I love a good game of Monopoly. There’s nothing more exhilarating than charging rent for a property or simply “passing go” to collect your $200. Monopoly seems to have the perfect balance between strategy and chance.
Monopoly was created by Charles Darrow in 1933 who later sold it to Parker Brothers in 1935. Since that time, more than one billion people have played the game making it one of the most successful board games in history.
Winning at Monopoly has many parallels with winning at money in real life. While some of the connections might be a stretch, Monopoly can teach us a great deal about how money works. Here are a few of my key strategies for winning at Monopoly. Shhhh, don’t tell!
Key Strategies for Winning at Monopoly
- Diversify your property purchases. While it can be tempting to buy Park Place and Boardwalk, keep in mind that these are volatile investments because the chances of collecting rent for this monopoly is lower than monopolies with three or more properties. Sure, you’ll collect less rent when someone lands on one of your spaces, but you’ll collect rent on a more consistent basis. Also, it is a good idea to build up to three houses on your monopolies but never more. Hotels bring nice returns, but three houses give you the most bang for your buck when you’re diversifying well.
- Buy high-traffic, medium-rent properties. My research has shown that players most often land on orange and red properties. While the high-rent yellow and green properties are attractive, they are less often landed on.
- Build up significant levels of cash. One strategy that works well is to consider what the highest amount of rent you might pay is and at least have that in an emergency fund. Keep your emergency fund separate from your spendable cash. Don’t go crazy saving more than you need though, because you’ll need to buy properties to win.
- Make great deals. Keep in mind that you can make deals with other players throughout the game. If someone owes you money for rent, and they are considering mortgaging their properties, encourage them to sell you the properties instead. That way, nobody will be able to land on the property and buy it at the mortgaged price which is a low cost. Remember to encourage trades if the trade gets you more desirable monopolies.
- Buy the better industries. In Monopoly, buying railroads is a better strategy than buying utilities. Your returns will be more consistent (not based on a roll of the dice) and there are more railroads to own which means people will land on them more often!
- Know when to get out of jail. Jail should actually be called “vacation” when you want to sit back and collect rent or avoid paying rent (this goes without saying, but obviously jail is never a good option in real life). Early in the game however, it is usually a good idea to hand over some money to get out of jail – after all, you need to collect properties!
- Pay attention to the game! You must keep your finances in order. Focus on the game and watch out for people trying to distract you from collecting rent. Constantly assess your situation and make changes as necessary.
Keeping these strategies in mind will help you win at Monopoly on a consistent basis. Don’t let the competition know your strategy, lest they attempt to refocus their efforts on the monopolies you are trying to obtain!
Monopoly is a fantastic game to start early in the day. Gather up a few friends and blow them away with your wheelin’ and dealin’ skills! Soon, you’ll be rolling in the dough and collecting rent like nobody else. Have fun!
What connections do you see between Monopoly and real life? In what ways is Monopoly different? Meet us in the comments!
Photo by Mike_fleming