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: Object and Setup

The object of Monopoly is really quite simple. It is to send every other player into bankruptcy. It is important to remember that it is NOT to amass the most wealth. You could have only one dollar in cash at the end and still win the game! This means that it is more important to invest than it is to horde cash. The mechanics of this will become more clear later on.

Setup is relatively simple. Each player chooses a piece from among the hat, battleship, horse and rider, boot, iron, race car, thimble, wheelbarrow and dog. The Chance and Community Chest cards are shuffled and put on the board. At this point one of the players or even a disinterested party should be chosen as banker. All the money and the property deeds are layed out beside him or her. Next the banker deals out money to the players in the following amounts:

Denomination Number
$500 2
$100 2
$50 2
$20 6
$10 5
$5 5
$1 5

A quick tally of all this cash comes to an even $1500. This is just about enough money to get the player through the buying phase of the game. It might also be wise at this time to count the number of houses (should be 32) and the number of hotels (should be 12). This is important because when houses run out, no more may be purchased until others become available (due to buying up to hotels or mortgaging). It is not within the rules to borrow from other sets or to use other tokens in lieu of houses.

Next the player to go first is determined. Each player rolls two dice. The player with the highest roll goes first, with play proceeding to the left. Play does NOT proceed necessarily to the next highest dice roll. This makes it a bit easier to keep track of whose turn it happens to be. When there are many players in the game, getting an early turn can be important. A player moving fifth or sixth can easily find himself hitting property that has already been purchased. For this reason, it might be wise for this player, if the first and second rolls do not prove fortuitous to begin to try to get some property from other players. Cash seems to have its best value early in the game. The longer play continues the more important property becomes. Cash, as in real life, is only a medium of exchange.

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