Board Games: Monopoly
How to Play Monopoly
Learning how to play Monopoly was something everyone in my generation did at a very young age. Monopoly was the most popular board game of the twentieth century. It is a game of economic speculation and investment.
Monopoly is not a realistic simulation of modern business practices. Instead, the game combines the funny elements that characterize many modern board games with the principles of modern capitalism.
From this perspective, the game captures the spirit of the century in which it debuted.
It is unknown exactly who created Monopoly. It owes inspiration from a popular game of the early 20th century, The Landlord's Game.
The Landlord's Game was created by Elizabeth Magie, who hoped to point out the unethical behavior of land grabbing capitalists. It was sold commercially.
Charles Darrow patented the game in 1935. He claimed to have created the game himself, but there is evidence that it was being played throughout the Midwest during the twenties.
It would appear that college business professors taught the game to their students as a learning tool. Their version was probably not standardized, and probably owed a lot of inspiration from The Landlord's Game.
Mr. Darrow patented the game, then sold it to Parker Brothers. Marketed in the middle years of the Depression, Monopoly allowed players to pretend to be land developers. It proved surprisingly popular.
The game has been a favorite of Americans and Englishmen ever since. Parker Brothers claims that over 750,000 million people have played their game. The Guiness Book of World Records estimates somewhere around half a billion.
Monopoly Instructions - Monopoly Rules
We've provided our own version of the Monopoly rules below. These Monopoly instructions are not official, but they don't deviate from the official Monopoly rules in any way other than the wording.
The first decision players make when playing Monopoly is to choose which playing piece to use. There originally were only six pieces, but that number has expanded to twelve nowadays. These pieces are the dog, the top hat, the car, the iron, the thimble, the battleship, the horse (with rider), the boot, the train, the cannon and the wheelbarrow.
These pieces are moved around the board, moving from one space to the next. Movement is determined by rolling two dice. Players move the number of spaces which are rolled on the dice.
The Monopoly Game Board
The Monopoly game board is divided into 22 pieces of real estate, along with 4 railroads and 2 utilities (water works and the electric company). There are other spaces, which include community properties, as well as the famous corner spaces like Go, Free Parking and Jail.
The properties are divided into sections of town, each with a corresponding color. For instance, Park Place and Boardwalk are considered to be in the same part of town and are colored with the same royal blue. If a player buys both of these properties, that player is considered to have a monopoly. The player is able to charge higher rates if both properties are owned.
Also on the board are a few spaces named "Chance" and "Community Chest". When someone lands on one of these spaces, that player gets to draw a card from one of these decks of cards. These decks are found in the middle of the board.
Community Chest generally takes the form of a windfall or subsidy. Usually, a player gains money or an advantage from such a card. As the name implies, Chance cards can be either positive or negative.
One of the players must be the banker. This player keeps track of the Monopoly money not owned by players. This player also makes change for players when they don't have the exact money.
The player who acts at the banker must be trustworthy. This player has ample opportunity to squirrel away extra money throughout the game, because so much money changes hands. At the very least, the banker must be watched carefully.
When a player lands on an unowned property, that player has the option to purchase it. Each property has its own purchase price. This price is valued according to the amount of rent one can charge on it.
After a property is owned, the owner charges rent for others who land on that space. The point of Monopoly is to buy as much properties as possible, because this increases the chances of one's opponents having to pay rent. This is an owner's income, and therefore is the best way to assure success in Monopoly.
Typically, most players at the start of the game purchase any property they land on. Sometimes a player will choose not to do so.
One reason for this is when the property is considered of little value. Another is when the player is running low on investment capital. For the most part, though, it is best to buy when one can, because this is the only way to have a steady income in the game.
Homes and Hotels
Instead of buying property, players can also choose to build houses or hotels on a property. This increases the amount of money collected from that property. In the latter stages of the game, this is how one player begins to gain a decided advantage.
The drawback to these properties is that they have a high cost to buy and maintain. If a player loses one's bankroll, then that player may not be able to pay taxes on one's homes and hotels.
Monopoly has a social aspect to it, as well. Players can swap any properties they choose. This requires negotiation skills. A good negotiator can improves one's position through a land swindle.
Typically, two players will trade properties when it completes a Monopoly for each of them.
An Example of Property Trading
Let me cite an example. One player has Illinois and Indiana and therefore needs Kentucky Avenue to complete a monopoly. This player also has Oriental Avenue. Another player has Connecticut and Vermont and therefore needs Oriental Avenue to complete a monopoly. This player also has Kentucky Avenue.
These two players can trade these extra properties, which are of little value to themselves but which would help position the other player much more. In this case, the trade creates two monopolies.
Of course, the trade also benefits the player getting Kentucky more than the second player. This is because the Kentucky-Illinois-Indiana properties are worth more, and therefore that player will be able to charge more for his or her monopoly.
Eliminating a Player
A player is eliminated when that player has lost all of his or her liquid properties and that player no longer has a bankroll. At this point, the player is bankrupt.
When a player is bankrupted, the opponent who bankrupted that player gains the remainder of that player's real estate. This is to pay that bankrupted player's outstanding debts. This is a large advantage in the continuing game.
Monopoly Strategy - Monopoly Tips - Winning the Game
Often, games of Monopoly last for several hours. This is because it is sometimes difficult to satisfy the standards of victory. This requires bankrupting every other player in the game.
There are less official ways of determining a winner at Monopoly. Players often end the game before the elimination of all players, counting up the net worth of each player and letting that determine the winner of the game.
The standard rules of international Monopoly tournament play dictate that games will last two hours, with the winner determined by net worth.
Here are some Monopoly strategy tips:
Monopoly Game Variations
There have been numerous additions to the Monopoly franchise. Most have alternate themes, which are created for sell in local markets. These are usually city specific, or offer board with references to local universities.
Many of these variations aren't different enough to be considered new board games. Monopoly comes in other novelty varieties, too. An example of this is the Mad Magazine themed version. Other examples include the Dogopoly and Dinosauropoly, either of which highlight their respective specie of animal.
Anti-Monopoly was invented in the seventies by a college professor. It is an anti-trust game, which begins with a monopolized economy. Conversely, players win by returning to a free market economy.
There have also been hundreds of licensed editions of Monopoly. Examples of these include movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Wizard of Oz. Television shows like Star Trek and The Family Guy have also had their own editions.
Cultural icons have also been featured in editions. The Chevy Corvette has had its own edition, as well as the Peanuts cartoon strip and Mickey Mouse. The Pokemon franchise had its own Monopoly edition.
The various branches of the United States military forces have been highlighted, along with the U.S. Postal Service. When the dot.com craze hit, an edition of Monopoly was released with dot.com companies as the properties.
Monopoly slot machines are popular in casinos throughout the United States and the rest of the world, too.
Many sports events and franchises have been included, from the NFL to Major League Baseball to the World Cup. Franchises like the New York Yankees and Arsenal Football Club.
With so many permutations, it can be said that Monopoly is the most popular board game in the modern world.
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