Index | Object | Landing on Property | Paying Rent | Chance and Community Chest | Go, Jail and Income Tax
Property Improvements | Wheeling and Dealing | Debt and Bankruptcy | Variations | History | Conclusions

How to Win at Monopoly

Monopoly: Chance and Community Chest

Though they may not seem to have a big immediate effect on the game, Chance and Community Chest definitely affect the overall flow. There are 16 cards in each pile. When a player lands on a square with the Chance or Community Chest logo he or she must draw a card and then follow its instructions. In Community Chest the instructions are mostly financial and largely beneficial. Ten of the cards allow the player to draw money from the bank (or in one case, from the other players). The total haul for these cards is $850. There are only three bad cards and they create a cost of only $300. The other three cards instruct a player to "go to jail", which can be good or bad depending on the phase of the game, "get out of jail free" or pay "street repairs".

Of these the one of greatest concern is street repairs. It stipulates that the player drawing the card must pay $40 per house and $115 per hotel. This can be highly destructive to any player who has improved his properties and left his cash reserves thin. This does not mean that it is bad to buy the maximum improvements possible. What it does show, however, is that it is slightly better to have a hotel than four houses. Also, even cheap houses on such properties as the dark purple or light blue color group can end up costing more than may be gotten by mortgaging them. Even so, the chances of being forced to draw this card are fairly remote and should only incidentally be taken into account when forming a playing strategy.

There is also a "street repairs" card in chance that is only slightly less devastating ($25 for a house, and $100 for each hotel). In the Chance cards there are only five that have immediate financial repercussions with the bank. They amount to $400 to the positive and only $65 to the negative (not counting street repairs). The remainder of the cards direct movement and slightly increase the value of some properties because of this. The colored properties that have a card are St. Charles Place, Illinois Avenue, and Boardwalk. The railroads have two cards and direct the bearer to pay the owner twice the rental. This is a definite enhancement to the railroads. The utilities get one card, but their rent, even at 10 times the roll of the dice, is such that it generally has little impact on the game.

Think of Community Chest as being generally positive and Chance as a bit more risky. Late in the game, drawing a "Take a Walk on Boardwalk" card can easily send a player into bankruptcy. Unfortunately, you don't really have a choice as to when you must draw a card or what it will be. You can think of the cards as a random factor in a way similar to the dice. However, they do have another impact you may not have considered. The "Go to Jail" cards, coupled with the other movement cards conspire to keep players from moving down the expensive side of the board (between "Go to Jail" and "Go"). This means that the frequency of rents being paid on that side of the board are less than nearly everywhere else. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the Green Color Group is often near the last to be bought up and the last to be developed, and the number of players landing on Park Place and Boardwalk seem few and far between. This does not mean that they should not be developed, only that this should be a consideration when deciding which properties among several should be developed.

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