Monopoly, Anyone?

You know, I like board games. One of my favorite is Monopoly. I used to play the board game from time to time, though it was sometimes hard to get others to play, as some of the people I’d asked were older than I was and had played the game so often in their younger days that they were now tired of it.

When I first started playing as a youngster, my strategy was to buy everything in sight, right off the bat. I didn’t think about trading, or how some properties or property groups could be more advantageous than others, depending on the situation. But, as I played more, I learned, among other things, that having Boardwalk doesn’t mean victory. So, here’s what I learned along the way.

Getting the railroads early, especially if you get all 4, can be a really big help early in the game. One railroad gets you only $25 rent, but 2 get you $50, 3 gets $100, and all 4 gets you $200 rent every time someone lands an a railroad. As it’s rare for players to get monopolies and have them built up to hotel strength early in the game, $200 can be a big deal! Plus, there are two “Chance” cards that take players to the nearest railroad, and one more Chance card that  takes a player to Reading railroad. That’s three cards sending players to your railroads! Boardwalk, Illinois Avenue, and St. Charles Place only have one, and the utilities might have two. And the other properties have none at all. (Though there is a “3 Steps Back” card that can back a player onto New York Avenue from the Chance square between Kentucky and Indiana Avenues.) Then, the “Nearest Railroad” cards make a player pay twice the rent, which would be $400 that you would collect if you own all 4 railroads! Then, there is no need to “build” in order to get $200 rent. It comes automatically when you get all 4 railroads. And this means they are also immune to the Chance and “Community Chest” cards that charge you for each house and hotel you have! And finally, the railroads are spaced 10 squares apart, so that other players are always within striking distance of one of your railroads while they, even if they have a monopoly, have to wait for other players to come all the way around again before they come within striking distance!

The Utilities are similar, but there are only two of them, and owning both, while giving you an added benefit, still won’t be as effective as the railroads. But combined with the railroads, they can be quite a help!

Having the orange or red color groups as monopolies can be very advantageous! According to what I’ve read on the internet, as well as what I’ve seen in playing the game, the orange group gets landed on the most, followed by the red group and, according to an article I read online, Illinois Avenue is the most landed on single square in the game. One reason for this is that, when players get out of Jail, they have the best chances of landing on the orange group. Which leads to another fact I’ve discovered.

All of the color groups between Jail and the “Go To Jail” square, are probably more likely to get landed on than those that come between the Go To Jail square and “GO”. That’s one advantage that color group monopolies from Jail to Go To Jail have over the green (Pennsylvania Avenue) and dark blue (Boardwalk-Park Place) color groups! By being sent to Jail when there are lots of monopolies, players can get reprieves from landing on those monopolies, especially those between Go To Jail and GO. Jail in Monopoly isn’t always bad for  a player.

Which brings up Boardwalk, and the greens, too. These two monopolies, when built up to hotel strength, can be very powerful. But getting them built up , and even buying the initial properties themselves, is very expensive! The greens require $3000 to build them all up to hotel strength, more than any other color group. And the three properties cost a combined $920 to buy initially.  Here’s where the superiority of the Boardwalk-Park Place monopoly is apparent. It only costs $750 to buy both properties initially, and $2000 to build them both to hotel strength, at which they are the two most powerful properties by far! And, Boardwalk does have a Chance card that can draw in other players to pay the $2000 rent!

But, as I mentioned before, having the Boardwalk-Park Place monopoly doesn’t guarantee victory. In one game, I traded Boardwalk to the player who had Park Place for several properties, including a railroad that gave me ownership of all 4, two other properties that gave me two monopolies, and some cash. This gave me the ability to build the two monopolies to hotel strength quickly, while the other player couldn’t afford to build up the Boardwalk-Park Place monopoly very fast. They lost and I won!  Of course, if my luck had been bad and theirs good, things could have been different, but with the trade, the odds were shifted strongly in my favor.

Finally, the least expensive color groups, the light blues (Connecticut Avenue) and the dark purples(Baltic Avenue), can also have advantages, especially if both color groups are owned by the same player. They can be built up cheaply as houses only cost $50 each and, if bought and developed early, and especially if combined with the railroads or utilities, can be good money makers and keep the other players at bay!

Monopoly has been a popular game, and still is, if not more so, with all of the variants that have come out. There are also computer versions, which take the hassles of setting up and keeping track of money and properties out of the picture, making things much easier, and, you can also play against the computer. Also, there are most likely online versions as well.

If you’re into Monopoly, hopefully the facts I’ve illustrated above will lead you to victory!

Have fun and don’t stop playing!  Please tell others about this site!

And thanks for reading!  🙂

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