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How to play Monopoly

Monopoly is one of the most immediately recognizable board games ever created and has entertained people of all ages for nearly a century.  Despite its recognition and popularity, many people are still a little fuzzy when it comes to knowing how to actually play the game itself.  The purpose of this article (obviously) is to clarify the rules of Monopoly and help you improve your overall approach to playing the game.

Fist off, one player will need to assume the role of the banker.  However, this doesn’t mean that they have free access to the total money supply; they must manage their own funds and keep them separated from those of the bank.

Next, each player will need to choose a game piece.  These are instantly recognizable symbols in the classic version and may be characters from movies, etc…with the more stylized versions of the game.

Starting off, each player will be given $1500.  Traditionally, this involves handing everyone 2 x $500 bills, 4 x $100 bills, 1 x $50 bill, 1 x $20 bill, 2 x $10 bills, 1 x $5 bill, and 5 x $1 bills.  Afterwards, each player will roll the dice to determine the order of play; naturally, whomever has the highest number goes first (clockwise rotation).  Every time a player passes go, they collect $200.

At this point players will begin advancing their game pieces around the board.  Eventually, someone is going to land on a property, utility or action square.  Most squares on the board can be purchased (you simply pay the banker for and they give you a title).  Whenever a rival player lands on a property or utility you own, they must pay you “rent”.  This becomes more interesting as the game progresses because players will inevitably place houses and hotels on their property squares, which increases rent values.  If you capture all the properties of a specific color (or perhaps the utilities) you have just gained a monopoly on the board.  Once you have a monopoly, you can begin putting houses and hotels on those related squares (the costs associated with rent, house and hotel purchases is printed on the property titles).

Occasionally someone will land on a chance or community chest square.  This requires you to draw a card and follow the directions written on it.  Additionally, you might have to go to jail.  There are 3 ways this can happen:  1.) you can land on the “go to jail” square, 2.) draw a “go to jail” card, or 3.) row 3 doubles in a row.  To get out of jail you can:  1.) use a get out of jail free card, 2.) pay $50, or 3.) roll doubles.

What makes the game even more interesting is that players are free to actually trade properties at any time.  The only stipulation being that both parties have to agree on the trade, of course.

If you find yourself completely broke and have to pay rent to someone, you can mortgage your property; this will allow you to take money from the bank in exchange.  However, during the time that your properties are under a mortgage, you cannot collect rent from them.  In order to pay off the mortgage, you must cover the cost plus 10% interest.

As you might expect, eventually players will begin dropping out as they go bankrupt.  This usually happens once a person has completely mortgaged out their properties and can no longer afford to pay or leverage any of their assets and cannot afford to pay any more rent.  The last player left standing once everyone else has gone bankrupt is declared the winner.

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