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Monopoly Strategy – 8 Tips for Winning the Game

The classic game of Monopoly uses a pair of six-sided dice. This means that there will be a significant amount of luck involved by default.

This does not mean that such luck cannot be mitigated.

Many people have studied Monopoly and devised dozens of winning strategies. The Monopoly strategy that I will propose here is nothing earth-shattering. It consists of the 8 points I happen to find the most useful. While additional ideas may prove valuable in certain specific circumstances, these are more generalized and therefore more beneficial.

Note: All ideas discussed here assume that you are playing by the standard rules of the game. No house rules are allowed.

In short, here are the 8 points I think you would do well to remember.

  1. Buy everything you can.
  2. When you have a monopoly, build to 3 houses as soon as you can.
  3. Build to 4 houses, if it will cause a housing shortage.
  4. Early in the game, get out of Jail right away.
  5. You can perform transactions between the turns of other players.
  6. Only trade to complete a monopoly.
  7. Mortgage single properties first.
  8. Don’t offer to pay rent until the owner claims it.

Now let’s take a closer look at each of these thoughts.

Buy Everything You Can

There are several good reasons for buying properties.

You want to complete monopolies. A good way to do so is by purchasing the properties yourself, rather than having to trade for them later.

You may need to buy properties defensively; that is, to prevent someone else from completing their monopoly.

Railroads are a great investment, especially if you can acquire three or all four of them.

Utilities may be the worst purchases, but they still have usefulness, so I would buy them too when the opportunity arises.

When You Have a Monopoly, Build to 3 Houses as Soon as You Can

Since the jump in income is the greatest when going from 2 to 3 houses, it’s there that you want your monopolies to sit.

You may even find it advantageous to mortgage other properties you own to get the cash needed to buy more houses.

Build to 4 Houses, If It Will Cause a Housing Shortage

Remember that there are a limited number of houses in Monopoly. It’s not the case (as in some other games) that, if you run out of those little green buildings, you can just use some other tokens and keep on going.

This is an especially good idea if you can see that an opponent is headed toward using the strategy mentioned above – building to three.

Early in the Game, Get out of Jail Right Away

When there are no monopolies to worry about and lots of properties available yet, it is worth the $50 to pay your bail and get on with your Monopoly life.

Later, especially if there is a monopoly in your path, take your time in Jail and hope for doubles that won’t land you in a bad spot. While waiting, you just might get some more income from the other players!

You Can Perform Transactions between the Turns of Other Players

If you see someone headed towards properties you own and it will be a while before it’s your turn, you can build more houses. The hope, of course, is that someone will land on your improved property before your next turn.

If it looks like someone is using the housing shortage strategy, you might want to contribute to the cause yourself before they’re all gone.

You can also perform mortgage transactions and make trades before the dice come back to you.

Only Trade to Complete a Monopoly

There are some nuances to this idea that I won’t get into here, but in general, it’s good to make a trade when you will finish a monopoly, or at least, when you will complete more than the player you are trading with.

Of course, if the other player is using this same strategy, you’ll come to an impasse. It’s then that some of the nuances may come into play, and you make have to decide if letting the other player seem to take advantage of you is a good idea or not.

Mortgage Single Properties First

It should almost go without saying that you should mortgage a property when you only have one in a color group before any doubles or triples you own. In fact, you might even mortgage such a single to be able to purchase one that will give you a double or a triple.

Don’t Offer to Pay Rent until the Owner Claims It

There is no rule that says you automatically have to pay rent when you land on someone else’s property. The owner can claim the rent until your turn comes again and you move off the space, but he must actively do so or he forfeits the cash.

Are There Exceptions to These Guidelines?

Sure there are. There will be situations and circumstances that arise that will make you want to ignore one or more of these eight items. Don’t use them as hard and fast rules because they’re not.

Following these strategies the majority of the time should give you the victory the majority of the time as well. Use them wisely and enjoy your wins at Monopoly.