Monopoly Online Description
Monopoly Online is a board game currently published by Hasbro. In the game, players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels. Players collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. Money can also be gained or lost through Chance and Community Chest cards, and tax squares; players can end up in jail, which they cannot move from until they have met one of several conditions.
The game has numerous house rules, and hundreds of different editions exist, as well as many spin-offs and related media. Monopoly Online has become a part of international popular culture, having been licensed locally in more than 103 countries and printed in more than 37 languages.
Monopoly Online is derived from The Landlord’s Game created by Lizzie Magie in the United States in 1903 as a way to demonstrate that an economy which rewards wealth creation is better than one where monopolists work under few constraints, and to promote the economic theories of Henry George—in particular his ideas about taxation. It was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935 until that firm was eventually absorbed into Hasbro in 1991. The game is named after the economic concept of Monopoly Online—the domination of a market by a single entity.
Monopoly Online History
The history of Monopoly Online can be traced back to the early 1900s. In 1904, a Quaker woman named Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George (it was supposed to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies). Her game, The Landlord’s Game, was commercially published a few years later. Other interested game players redeveloped the game and some made their own sets.
Lizzie herself patented a revised edition of the game in 1904, and similar games were published commercially. By the early 1930s, a board game named Monopoly was created much like the version of Monopoly sold by Parker Brothers and its parent companies throughout the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st. The Parker Brothers’ version was created by Charles Darrow. Several people, mostly in the U.S. Midwest and near the U.S. East Coast, contributed to the game’s design and evolution.
In 1941 the British Secret Service had John Waddington Ltd., the licensed manufacturer of the game outside the U.S., create a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by the Nazis. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by the International Red Cross.
By the 1970s, the game’s early history had been lost (and at least one historian has argued that it was purposely suppressed – see below), and the idea that it had been created solely by Charles Darrow had become popular folklore. This was stated in the 1974 book The Monopoly Book: Strategy and Tactics of the World’s Most Popular Game, by Maxine Brady, and even in the instructions of the game itself. As Professor Ralph Anspach fought Parker Brothers and its then parent company, General Mills, over the trademarks of the Monopoly board game, much of the early history of the game was “rediscovered.”
Because of the lengthy court process, and appeals, the legal status of Parker Brothers’ trademarks on the game was not settled until the mid-1980s. The game’s name remains a registered trademark of Parker Brothers, as do its specific design elements. Parker Brothers’ current corporate parent, Hasbro, again acknowledges only the role of Charles Darrow in the creation of the game. Anspach published a book about his research, called The Billion Dollar Monopoly Online Swindle (and republished as Monopolygate), in which he makes his case about the purposeful suppression of the game’s early history and development.
Monopoly Online Board
This is the original version produced by Charles Darrow, and later by Parker Brothers. The board consists of forty spaces containing twenty-eight properties, three Chance spaces, three Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, Jail, Free Parking, and Go to Jail. In the U.S. versions shown below, the properties are named after locations in (or near) Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, as of September 2008, the layout of the board has been modified to more closely match the foreign-released versions, as shown in the two board layouts below.
The notable changes are the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues changing from purple to brown, the colors of the GO square from red to black, and the adaptation of the flat $200 Income Tax (formerly the player’s choice of 10% of their total holdings OR $200; players had to make a decision before calculating their total holdings) and increased $100 Luxury Tax (upped from $75) amounts. Similar color/amount changes are used in the U.S. Edition of the “Here And Now: World Edition” game, and are also used in the most recent version of the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion.
Starting in the UK in 2005, an updated version of the game entitled Monopoly Online Here and Now was produced, replacing game scenarios, properties, and tokens with modern equivalents. Similar boards were produced for Germany and France. Variants of these first editions appeared with Visa-branded debit cards taking the place of cash – the later US “Electronic Banking” edition has unbranded debit cards.
The success of the first Here and Now editions caused Hasbro US to allow online voting for 26 landmark properties across the United States to take their places along the game board. The popularity of this voting, in turn, caused the creation of similar websites, and secondary game boards per popular vote to be created in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other nations.
Hasbro opened a new website in January 2008, for online voting of the Monopoly Online Here and Now: World Edition. The colored property spaces will be worldwide cities, going by the same vote/popularity formula as established for national editions.
In 2006, Winning Moves Games released another edition, the Mega Edition, with a larger game board (50% bigger) and revised game play. Other streets from Atlantic City (eight, one per a color group) were included, along with a third “utility”, the Gas Company.
In addition, $1000 denomination notes (first seen in Winning Moves’ “Monopoly: The Card Game”) are included. Game play is further changed with bus tickets (allowing non-dice-roll movement along one side of the board), a speed die (itself adopted into variants of the Atlantic City Standard Edition; see below), skyscrapers (after houses and hotels), and train depots that can be placed on the Railroad spaces.
This edition was adapted for the UK market in 2007, and is sold by Winning Moves UK. After the initial US release, critiques of some of the rules caused the company to issue revisions and clarifications on their website.
In 2009, Winning Moves Games introduced “The Classic Edition”, with a pre-2008 game board and cards, re-inclusion of the “sack of money” playing piece, and a plain MONOPOLY logo in the center of the board, with neither the 1985 or 2008 version of “Mr. Monopoly” present.
In 1998, Winning Moves procured the Monopoly Online license from Hasbro and created new UK city and regional editions with sponsored squares.
Winning Moves struggled to raise the sponsorship deals for the game boards, but did so eventually. A Nottingham Graphic Design agency, TMA, produced the visual design of the Monopoly Online packaging. Initially, in December 1998, the game was sold in just a few WHSmith stores, but demand was high, with almost fifty thousand games shipped in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. Winning Moves still produce new city and regional editions annually. Nottingham based designers Guppi have been responsible for the games’ visual design since 2001.
In 2008, Hasbro released a world edition of Monopoly Online Here & Now. This world edition features top locations of the world. The locations were decided by votes over the Internet. The result of the voting was announced on August 20, 2008.
- Dark Blue: Montreal, Riga
- Green: Cape Town, Belgrade, Paris
- Yellow: Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Beijing
- Red: London, New York, Sydney
- Orange: Vancouver, Shanghai, Rome
- Magenta: Toronto, Kyiv, Istanbul
- Light Blue: Athens, Barcelona, Tokyo
- Brown: Taipei, Gdynia
Out of these, Gdynia is especially notable, as it is by far the smallest city of those featured and won the vote thanks to a spontaneous, large-scale mobilization of support started by its citizens. The new game will not use any particular currency; it uses millions and thousands. As seen above, there is no Dark Purple color-group, as that is replaced by brown.
It’s also notable that three cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) are from Canada and three other cities (Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai) are from the People’s Republic of China, while the other cities all only represent one country.
Monopoly Online Equipment
Each player is represented by a small metal token that is moved around the edge of the board according to the roll of two dice. The twelve playing pieces currently used are pictured at left (from left to right): a wheelbarrow (1937b edition), a battleship, a sack of money (1999–2007 editions), a horse and rider, a car, a train (Deluxe Edition only), a thimble, a howitzer, an old style shoe (sometimes called a boot), a Scottie dog, an iron, and a top hat.
Many of the tokens came from companies such as Dowst Miniature Toy Company, which made metal charms and tokens designed to be used on charm bracelets. The battleship and cannon were also used briefly in the Parker Brothers war game Conflict (released in 1940), but after the game failed on the market, the premade pieces were recycled into Monopoly Online usage. Hasbro recently adopted the battleship and cannon for Diplomacy.
Early localized editions of the standard edition (including some Canadian editions, which used the U.S. board layout) did not include pewter tokens but instead had generic wooden head-shaped tokens identical to those in Sorry! Parker Brothers also acquired Sorry! in the 1930s.
Other items included in the standard edition are:
- A pair of six-sided dice. (NOTE: Since 2007, a third “Speed Die” has been added–see ADD-ONS below.)
- A Title Deed for each property. A Title Deed is given to a player to signify ownership, and specifies purchase price, mortgage value, the cost of building houses and hotels on that property, and the various rent prices depending on how developed the property is. Properties include:
- 22 streets, divided into 8 color groups of two or three streets. A player must own all of a color group (have a monopoly) in order to build houses or hotels. If a player wants to mortgage one property of a color-group, not only must any houses or hotels be removed from that property, but from the others in the color-group as well.
- 4 railways. Players collect $25 rent if they own one station, $50 if they own two, $100 if they own three and $200 if they own all four. These are usually replaced by railway stations in non-U.S. editions of Monopoly Online.
- 2 utilities. Rent is four times dice value if player owns one utility, but 10 times dice value if player owns both. Hotels and houses cannot be built on utilities or stations.
- A supply of paper money. The supply of money is theoretically unlimited; if the bank runs out of money the players must make do with other markers, or calculate on paper. Additional paper money can be bought at certain locations, notably game and hobby stores, or downloaded from various websites and printed and cut by hand (one such site has created a $1,000 bill for the game; it is not one of the standard denominations). In the original U.S. standard editions, the supply generally starts with $15,140. The winner of the quadrennial Monopoly Online World Championship receives the same amount in United States dollars. [NOTE: This base money amount has changed–see below.]
- The term “Monopoly Online money” has been used to refer to currencies which cannot be used to purchase goods and services on the free market, such as exchange certificates printed by the Burmese government which must be used by foreign aid organizations.
- 32 wooden or plastic houses and 12 wooden or plastic hotels (the original and the current Deluxe Edition have wooden houses and hotels; the current “base set” uses plastic buildings). Unlike money, houses and hotels have a finite supply. If no more are available, no substitute is allowed.
- A deck of 16 Chance cards and a deck of 16 Community Chest cards. Players draw these cards when they land on the corresponding squares of the track, and follow the instructions printed on them.
Hasbro also sells a Deluxe Edition, which is mostly identical to the classic edition but has wooden houses and hotels and gold-toned tokens, including one token in addition to the standard eleven, a railroad locomotive. Other additions to the Deluxe Edition include a card carousel, which holds the title deed cards, and money printed with two colors of ink.
In 1978, retailer Neiman Marcus manufactured and sold an all-Chocolate edition of Monopoly Onliney through its “Christmas Wish Book” for that year. The entire set was edible, including the money, dice, hotels, properties, tokens and playing board. The set retailed for $600.
In 2000, the FAO Schwarz store in New York City sold a custom version called One-Of-A-Kind Monopoly Online for $100,000. This special edition comes in a locking attaché case made with Napolino leather and lined in suede, and features include:
- 18-carat (75%) gold tokens, houses, and hotels
- Rosewood board
- street names written in gold leaf
- emeralds around the Chance icon
- sapphires around the Community Chest
- rubies in the brake lights of the car on the Free Parking Space
- the money is real, negotiable United States currency
The Guinness Book of World Records states that a set worth $2,000,000 and made of 23-carat gold, with rubies and sapphires atop the chimneys of the houses and hotels, is the most expensive Monopoly set ever produced.
The distribution of cash in the U.S. version has changed with the newer release versions. Older versions had a total of $15,140 in the following amounts/colors:
- 20 $500 Bills (orange)
- 20 $100 Bills (beige)
- 30 $50 Bills (blue)
- 50 $20 Bills (green)
- 40 $10 Bills (yellow)
- 40 $5 Bills (pink)
- 40 $1 Bills (white)
The newer (Sept. 2008) editions have a total of $20,580, with 30 of each bill denomination. In addition, the colors of some of the bills have been changed; $10’s are now blue instead of yellow, $20’s are a brighter color green than before, and $50’s are now purple instead of blue.
Each player begins the game with his or her token on the Go square, and $1500 (or 1500 of a localized currency) in play money. Prior to Sept. 2008, the money was divided as follows in the U.S. standard rules:
- Two each of:
- $500 bills
- $100 bills
- $50 bills
- Six $20 bills
- Five each of:
- $10 bills
- $5 bills
- $1 bills
Since then, the US version has taken on the British version’s initial cash distributions of:
- Two x $/£500
- Four x $/£100
- One x $/£50
- One x $/£20
- Two x $/£10
- One x $/£5
- Five x $/£1
Pre-Euro German editions of the game started with 30,000 “Spielmark” in eight denominations (abbreviated as “M.”), and later used seven denominations of the “Deutsche Mark” (“DM.”). In the classic Italian Monopoly Online game, each player receives ₤350,000 ($3500) in a two-player game, but ₤50,000 ($500) less for each player more than two. Only in a six-player game does a player receive the equivalent of $1500. The classic Italian games were played with only four denominations of currency. At least one Spanish edition (the Barcelona edition) started the game with 150,000 in play money, with a breakdown identical to that of the American version.
All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the bank until bought by the players. Free passes may be issued if the owner of the property is using free passes as a transaction.
Monopoly Online Rules
- Main article: Monopoly Online Rules
Players take turns in order, with the initial player determined by chance before the game; with each player rolling the dice and the player who rolled the highest number going first. A typical turn begins with the rolling of the dice and advancing clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares. Landing on Chance or Community Chest, a player draws the top card from the respective pile. If the player lands on an unowned property, whether street, railroad, or utility, he can buy the property for its listed purchase price, with the banker making change if necessary.
If he declines this purchase, the property is auctioned off by the bank to the highest bidder, including the player who declined to buy. If the property landed on is already owned and unmortgaged, he must pay the owner a given rent, the price dependent on whether the property is part of a monopoly or its level of development. If a player rolls doubles, he rolls again after completing his turn. Three sets of doubles in a row, however, land the player in jail. During a turn, players may also choose to develop or mortgage properties.
Development involves the construction, for given amounts of money paid to the bank, of houses or hotels. Development must be uniform across a monopoly, such that a second house cannot be built on one property in a monopoly until the others have one house. No merges between players are allowed. All developments must be sold before a property can be mortgaged. The player receives money from the bank for each mortgaged property, which must be repaid with interest to unmortgage. Houses are returned to the bank for half their purchase price.
Parker Brothers’ official instructions have long encouraged the use of House Rules, specific additions to or subtractions from the official rule sets. Many casual Monopoly Online players are surprised to discover that some of the rules that they are used to are not part of the official rules. Many of these house rules tend to make the game longer by randomly giving players more money. Some common house rules are listed below:
- At the start of the game $2000 is given out to each of the players instead of $1500. Each player gets 2 500s, 4 100s, 6 50s, 8 20s, 8 10s, 10 5s, and 10 1s
- Free Parking jackpot, which usually consists of an initial stake (typically $500, or $5 million in the Here & Now Edition) plus collections of fines and taxes otherwise paid to the bank. A player who lands on Free Parking wins the jackpot, which may then be reset with the initial stake (if any). The jackpot is usually put in the center of the board. Since the jackpot forms an additional income for players in this set of house rules, games can take a much longer time than under normal rules.
- Eliminating the auction if a player decides not to purchase a property.
- Requiring that every property be put up for auction (this eliminates some of the luck in the game of landing on particular squares and forces players to strategize more).
- Allowing an unlimited number of houses to be available from the bank. When this house rule is implemented, substitute counters or written tallies are often employed to allay the actual shortage of house tokens in a standard game box.
- Agreeing that each player be allowed to collect all of a color group once they have ‘staked a claim’ by buying only one of those properties. The same agreement may or may not be carried over to the rail stations and utilities.
- Players in jail cannot collect rent, build houses, or conduct trades. This can be combined with increasing the price to get out of jail considerably (normally $50, or $500,000 in the Here & Now Edition). Together, these rules make jail a far more significant burden than that listed in the normal rules. Other players may bail the player out of jail but only if the player agrees.
- A bonus for landing directly on Go by dice roll (commonly an additional $200 or $500). This may or may not include cards that send the player to Go.
- Delayed Start: Players must pass Go (or circle the board at least once, or rarely twice) before they can buy property.
- Only allowing houses (or hotels) to be built when the owner lands on the group
- A bonus for rolling snake eyes (a pair of ones), often $500, $100, or one of each bill.
- All properties are handed out evenly to all players before the game begins, or one or two are dealt to each player. This variation is in the official US and UK rules as a short game option.
- In trades, players may offer “rent immunity” from their own properties (someone does not have to pay rent for landing on that property) as part of a deal (this can be good for a certain number of landings or the entire game).
- Unlimited amounts of hotels on each space.
House rules, while unofficial, are not wholly unrecognized by Parker Brothers. George S. Parker himself created two variants, to shorten the length of game play. Video game and computer game versions of Monopoly Online have options where popular house rules can be used. House rules that have the effect of randomly introducing more money into Monopoly Online have a side-effect of increasing the time it takes for players to become bankrupt, lengthening the game considerably, as well as decreasing the effects of strategy and prudent investment.
House rules which increase the amount of money in the game may change the strategies of the players, such as changing the relative value of different properties- the more money in the game, the more one may wish to invest in the higher value properties.
Monopoly Online Strategy
Monopoly Online involves a portion of luck, with the roll of the dice determining whether a player gets to own key properties or lands on squares with high rents. Even the initial misfortune of going last is a significant disadvantage because one is more likely to land on property which has already been bought and therefore be forced to pay rent instead of having an opportunity to buy unowned property. There are, however, many strategic decisions which allow skilled players to win more often than the unskilled.
Hasbro also offers a helpful strategy guide and different insights on their site. According to the laws of probability, seven is the most probable roll of two dice, with a probability of 1 in 6, whereas 2 and 12 are the least probable rolls, each with a probability of one in 36. For this reason, Park Place/Park Lane is one of the least landed-on squares as the square seven places behind it is Go to Jail.
In consequence, some properties are landed upon more than others and the owners of those properties get more income from rent. The board layout factors include the following:
- Jail: Since players are frequently directed to “Go To Jail”, they will move through the magenta, orange, and red property groups immediately after leaving Jail. The two properties with the highest probability of being landed upon after leaving jail are the two cheaper orange properties (St James Place and Tennessee Avenue in North America and Bow Street and Marlborough Street outside North America). This makes the orange property set highly lucrative.
- Go to…: One square — Go To Jail — plus a number of Chance and Community Chest cards will cause the player to advance a distance around the board. Thus, the squares immediately following Go To Jail and the take-a-card squares have a reduced probability of being landed upon. The least-landed upon property in this situation is the cheaper dark blue property (Park Place or Park Lane) because it sits in the lee of both Go to Jail and Community Chest (the Chance directly before it would not affect its odds because it is impossible to roll a one).
- Go to (property): Several properties are blessed with Chance cards which draw players to them. St Charles Place (Pall Mall), Illinois Avenue (Trafalgar Square), Boardwalk (Mayfair), all of the railroads except Short Line (Liverpool Street Station), and both of the utilities benefit from this feature. Reading Railroad (King’s Cross Station) has the fortune of having both a “go to” dedicated card plus the card advancing to the nearest railroad.
- Advance to Go: A player may be directed to the Go square by a Chance or a Community Chest card, thus lowering the probability of being landed-upon of every square in-between. The properties most affected by this are the yellow, green, and dark blue sets. It also marginally raises the probability for each square in the wake of Go, including the purple and orange sets which will be reached two or three rolls after being on Go.
- Go Back Three Spaces: This directive comes from a Chance card. A quick look at the board shows that there are three Chance squares and hence three other squares which are 3 spaces behind (one being a Community Chest space, another being Income Tax, and the third being the leading orange property). The leading orange property (New York Avenue or Vine Street) gains the most benefit from this card since the Chance square nestled amongst the red properties is itself the most landed-upon Chance square.
According to Jim Slater in The Mayfair Set, there is an overwhelming case for having the orange sites, because you land on them more often, the reason for that being the cards in Chance like Go to Jail, Advance to St. Charles Place (Pall Mall ), Advance to Reading Railroad (King’s Cross Station) and Go Back Three Spaces.
In all, during game play, Illinois Avenue (Trafalgar Square), New York Avenue (Vine Street), B&O Railroad (Fenchurch Street Station), and Reading Railroad (King’s Cross Station) are the most frequently landed-upon properties. Mediterranean Avenue (Old Kent Road) and Baltic Avenue (Whitechapel Road) are the least-landed-upon properties.
Limited number of houses and hotels
In order to put a cap on total development of property sets in Monopoly Online, there are only 12 hotels and 32 houses. This limitation is in place to ensure that property sets cannot be developed unless there are houses or hotels available to purchase from the bank. This cap allows a certain amount of dominance to be developed by some players, because if every set of property were fully developed there would be enough rent collected between different players to allow the game to drag on for an extended period.
This limitation on numbers of houses and hotels leads to an advantage for one player. Simply building each lot out to a maximum of 4 houses and then refusing to upgrade to hotels ensures that nearly the maximum amount of rent is collected for each property, and the monopolization of the houses from the game prevents opponents from developing their property. It is conceivable that a single player could end up owning all 32 houses near the end of the game, and the refusal to upgrade to hotels makes these houses unavailable for opponents to purchase for any property they may own.
Much of the skill comes from knowing how to make the best use of a player’s resources and above all knowing how to strike a good bargain. Monopoly Online is a social game where players often interact and must deal with each other in ways similar to real world real estate bargaining. Note that the best deal is not always for the most expensive property; it is often situational, dependent on money resources available to each player and even where players happen to be situated on the board. When looking to deal, a player should attempt to bargain with another player who not only possess properties he or she needs but also properties the other player needs.
In fact, offering relatively fair deals to other players can end up helping the player making the offer by giving him or her a reputation as an honest trader, which can make players less wary of dealings in the future. What is more, most people play Monopoly Online with the same group repeatedly. For this reason, such a reputation can have effects far beyond the game being played.
The end game
One common criticism of Monopoly Online is that it has carefully defined yet almost unreachable termination conditions. Edward P. Parker, a former president of Parker Brothers, is quoted as saying, “We always felt that forty-five minutes was about the right length for a game, but Monopoly Online could go on for hours. Also, a game was supposed to have a definite end somewhere. In Monopoly Online you kept going around and around.” However, the problem of time can be resolved by playing with a time limit and counting each player’s net worth when the time is up. In fact, tournament play calls for a 90-minute time limit. Two hour time limits are used for international play.
The Lord of the Rings edition gives players the option of creating a random time limit using the included One Ring token and specialized dice. The SpongeBob SquarePants game board includes a Plankton piece that moves every time someone rolls snake eyes with the dice, and the game is over when it reaches the end of the board.
Played strictly to the rules, many games will be effectively decided when one player succeeds in bankrupting another because the bankrupt player gives all his property to the one to whom he could not pay his debt. A player who thus gains a fistful of properties will virtually control the game from that point onwards since other players will be constantly at risk.
On the other hand, if a player is bankrupted by being unable to meet his debt to the bank (e.g., a fine or tax or other debt that is not rent), then his property is auctioned off; this can open up new possibilities in a game which was evenly set or in which a lot of property sets were divided among the players.
The Monopoly Online Mega Edition is geared towards faster play by incorporating more squares and enabling players to build without the full color-group.
Another path to a faster ending is by a key property bargain, whether it be a very shrewd trade which sets one player up with a well-positioned set or a very rash trade where an inexperienced player gives his experienced opponent an underpriced gem. Either way, a deal which pays off for one player is most often the turning point of the game.
A third way to finish the game is to wait for all of the property to be bought. Once this has occurred, the player with the highest value of money and assets is victorious.
Another way is to remove the $200 bonus gained by passing “Go”. This ensures that players run out of money quickly.
Some players, in an attempt to lessen the huge advantage gained by the first player to bankrupt another player, have the bankrupted player pay what he can to the player he is indebted to (including the money from mortgages), and then forfeit the properties, so that they are back on the market and open to purchase by other players.
Hasbro states that the longest game of Monopoly Online ever played lasted 1,680 hours (70 days or 10 weeks or 2 1/3 months).
Monopoly Online Tips & Tricks
1. Develop property as aggressively as you can
Early on in the game, players tend to be choosy with which properties they buy, but Monopoly Online experts say that’s the worst strategy.
“Always develop as aggressively as you can,” Dave Taylor, founder of gaming/parenting blog Go Fatherhood and creator of an online Monopoly Online simulator, told INSIDER. “Once in a while you go bankrupt and you’re out, but more likely you end the game quickly by bankrupting other players.”
Monopoly Online champion Bjørn Halvard Knappskog agrees. He told Vice that one of the biggest mistakes people make is “turning their noses up” at smaller properties. Buying everything in sight will help you have leverage options later on.
2. Buy orange and red properties, as they are the most landed-on
Statistically speaking, the orange and red properties are the most landed-on colors during the game, according to Taylor. Focus on buying those to rack up the rents fees.
More specifically, the most landed-on red and orange properties in Monopoly Online are Illinois Avenue (red), Tennessee Avenue (orange), and New York Avenue (orange), Flynn Zaiger, Monopoly Online enthusiast and founder of the Tulane University board games club, told us.
“These are also valuable Monopolies for you to bankrupt your competitors with,” Zaiger said.
Whoever owns the most red and orange properties in the game may give you a good idea of who will win in the long run.
3. Don’t save your money
Spend as much as you can, because saving money — especially early on in the game when not as many properties have houses or hotels — won’t do anything for you.
“While money in the bank sounds great, unlike real life you should aim to have minimal amounts of money in the bank at all times,” Zaiger said. “Money in the bank isn’t being invested, and isn’t earning you anything. Your Monopoly Online banker isn’t going to pay interest! It’s almost always better to be purchasing items with your hard-earned cash, for the chance to deliver return on those investments.”
4. Don’t bother with utilities
This may come as a surprise, but many professional Monopoly Online competitors don’t even bother with buying utilities.
Knappskog says that you only have a 3% chance of making money from either the railroads or the utilities throughout the game. Plus, unlike other color properties, utilities can’t be upgraded.
5. Develop three houses or hotels as quickly as possible
Remember the rule of threes: Always develop three houses on your monopolies as quickly as possible, and then aim to build three hotels on your properties. This will allow you to squeeze as much rent out of your properties as possible. Knappskog told Vice that he only starts developing more than three houses (by moving on to hotels) when all of his streets have three houses each.
Once you move on to building hotels, the same rule applies.
“Once you have your houses developed, aim to build up to three hotels as quickly as possible, as that’s when the rent really jumps up to a significant amount,” Zaiger said.
6. Later in the game, don’t try to get out of jail right away
It might seem counter-intuitive, but if you land in jail later in the game, when hotels fill the board, you can save money by staying there for your entire three turns (unless you roll a double), until you get out of jail.
That way, if you’re running low on cash, you won’t have to dole out your remaining savings to your competitors by landing on their monopolies.
7. Create a housing shortage by using up all the houses
A little-known classic rule of the original game is the housing shortage. Once 32 houses have been placed on the board, you are not allowed to buy more. So by simply buying all of the houses as quickly as possible, you can easily run your opponents into the ground.
“If no one else has a Monopoly Online, and you have one or two, a more long-term strategy is to try to shorten the housing market,” Zaiger said. “If you have 32 houses on the board, that means there’ll be no more houses for anyone to build with, and you’ll be well on your path to outlasting the competition.”
Monopoly Online Image
Monopoly Online Walkthrough Video
About Monopoly Online
|Controls||Mouse / Touchscreen|
|Platform||Windows, Android, IOS, Arcade, Web Browser|