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: Paying Rent

Even with all the money a player starts with and the money available through mortgaging, plus the additional income gained from passing GO and the incidental collection of rents on unmortgaged property, following the "buy, buy, buy" strategy the average player will begin to feel his resources stretched after a couple times around the board. And this is about the time that the next phase of the game kicks in. Available property will have dried up and instead of buying property nearly every turn, you will be landing on owned property. However, basic rents on property not part of a Monopoly are so low as to be hardly noticeable as either an expense or income. It is interesting to note that generally (but not always), on the colored properties, rent can be mentally calculated by looking at the original price of the property: simply divide by ten and subtract 4. For example if you were to land on States Avenue, owned by one of your opponents, you would pay ($140/10)-4=$10.)

When you land on a property owned by another player you are NOT required to inform him or her of the fact. The rules specifically state, "The owner may not collect the rent if he/she fails to ask for it before the second player following throws the dice." There is some dispute about what this means. Does this mean the next player's dice roll, or the one after? Even the 1934 rules are not completely clear, "If the owner fails to ask for his rent before the dice change hands twice, the debt is uncollectable." But it does indicate that a player can demand his rent throughout the next player's turn, however long that may last. This rule forces players to pay attention to the game and means it is important for you to take notice of what other players are doing.

In spite of this rule, I believe that it is generally good policy to nearly always pay rent, even when the owner is not paying attention. It gives the other players a general sense of your integrity, so that when you offer a deal to acquire property from another player, he or she is more likely to see it as coming from an honest broker. You will find that your reputation with other players can be an important factor in how eager they are to deal with you. If you decide to conveniently forget to pay rent, be sure not to gloat over the fact when the statute of limitations passes and the rent becomes uncollectable. The results of gloating will have the other players closely watching your every move and make them skeptical when you offer a property trade.

Rents double on colored properties when there is a monopoly (all of a group are owned). This fact is stated at the bottom of each deed (in fine print). On improved properties rent increases quite drastically with each additional house. Railroads begin at $25 and double for each additional Railroad owned. The Utilities garner 4 times the roll of the dice for one and 10 times if both are owned (probably the least valuable monopoly on the board). Note also that you are more likely to pay rent on the two sides of the board farthest from GO. There are actually two more pieces of property on each of these sides with only a "Community Chest" nestled among the Orange (or Brown) monopoly and a "Chance" situated among the Red monopoly.

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