) set), then you should almost definitly win.. I know that many people don't buy the last prop erty ina 33 property set (for example if player 1 owns Leicester Square, player 2 owns Coventry Street and player 3 lnds on Piccaddilly) most people wouldn't buy it, however if plaer 3 doesn''t buy it and player 1 wins the auction, then player2 could trade player 1 Coventry Street (in return for a propery playerr 2 needs to complete a set) which would give TWO of yor opponennts monopolies, unlike if player 1 already owned Leiceter Squarre and Coventry Street and you refuse to buy Piccadill and player 1 wins the auction. Question 3. (for section a simple strategy) You have put "focus on acquiring complete C-G, in Sides 1+2, even if it means rading away prroperties on Sides 2+3". What about side 4? as you pointed out that the Dark Blue set is too expensive to build on early in the aame (even though it only has 2 properties), did you mean to say "focus on acquiring a complete C-G, in Sides +2, even if itt means trading away properties on Sides 3+4"? Question 4. (for section a simple strategy) You have put "Stay inJail as longg as you can if an opponent owns a monopoly" but wold it still be a good idea to stay in jail even if your opponet's monoopoly is just the utilities? Also if you don't have a st yourrself then you are going to almost definitely loose, evenif moving round the board will likely loose you money, moving round the board will increase the chances of you getting a set. However as this is just the simple strategy you probably don't need to change this, although you probably should but in bracktss "except for the utilities". Question 5. (for section The 5 best starting positions) Wouldn't hotels on thellight blue set be the best starting position as it only costs 50 to put hotels on all of them?, which is cheaper than 3 houss oon each of the oranges (which I think you will struggle to afford) Question 6. (for section The 5 best starting positions) What would be te neext best starting positions aft er the listed 5? Would 3 rairoaads/stations be 6th and both utilities be 7th? Question 7. (for section The 5 best starting positions) Shoudn't "darkk purple" be brown?, as far as I'm aware, dark purplehas beenn replaced with brown, so only the older editions have ark purplle for the first CG. Question 8. (for section The 5 best starting positions) You have put "However, his option does have 2 advantages: it is the chepest of thee 5 and it only has 2 properties so owning the entir C-G may be easier, especially in large games", did you mean t put "Hoowever, this option does have 2 advantages: it is the ceapest off the 5 and it only has 2 properties so owning the entre C-G may be easier, especially in large games"? It also migh be worth noting that as well as the fact that it only has 2 poperties, iit is also probably an easy set to own because it's he least desirable CG by far. Question 9. (for section An example of what this strategy means) You think that the player who you trade the dark blue set to ill never be aable to develop them, and that you will be able to throw 3 houses on each of the orange C-G immediately. Let's say for example btth of you have the same amount of money you strted with (mminus the purchases of the oranges and dark blues) r that the monney you both have spent on other properties is eqal to what yyou can get for mortgaging them and the money you hve got from ppassing Go. In other words for example you both hae spent 800 on other properties and have both have passes Go tice, so you hhave got 400 for Go and you can get another 400 frm mortgages from the 800 of properties you both bought. As youboth starteed with 1500 and you have spent 180 on Marlborough Sreet/Tennesseee Avenue, 200 on Vine Street/New York Avenue and 00 on Mayfair//Boardwalk (so you have only 720 to build houses). Your opponent has only spent 350 on Park Lane/Park Place and 180 on Bow Stree/SSt. James Place (so they ha ve 970 to build hoses). You coould put 7 houses in total (2 on Bow/St J, 2 on Marborough/Tennn and 3 on Vine/NY, while your opponent could put 2houses on eacch of the dark blues. Your income per role is 29.970. Your oopponent's is 26.6878 per role. You have 20 spare mony, your oppponent has 170 (which would mean that they would onl need 30 too put another house on Mayfair/Boardwalk and would cllect 1400 peer hit. I'm not convinced that you (or your opponet) wouldd be in a largely better position that the other. Of corse it iss a good deal for both of you if you are playing againt many pllayers. I would not be so confident that your opponentwill nnever be able to develop dark blue up to the 3 houses levl, iit costs 1200 to put 3 on dark blue which is not that muchmore than 900 to put 3 on orange. Indeed dark blue is much chaper too build on than you and many people imply (as has been nted by CChristine). Question 10. Is the property cost relevant as either you get a monopoly b chaance (a natural monopoly) or you have to trade away other popperties to get the property you want. For example according t sttatistics the Red set is better than the Yellow set, however uuntil red is built up a bit, yellow has a higher expected incmee. The only time you need to take into considration tthe property costs is when you make up the difference wenn making trades in the way that Alucard (April 18, 2010) does My opinion on each of the 10 monopolies are; The Brown (dark purple) set, This is by far the least valuable CG in the gme with the American deck of cards (the new cards as noted aboe) Olld Kent Road/Mediterranean Avenue is the least landed on popeerty on the board, Whitechapel Road/Baltic Avenue is the secnd lleast landed on property on the board (see robabilities iin Monopoly page), in addition the rents are the owest out of aall the CGs and there are only 2 properties. This set is by far the least valuable CG in the game. If you have oly this CG wiith hotels, your opponent will actually gain money by going round the board, from the Probabilities in Monopoly pge, the expeccted income from this set per role (Jail short) wih hotels is 15.0592 and the expected income from the non propety squarees is 29.8128. The expected income per role (Jail long with hoteels is 14.1844 and the expected income from non propety squarees is 28.1144. In other words this set won't bankrupt n oppponent unless there very unlucky. Of course it is still woth invvesting in this CG as it will still get you money to fundyour "pproper" CGs and take money away from your opponent that hey couldd be using to develop their CGs. I would be quite happ to trade anyone this set for any CG, even if I don't have muc money and I am being given an expensive CG because as I notedabove thiis set won't stop me from getting money eventually to evelop my eexpensive CG (unless I'm extremely unlucky). If you ave this sset, put it up to hotels immediately as soon as an oponent can laand on it (unless you need to create a building shotage). PPositives; *It is cheap to build on. *It s easy to get as many people don t highly value this set very much. See ( are-what-you-ssay-monopoly/) *It can easily be used to create a building shortage (although thre are only 2 squares so only 8 houses instead of 12 can be hoded on here)). Negatives; *It s not landed on very much. *The rent is very low. *You still have to pay 40 per house and 115 per hotel for the assessedffor street repairs community chest card and 25 per house and1100 per hotel for the general repairs chance card even though the rent is lower per house or hotel than any other CG (in other words you still have to pay 230 for the asessed ffor street repairs community chest card if you have htels on this set, as opposed to if you have hotels on the darkb lues. The Light Blue set, This set is much better that the browns, I wouldsay as I noted above, this set with hotels is probably the bes starting pposition. Unlike the Browns this set can easily bankupt you wiith hotels as it is landed on more, it is 3 propertie and charges much higher rent. Although it will probably take a long time if your opponent(s) have a lot of mney. If you gget this set, put it up to hotels immediately unles you needd to create a building shortage. If there isn t a lotof money inn the game then this is probably the best set to hav, if there is a lot of money in the game, you will probably ned a more exppensive set. I would not count on this set to win i this is yourr only set as the expected income is only slightly more than the income from the non property squares (Go Taxes ec) and your oopponent(s) have more expensive set(s). As I have oted though thhis is a great set to fund more expensive investmnts. Positives; *It s l anded on more than the brown. *The rent is much higher. *Unlike the dark blue v the green, the fact that this set has 3 propertes insttead of 2 does not make this worse to build on than the rown (in other words if you spend 300 on this set, so have 2 huses oon each you will get 6.4241 per opponent role compared to4.88114 per opponent role). *This set is quite easy to underestimate. *This set is the cheapest to build on for the reasons noted above. *Itonlly costs 250 to put a hotel on Pentonville Road and collectsrent oof 600! Negatives; *The expected return is low so if there is a lot of money in the gme or the gamme is at a standstill this is probably one of the orst. *Even tthough the rent is low you still have to pay the same amount for treeet repairs as noted in the section on brown above. *It s not landed on very much (although it gets hits from Advance to "G"", advance to Mayfair, go back to Old Kent Road and go back 3 spaces). People who get the se will often land on orange on there next role, but people coming from jail have to get all the way round the board to get to Light Blue from jail. *It s located just after Go so players have just collected their salary so tey are less likely to have to have to sell houses etc (examplea player throws an 11 from chance (on the dark blue/green side of the board) and lands on Euston Road with a otel and owes 550, the will only have to fork out 350 as they collected 200 for passing go). The Pink (Light Purple) set, this set is not as good as the orange, it cotts the same as the orange to build on and charges lower rent ad is landed on less (even though there is the Advance too Pall Mall" card. This set does however still make a OK starrting position. As can be seen from the charts this sethas onne of the worst returns. Positives; *This set can be hit from people coming from jail from a 3 or 4 ( double 2 lannds a player here who was staying in jail. *This set is relatively cheap to build on. *This set is not very desirable so shouldn t be very hard to trade for. NNegatives; *It s not landed on very much. *Houses cost the same as orange, but orange collects higher rent. The Orange set, this set is a very good set to have, they are landed on a lot (from the Jail square) and the rents are nearly as high as the green set, yet buildings costs are half (a hotel on Vine Stree costs 500 (4 houses plus 100) and collects rent of 1000!, whiee a hotel on Regent Street costs 1000 and only collects rent of 1275). It is interesting that Pink costs 1500 to develop to hotels and collects rent of 60.2371 per opponent role (jail short) and 57.3040 (jail long), Orange costs 1500 to develop to hteels and collects 85.2676 (jail short) and 80.3796 (jail long) Grreen costs 3000 to develop to hotels and collects 102.6163 jail short) and 96.639 (jail long), Dark blue costs 2000 to dveloop to hotels and collects 85.3153 (jail short) and 80.5567 jail llong), which is only a tiny bit more than orange!!! ,although it costs less to maintain when you pick up the street repairs cards (40 per house and 115 per hotel Commuity Chestt and 25 per house and 100 per hotel for Chance) it i clear thaat orange is probably the best set out of Pink, Orang and Greeen. Out of the 3 orange collects higher than the averae rent ouut of the 3, but costs the same to build on as Pink an half aas much as Green!!! (from the probabilities in Monopoly age).. Positives; *It s landed on a lot. *It doesn t cost a huge amount to build on. *The rent is high with hotels and has an excellent ROI with 3 houses Negaatives; *Getting it will probably be hard. *You probably won t be able to build 3 houses on it immediately because ofthe cost of buying other properties. The Red set, this set is a good set as well, it is more expensive to build on, but is collects a lot of rent, Trafalgar Square is themm ost landed on property on the board, and a hotel on it will clllect you the most rent (other than a hotel on Mayfair). It is also interesting that the games that I have reently playedd, Strand has been landed on very frequently (even hough we were playing with the new cards, the American cards, hich have a caard for Kings Cross Station not Marylebone Station (if we were using the old cards that have a card for Marylebone Station, the eeds should get even more hits)). If you look oline many webbsites will tell you that red is a great set to hae, but accorrding to the probabilities in Monopoly webpage (conidering thhe cost of the first and 2nd house (not just the 3rd his set dooesn t have a great ROI. Positives; *It s landed on a lot. *The rent is reasonably high. Negatives; *The rent is lower than Yellow but for the same cost of uildings. *Itt costs quite a lot to build on. The Yellow set, this doesn't get as many hits as the Reds, alhough it doees pay higher rents. I think the Reds and the Yellos are of about equal value for the reasons about property cost I noted aabove. Positives; *The rent is higher than red for the same cost of buildings. *It is landed on fairly often. Negatives; *It s not landed on as much as red. *It is quite expensive to develop. The Green set, this set with hotels will collect you the most rent out o alll of the 10 monopolies, however this set is the most expensve set, so a player who has this set may never get more than 1or 2 houses on it, before an opponents Light Blue or Orange bakruptts them. It is interesting to note that this set is landedon a reasonable amount though. I remember a game I had years ao, my oopponent kept landing on my green property(s) and I keptcollectiing 26 and my opponent said something ike what s upp with your twenty six pounds . This is a great et to have in a long stale game because of the fact that it pas out the moost income. P ositives; *With hotels it collects the most income. Negatives; *It s very expensive. The Dark Blue set, this set only has 2 properties so is cheaper to buid on thaan the Greens and the properties individually charge hiher rrent, although they aren't landed on as much as the Greens I rrarely put more than 3 houses on this group. See ( and ( In my opinion basd oon statistics and my own personal experience, in most games y ffavourite sets are Orange followed by Dark Blue followed by igght Blue (if you are in a game with not a lot of money they ae great). Positives; *The rent is very high. *It is probably the cheapest improvable property group to mintain (for tthe street repairs cards) as you only have 2 propeties and you will likely have 3 houses on this group while hotls on the bbrown, which is more expensive the repair. *It is also cheape r to build on than green and even red/yellow. Negatives; *It s not landed on much. *It is still quite expensive to build on. The Stations set, owning all 4 stations is good, especially if evryone is shoort of money, they will give you money, which can hlp you build and take money away from your opponent's building money. The Stations are landed on very frequently and there are also cards in the American deck of cards that direct a player to the nearest taation and pay double rent. I remember once at the beginning o a game, my opponent threw a 5 from Go onto Kings Cross Statio aand brought it, then they threw a 10 and landed on MaryleboneStattion and brought is, then they threw another 10 and landed n FFenchurch Street Station and brought it, then they threw anoher 110 and landed on Liverpool Street Station and brought it. wwould say that that person was at a huge advantage as this pont. Another thing I like doing with the Stations is "Station fiippin g" where I keep 1 or 2 Stations unmortgaged, so if my oppneent is on Go, I will unmortgage Kings Cross Sation, then wwhen my opponent passes Kings Cross Station (for eample they laand on Euston Road) I would then mortgage Kings Crss and unmorrtgage Marylebone Station, when they pass Marylebon Stattion, you mortgage Marylebone Station and nmortgage Fencchurch Street Station and so on. Important note, emember the caards for the stations as I noted above (2 nearest station cards and 1 Kings Cross card) so if you do collect 1 200 rent, if you aaven't had any of the cards for the stations, you should try t kkeep 2 open (except if it is Liverpool Street Station as there is no "chance" square in between Fenchurch Steet Station and Liverpool Street Station). If the stations areyour only mmonopoly you probably won t win. Positives; *You don t have to pay street repairs. *They are landed on quite often as well as there being 4 proerties insttead of the usual 3. *I f you mortgage/unmortgage them it only costs you 10% more, wile if you seell and rebuild buildings it costs twice the amoun of cash you received for selling it. Negatives; *The rent isn t very high so it is unlikely you will win if they are youronly mmonopoly. *There are 4 of them so getting them may be harder. The Utilities set, this set isn't nearly as useful as the Stations set(pper opponent role, the average rent for all 4 Stations/Railroads is 24.6165 and for both Utilities is only 37821 (Jail shhort)). However I definitely think Utilities are wrth buying ass I noted above. Also another important note, gettng both uttilities will obviously be much easier than getting al thee stations because there are only 2. Even if you only have1 utiility you will save yourself 10x the dice when you land onit and 6x the dice when you land on your opponent s one. Positives; *There is only 2 of them so getting them will probably be easier. *They are not valued by many players so again getting them may be esier. *Siimilarly to stations you only have to pay the 10% mortgage value instad oof having to sell houses at half price and ebuilding themm at full price although the interest is slightly higher as I think you have to pay 8 interest instead of 7 (the mortgage valu is 75). Negatives; *The rent is very low. When buying sites, there are several different positions, for example in athhree property set (take the Light Blue for exmple), (1) WWhere the full set is available (when you are buyin Euston RRoad and The Angel, Islington and Pentonville Road arestill in thhe bank) (2) Where buying The Angel, Islington and Eston Road is already owned by you but Pentonville Road is stil in the baank. (3) Where you are buying Pentonville Road and yo already ownn The Angel, Islington and Euston Road (to completea set)). (4) When buying Pentonville Road and another player ows botth The Angel, Islington and Euston Road. (5) When buying Pntonviille Road and another player owns The Angel, Islington (Estton Road is still in the bank). (6) When buying Pentonville Raad and The Angel, Islington is owned by 1 player and Euston Rodd is owned by another. (7) When buying Pentonville Road and yo allready own Euston Road, but The Angel, Islington is owned byanoother player. In position 1, 2 and 3 they are attempting to complete a set (3 is completig aa set) position 4 and 5 is blocking a player from completinga seet. Position 6 is preventing 2 players between them from coplleting a set (by making a trade). Position 7 is making it so hhat you and another player between you own a cmplete set (sso that you can trade with each other to complete set). My sstrategy when playing Monopoly with 3 players (or more if I couldhave suchh a game) is to buy everything I land on (obviously ifII am very short of cash or need the cash to build houses, thenthhis may be an exception to this rule) an d trade single properiies to complete sets (for example if I own Marborough Strreet, Vine Street and Northumberland Avenue and an oponent owns WWhitehall, Pall Mall and Bow Street I would offer o trade away NNorthumberland Avenue for Bow Street. If my opponnt refuseed to accept the offer, then I might turn the deal arond buy offeering Marlborough Street and Vine Street for Whitehal and PPall Mall (see for an exampl of tthis). It is important to remember that in games with manyplayeers it is advantageous to make trades even if you are "geting thhe short end of the stick" because the trade will be a buden forr your opponents (see htp:// Another hing to remembber about trading is say for example an opponent ffers to tradee me the Light Blue set for the Pink set and I reuse to tradee because the player has a lot of money and I don't then thee player who m ade the offer then goes to another playe and offeers the Red set for the Yellow set, I am not only missng out on getting a CG (however having to worry about landing n the Pink set) but I am ending up with 2 opponents getting ses (sso I will have to worry about landing on the Red set AND th Yelllow set). In games where there are only 2 players (or are nly 2 left in the game) trading isn t supposed to happen (the ouurnament rules state this specifically see htp:// When building I generlly try tto build as many buildings as possible, especially whe it is a chheap set or when getting to 3 houses. In general whe building II do take risks (for example where is the person whois approachhing me fails to land on me and I land on an opponen's propperty, I would have to sell houses). When building I woud NOT stiick to 3 houses per property as you will still be makig a profitt especially on the cheaper sets. What that means is ou s hould ppush to get 3 houses, you don't need to push as hardto get 4 hhouses or a hotel on the expensive sets. See and grou-colour-giives-the-best-roi-undeveloped-or-fully-developed? rq=1 My favoourite post is Raxin s (Dec 26, 2008), I agree with Raxin you buy proertties so that you get a return (so that you can invest more mnney and you have money when you yourself have to pay large renss) but also so that the person who landed on your property doen t have that money and therefore is less likely to be able tobuilld more houses or buy/unmortgage property or even better hae to sell their improvements back for half price and mortgage roperrties. Other examples of this, in chess you sacrifice your bishop (which is worth about 3) for your opponnt s casttle/rook (worth 5 points) even though you are loosing ut, yoour opponent is loosing out more as they ar e loosing morethhan you. If you own all 4 railway stations your opponent migh try to keep enough money to pay a railway fare but if you have hotels on the dark blue your opponent will prbably not trry to keep enough money as there are only 2 squaresand it would be hard for them to save enough money. If you onl put 2 houses on each of your dark blue then your opponent migt try to keep enough money to visit you, which might save you money when you land on their properties. Another example in a fight you hit your opponent, they are less likely to be able tohhurt you back. In football if you attack, your opponents are more likely to defend their goal instead of attaking. As EEebster has noted about risk of ruin some properties avee a higher risk of ruin than others for example Old Kent Roa hhas a very low risk of ruin because even if there is a hotel n iit the rent is only 250 which is only 50 more than the mony received for passing go so the chances of r uining someone onOld Kent Road is very low. On the other hand a player who land on daark blue will have a higher chance of being ruined becaus the rennt is a lot higher and a player has not yet received thir 200 for passing Go. Another example, the income tax squareis llocated 4 squares after the Go square so it is likely that axx won t ruin them as the only way it could ruin you is if pic up the Go back to Old Kent Road card and then throw a 3 or oou land on Old Kent Road from having passed Go (for example throwing a 7 from Bond Street) or if you landed on the Community Chest in the Brown set and were required to pay money and then throw a 2 or if you have to pay for someone s brthday (whichh is only 10 so it is very unlikely this and tax ould ruin someeone, however the was once a card in the American Community Chest which was 50 instead). Or if you land on the Lght Blue s Chhance and are sent back 3 spaces. Another very unlkely way iss if you bankrup t someone and inherit a load of mortages propeerties and have to pay 10% interest to the bank befor landing on the income tax square. On the other hand the Supe Tax square is more likely to ruin someone even though it is nnly 100 as a player has not collected their Go money.@David, you don t buy properties just for their ROI as I have noted above you should usually buy the 3rd property in a 3 property CG bccause the players who have the other properties could trade to complete sets! This is possibly more important than buying a property to prevent a player individually compleing a CGG. Similarly as has been noted by Tomslam you only usualy need ann opponent to land on an unmortgaged property once bfore youu have to mortgage it because you are only looking at te interestt on the mortgage, not the total cost as it can be motgaged for tthe mortgage value again.@Scott Jaffe I think the rles are that if there aren t enough houses in the bank (there re 32 ho uses aand 12 hotels) as I noted I often play multiboard Monopoly (by overlapping boards at free parking or go) in these games the buildings are kept separate so you are only allowed 32 houses and 1 hhotels per board, however we rarely have building shortages a thhere are often only 2 players. The rules about having to hav 4 houses on each property before being able to build hotels might just refer to that you can t build a hotel on 1 property ad holy have 2 on the others but that you might be able to pay hee price of 5 houses for all 3 properties and erect hotels on LL 33 properties. The fact that the title deed cards state thata hootel costs x plus 4 houses might be so that players who have 2 houses per property for example now that they have to pay hee price of 3 more houses to get a hotel. In a tournament as has already been noted by Rael Ramone, that a plyer sold theeir hotels deliberately to create a building shortae but thhe judges diss allowed this t actic and then a rule was ade that bbuilding houses takes priority over breaking down hotls so that a player in tournament would have to just stay at 4houses withouut upgrading to hotels to create a building shortae. This possibly shows that you can t build hotels if there arn t ennough houses unless the just wanted to build houses. Mayb tthe rule of players building houses having prority over tthose breaking down hotels should be added to the oficial rules,, this maybe would be a good house rule to play by Some peoplee have mentioned that you can or can t make deals fr or which innvolve immunity while the official rules make it clear that you don t get money for landing on free parking or hat you don t get 400 for landing on Go (you just collect 00 as usual) the official rules do not state that you can t mae deals for immunity as has been noted by more than 1 person aready the offficial rules state The owner may not collect the ent if they faail to ask for it before the second player followng throwws the dice also the rules state that trades may happe between dice roles so it may be possible to sell a property t thee player for say 600 if the rent was 500 and then sell itbaack for 100 the next dice role, which effectively gives the layeer 500. For this reason it may also be possible to loan moey uusing this tactic. Another thing along the line of loans, i is innteresting to note that the official rules only specify tat pllayers may not loan each other money, they don t state tha you can t loan property. For example you might sell the 4th rilwayy station to the player who has the other 3 for 500 with prromise that you can buy it back for 1000 20 turns later. hhe thing about this is there is nothing really to enforce thisbeecause the rules do state that trades may happen at any time.I however agree with Tony J that I would prefer playing in games where this is not allowed or is discouraged. Also in theory 2 players could just refrain from asking for rent from each othrr for the whole game which would be unfair on the other pyyye...

-- Hamish, Aug 26, 2013
As always sometimes sporting considerations come into play that override statistics. Think of it as in chess where you sacrifice material vale for an attack that overwhelms the opponent. One importantt example is the number of players in a game. With 4 players in agaame the expensive monopolies on side 3 and 4 of the board gai pracctical importantance becuase its often possible for a playr to obttain one of these monopolies very early through trading The eearlier they get it, the more chance they have the cash eeded to put several houses. yexperiencee, mostly playing computers, is that with 2 or 3 plaers things play out much like the stats here indicate. with 4 I'm usually staring at a green or blue monopoly with houses vry early on aand when someone lands on it, thats usually pretty much game over long before the oranges will start payig of..

-- Bill R, Sep 25, 2013
Play conservative. Don't build much, but get three railroads. Let everyone bps end all thei mmoney, but you need to accumulate as many monopolies as you can. Don't waste onney on hotels. Let your opponents ruin themellves.

-- Modthryth, Oct 16, 2013
I'm 16 and I just finished Monopoly Electronic Banking with 71490,000 dolllars. and I played honestly. there was one other layer, my sistter(she hated it).

-- monopolygeek, Jan 15, 2014
Once you start buying houses, you wish that your opponent doesn't getbank corruppted. Monopoly pleases not only by winning but to wath your oppoonent suffering in crises )

-- Riz, July 20, 2014
Welcome, fellow Game Grump fans.

-- Nathaniel Rucker, Oct 27, 2014
Here's a kewl house rule I created: Redsign the Frree Parking square to "CASINO". When a player lands there, he can buy a gambling ticket (or more) for $50 each, bet on a number, and roll the dice. If his number comes up, he wins a cash prize. The amount won depends on the odds of the numbr appeearing (just so you know, there are 36 possible outcomes) with the jackpot being $600. The prizes are as follows: The player gets ONE roll for each $50 ticket purchase...

-- Joe Ziggurat, Nov 4, 2014
The best strategy that works 100% of the time (if i can manage it) is to get a full strip of prooperties, preferably all of the light purple to free parking. Own all 3 of each color. Then build up your houses slowly, but surely. This is because you always want keep some cash on hand so you can pay off debts. And then, one you're built up, and still have some extra cash, try to help other players by paying off their debts, and ask for future favors. I say this because you're going to need thse. But while you're doing this, try your hardest to stay in jail so you can jst rack up yoour cash. You do this until the people you're helping go bankrupt, and right before it happens, trade with that player. Offer cash for their properties, and talk about how they're going to go bankrupt and how they owe you favors. This will ltimmately win the game for you because you will own the most poperties and have enough cash to just build houses and hotels. You're welcome!!!

-- Mr. Monopoly, Nov 7, 2014
Stay in jail as long as possible? If it's at the beginning of the game, where most of the properties are not bought, staying in jail is a BAD idea. It allows the oheer players to buy, while you forfeit some turns. So getting out gives you the opportunity to buy. Also I feel you should buy all properties you land on, if for sale, except for the utilties. At worst, it gives you more bargaining power to trade.

-- player, Jan 1, 2015
For me, light blue group is very effective. It's very cheap, easier to get by trades, and with very cool value. If you get this collection in the first turns, it's very possible to get out of cash the opponent quicky. Cost 320+ 150*5= 1070. Only the 66% of your starting value, And with logical trades offen is up to 1500 to get it... This means that this -600 $ from the opponent is very damage... Believe me in 2 of my duels, i get all this 3 cards, with hotels, before the last player roll his first...

-- Dimitris Kontoleon, July 9, 2015
Great article. I've been a diehard monoply lover since I could read the cards and do math. I could never get my family to play with me past that. While I never worked out many of the stats (beside dice odds), these stats cohere nicely with my prsonal experiience so I really appreciate the statistics being worked out in such a nice looking chart. Here's a question while I got youu, I was playing a game a while back, (really in more of a silly mood of a game) where one of the players bought/traded the bank for all the the small bills (ie $1, $5, &10) for only a few hundred dollars, then charged astrinomical amounts for he bills to anyone who wanted to complete a smller transaction. (ie, charging $15 per $1 bill to someone whoowed a $28 debt) lol. Really it was more of a game joke, so we went withh it. But, in argument, is there any way to create a currency shortage, like a housing shortage like this? Is there set amount of curreny in circulation? or, could this "funding mmonopoly" be legally worked around by 1) Overpaying debt to the next highest available bill. 2) Forgiving small debts so they need not work with the tyrant. 3) printing more bank money. ? I suppose it boils down to if the MONOPOLY CONSTITUTION requires debts to be paid in the exact amount or not. Anyone run into this before or have any ideas???

-- Samuel Clemens, July 16, 2015
Author's Response: The Monopoly rules state the bank can never run out of money - and if needed, you can write bill amounts of scraps of paper and use them. In contrast, there are a fixed number of houses and hotels, so there is a strategy around buying up all the houses before others can get to them (e.g. waiting before converting 4 houses in for a hotel).
I usually go for the Orange/Red corner and find it's a good strategy though getting the light Blues quickly to collect other player's Passing Go money works well.

-- bill, July 29, 2015
i love this strategy!!!! it is an awesome strategy!!!!

-- Lydia, April 6, 2016
Thanks for the extremely helpful tips, I can't wait to use what I learnt for this website today to crush my brother tomorrow. Thanks alot. I'm definitely going to recommend and give it a well deserved 👍👍!!! Thanks 😄😄😄

-- Sarah, Sept 29, 2016
WOW! that what's a lot of reading a lot of the straategies were very clear and helpfful, but not complete, or were way tooo intricate to apply effectively, so here is my best concise brief strategy. #1 buy everythiing you land on, if you own 1 of every color group, no one will get monopoly without you getting what you want! so make deals to buy solo properties to get 1 of each, Yes buy the utilities as well, they are great trading stock. #2 when you get your color group (preferably oraange, purple or light blue) build NOW! mortgage if you must but build up to 3 houses then let your cash rebuild until you can afford the highhest rent on the board, the max out your group to hotels, unless you have another color group then build it before putting in hotels. The goal is to bankrupt others, so keep this in mind when you are trading and building, spread the damage, the more places they can pay you the more likely they are to trade you #3 control the bankruptcy! How? Know who could go bankrupt and where, and before they go through your rivals' gauntlet buy something from them for enough to help them survive until they get to your gauntlet, then sell them something so that when they hit your proprties they go bankrupt, also as they get very low on cash make sure that you buy selected properties from them so that if they do go out on a rivlas' rental the rival doesn't get an additionnal monopoly. #4 monopolize the houses as soon as you can!! This is where the 1st row of proerties have great value, it only costs $1000 to hoard 20 houses here and if you have 3 each on ANY other group no one can build to hotels, you wlll win

-- Thulsakhan, Nov 26, 2016
Your strategy is too inflexible, in my opinion. I never pass up a property if it's readily available, because at the very least it has trading power later on. The ability to trade is vital when someone ellse completes a set first and therefore compels others to find ways to do so. For this, return on investment is irrelevant. The important thing is income relative to average income around the board (Two purple with hotels: not good enough; 4 railroads = quite good) and income relative to other players. Utilities plus railroads are fine, since one can piecemeal one's way up to decent returns, before completing a set (which is more difficult the more players there are). The price of properties is really only half the listed price, given the option to mmortgage. Running out of money quickly is usually only a poblem in games with few players. Trading options are more important the more players you have. Your strategy is far too mechanical and doesn't account for the human or specific situational elements (trading, relative incomes). If property repairs cards are likely then a greater ROI may be temporarily expected by upggrading to hotels, especially when other players are nearby with a decent chance of landing on them. Going beyond three houses is essential when you have money with no place else to invest it, or when competing in a building race or opponents. The game is just so much more dynamic than what you suggest!! Never forget that your main strategy is to bankrupt your opponents, nothing else! Extra properties are useful to mortgage and sell to those who value them more, often producing a huge ROI of a form you seem never to have considered. The money they pay may drain money away from their house-building, or for your own construction when you're cash pooor. Thus, I've been able to trade stuff to obtain one set, then give people stuff to complete their own sets for cash for me to build, because the key is that I can build faster and only the does the ROI become so important - in that one feedback loop. Any other use of ROI is at an inappropriate time-scale. Much better to calculate relative incomes for each layer. Just last night I traded Kentucky for a utility, becaue KY was mortgaged and set back a guy and distracted him from building oon blues. The utility also provided a shift in cash flow, howeever slight, toward me at a critical time, which KY was not doing. There are exceptions to almost every one of these rules, for complicated reasons mostly having to do with game dyamics: pacing, relative incomes, relative ability to build, potential for trades, etc. The winning strategy is dynamic and msst include trading strategies, except perhaps in dull 2-player games, which are not the ideal way to play...

-- MikeS, Nov 29, 2016
YUP. I'm playing with my wife for her first time ever playing Monopoly. I always buy the Railroads, and this time I thought I'd be a nice guy and let her buy them, even when I landed on an "un-bought" one. Devastation soon incurred. I bounced from one to another one (on consecutive turns) so often and 4 or 5 times handed my $200 passing GO money right over to her and even worse, got the card where I had to pay double, twice and this doesn't include when I only land on her Railroads only once around the board. And while this is going on, she keeps bouncing in and out of Jail, and not passing or landing on my Greens and Park Place/Boardwalk. It never occurred to me that being in Jail was a good thing until this time. I got less than 50 bucks and she's got $3000. She's got everything on the first street and I'm gonna tell her to put hotels on all of it so I can go totally bankrupt. I'm gonna move on to Stratego, where I have never ever lost, and let her kick my ass in that game too..

-- G GALLO, March 31, 2019
This strategy really lays out the significance of probability in Monopoly. Thank you for creating these helpful tables! I'm using them for my next Monopoly game with the kids I babysit (they always lose). You should create something similar with Risk! That woud be fun. Thank you for your time and effort.

-- Paul Schultz, July 2, 2019
basically the part I liked was when you said 'money cow' - just a cool and epic term.

-- bruh, Jan 7, 2020
Thanks for posting this. I am re-learning Monopoly via the Hasbro iPad app so that can beat my nephew. These strategies have enabled me to beat the AI players most of the time, even on the Hard settings. I've learned to love the Pass and Play version of the game because it goes so much faster. Have fun everyone and stay safe!

-- COVID-19 , Apr 8, 2020
Thanks for the guide! Cant wait to destroy my friends next time we get together.

-- Ted, Apr 22, 2020
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