OBJECTIVE: The object of Monopoly is to send every other player into bankruptcy or become the wealthiest player through buying, renting, and selling property.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-8 players
MATERIALS: Card, deed, dice, house and hotels, money and monopoly board
TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Board Game
AUDIENCE: Older kids and adults
The earliest known version of Monopoly, dubbed The Landlord’s Game, was designed by American Elizabeth Magie. It was first patented in 1904 but existed at least 2 years prior. Magie, who was a follower of Henry George, an American political economist, initially aimed for The Landlord’s Game to illustrate the fiscal consequences of Ricardo’s Law of Economic rent as well as Georgist concepts of economic privilege including land value taxation.
Following 1904, a slew of board games were created which featured the central concept of buying and selling land. In 1933, the Parker Brothers Monopoly board game had a very similar rival, which employed the same concepts as the original. Historically, the East coast and the Midwest have contributed to the evolution of the game.
Elizabeth Magie remains largely uncredited for her invention of the game and for many decades it was accepted that Charles Darrow, who sold the game to Parker Brother’s, was the creator.
To begin, place the board on a table with the chance and community chest cars face-down in their respective spaces. Each player chooses a token to represent themselves on the board.
The players are given $1500 divided into: $500s, $100 and $50; 6 $40~; 5 each of $105, $5~ and $1s. The remaining money and other equipment will go to the bank. Stock the bank’s money on the edge of the compartments in the plastic banker tray.
THE BANK AND THE BANKER
Select a player as the banker who makes a good auctioneer. The Banker must keep their personal funds separated from the Bank’s funds. But if there are five players in the game, the Banker may elect one person who will act as auctioneer.
In addition to the bank’s money, the bank also holds the title deed cards, and the houses and hotels prior to player purchase. The bank pays salaries and bonuses. It also sells and auctions properties, while handing out the proper title deed cards. The bank loans money required for mortgages. The bank collects taxes, fines, loans and interests, as well as assess the price of a property. The bank never goes “broke,” the banker may issue more money by writing on ordinary slips of paper.
To start the game, beginning with the banker, each player takes turns rolling the dice. The player who gets the highest total starts the game. The player places their token on the corner marked “go”, then throws the dice. The dice will be the indicator how many spaces to move their token in the direction of the arrow on the board. After the player completes the play, the turn moves to the left. The tokens remain on the spaces occupied and proceed from that point on the player’s next turn. Two tokens may occupy the same space at a single time.
Depending upon the space your tokens lands you may have the opportunity to buy property or you may be required to pay rent, taxes, draw a chance or community chest card, or even Go To Jail. If you throw doubles you may move your token normally, the sum of the two die. Retain the dice and throw again. Players must move their token immediately to the space marked “In Jail” if the players throw doubles three times in succession.
Each time a player lands on or passes Go, the Banker must pay them $200. Players can only receive $200 for each time around the board. However, if after passing Go a player lands on Chance of Community Chest space and draws the ‘Advance to Go’ card, that player will receive another $200 for reaching Go again.
When a player’s token lands on an un-owned property, the players may buy the property from the bank on its printed price. The title deed card is given to the player as a proof of ownership. Place the title deed in the front of the player. If the players do not wish to buy the property, the bank sells it by auction to the highest bidder. The highest bidder will pay the bank at the amount of the bid in cash and they then will receive the title deed card for the property.
Every player has the chance to bid including the player who declined to buy the property initially. Bidding may start at any price.
When a player lands on the property that is already owned by another player, the player who owns collects rent from the other player in accordance with the list printed on its corresponding Title Deed card.
However, if the property is mortgaged, no rent shall be collected. This is indicated by the player who is mortgaging the property placing the Title Deed face down in front of them. It is an advantage to own all the properties within a color group because the owner may charge double rent for unimproved properties in that color-group. Even if a property in that color group is mortgaged, this rule can apply to the un-mortgaged properties.
Rents on unimproved properties is much lower, so it is more advantageous to have houses or hotels to increase the rent. If the owner fails to ask for rent before the next player rolls, they forfeit payment.
CHANCE AND COMMUNITY CHEST
When landing on either of these spaces, take the top card from the corresponding deck. Follow the instructions and when finished return the card face down to the bottom of the deck. If you draw the “Get Out of Jail Free” card, hold it until it can be played before returning it to the bottom of the deck. “Get Out of Jail Free” cards may be sold by the player who holds it, if they don’t wish to use it, at an agreed upon price by both players.
If you land here you have two options: You may either estimate your tax at $200 and pay the Bank, OR you can pay 10% of your total worth to the Bank. Your total worth is defined as all your cash on hand, including printed prices of mortgaged and un-mortgaged properties and the cost price of all buildings you own. This decision must be made before you total your worth.
Jail is located in one of the four corner spaces on a Monopoly Board. When in Jail, a player’s turn is suspended until either the player rolls a double or pays to get out. If a player is ‘Just Visiting’, and was not sent to Jail, the Jail space acts as ‘safe’ space, where nothing happens. The character depicted on the square is “Jake the Jailbird”.
You land in Jail if:
- Your token lands on the space marked “GO TO JAIL”.
- You draw a Chance card or Community Chest card marked “GO (DIRECTLY) TO JAIL”
- You roll Doubles three times in succession in one turn.
A player can get out of Jail ‘early’ by:
- Rolling doubles on any of your next 3 turns, move forward the number of spaces indicated by the die. Despite throwing doubles, in this circumstance you do not roll again.
- Using or purchasing a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card
- Paying $50 fine before rolling
If you do not get out of Jail within 3 turns, you must pay the $50 fine and move the number spaces indicted by the dice thrown. While in Jail you can still buy or sell properties and collect rent.
When landing on this space one does not receive any money, property or reward of any kind. This is only a “free” resting-place.
After a player procures all the properties in a color-group they may buy houses from the Bank and erect them on those properties.
If you buy one house, you can place it on any one of those properties. The following house bought must be placed on an unimproved property or on any other color complete property you own. The price you must pay the Bank for each house is listed on the Title Deed card for the property. In complete color-groups, owners earn double rent even on unimproved properties.
You can buy or rent houses, in accordance with the above rules, as long as your judgement and finances will allow. However, you must build evenly, i.e., you cannot erect more than one house on any one property of any color-group until each property has one house. There is a four house limit.
After a player reaches four houses on each property of a complete color-group, they can buy a hotel from the Bank and erect it on any property within the color-group. They return the four houses from that property to the Bank and pay the price for the hotel as shown on the Title Deed card. One hotel limit per property.
Players may sell unimproved properties, railroads, or utilities privately for any amount the owner can procure. However, if buildings are standing on any properties within that color-group, property cannot be sold to another player. Building must be sold back to the bank before a player can sell property within that color-group.
Houses and Hotels can be sold back to the Bank for half the original price. House must be sold individually, in reverse order in which the were erected. Hotels, however, can either be sold at once are as individual houses (1 hotel = 5 houses), evenly in reverse order.
Property, which is unimproved, can be mortgaged through the Bank at anytime. All the buildings on all the properties of its color-group must be sold back to the bank, at half the original price, before an improved property can be mortgaged. The mortgage value of a property can be found on its Title Deed card.
Rent cannot be collected on any mortgaged properties or utilities. But, un-mortgaged properties within the same group can collect rent.
If you wish to lift your mortgage, pay the Banker the amount of the mortgage plus 10% interest. After all properties within a color-group no longer are mortgaged, the owner can buy back houses at full price. Owners can sell mortgaged properties to other players at an agreed upon price. New owners may lift the mortgage at once by paying the mortgage plus 10% interest. However, if the new owner does not immediately lift the mortgage they must pay the bank 10% interest when buying the property AND pay the 10% interest + mortgage cost when lifting the mortgage.
BANKRUPTCY AND WINNING
If you owe more than you can pay another player or the Bank, you are bankrupt. If you’re in debt to another player, you must turn over all your moneys and properties and leave the game. During this settlement, if any houses or hotels are owned, you must return these to the Bank in exchange for money equal to one-half the amount paid for them. This cash is given to the creditor. Mortgaged properties can also be turned over to the creditor, but the new owner must pay 10% interest to the bank.
If you have mortgaged property you also turn this property over to your creditor but the new owner must at once pay the Bank the amount of interest on the loan, which is 10% of the value of the property. The new owner who does this may either pay hold the property then lift the mortgage at a later turn or pay the principal. If they choose to hold property and wait until a later turn, they must pay interest again upon lifting the mortgage.
If you are in debt to the Bank for more than you are able to pay, you must turn over all assets to the bank. The bank then auctions off all the property (except buildings). Bankrupt players must immediately retire from the game. The winner is the last player left.
Some people play monopoly by the rules that came in the box. Alternatively, house rules developed over the years to improve the game to the tastes of many people who enjoy the game. The most common house rule allows money to accumulate in the center of the board from taxes, fines, and street repairs and is ceremoniously turned over to any player who lands on “Free Parking’’. This adds an element of the lottery to the game and allows players to get unexpected income that can change the course of the game, especially if considerable amount of cast accumulate in the center of the board.
In another interesting variation, all of the property is dealt out the in the start of the game. There is not a race to buy property and there is a plethora of money to develop properties. This considerably speeds up the game, however, it does take a bit of skill out of the game as well as some of the satisfaction of struggling to put together a successful monopoly.
Hasbro’s official Monopoly website occasionally features information about upcoming tournaments. World championships are typically held every four to six years.For example, the past World Championship Monopoly Tournaments were in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2009, and 2015.
National championships are usually held the same year as the World Championships or the preceding one. Therefore, the next round of national and world championship tournaments will most likely not occur before 2019 and possibly not until 2021. However, some countries hold national championships more frequently than the United States. France, for example, held a national championship in 2016.
Entry into national championships differ by country and year. They typically consist of an online application and a short quiz.