I’m a fan of boardgames and one of my favourites is Monopoly.
Unfortunately, most people I know hate it so I don’t get to play it that often – and I don’t like playing it with people who aren’t as into it as I am so that makes my chances of playing it that much more less.
But when I do play, I do have a strategy that I always rely on. It doesn’t necessarily ensure that I always win because there is that element of chance at the beginning but after a few rolls of the dice, the actual game play can begin.
My preference of how the game is played tends to lean toward a more liberal bank. I like Free Parking to be a lottery win, where the gain is $500 plus whatever taxes have to be paid to the bank. I also like to play with the option of landing on GO doubling your earnings – $200 instead of $400 – but this is less necessary. Finally, I don’t care to play with the auctioning of properties if someone chooses to pass on one. It can be good for strategy but it’s also time consuming in a game that can already go on too long.
My initial strategy from the get-go is to buy buy buy! If I land on something that isn’t owned, regardless of what it is, I’ll buy it. I have played games where I was nearly out of money by my first run around the board. This is the best time in the game to get doubles (to be able to roll again), and go to Jail, to be able to backtrack and buy more property. With that, I’ll never stay in Jail if there are spaces left to be bought.
Owning properties early on gives me something to use later for trades, plus there’s the chance that I might end up landing on all three (or two) of a colour, allowing me to develop them. Some games may only have one or two colours that ever get developed, which can be a make or break.
I do have colours that I consider higher priority than others. For example, the entire second row (the light purples and the oranges) are the most important developable properties as they are inexpensive to buy and not that costly to buy houses and hotels on but their return is pretty decent. Plus, there’s the chance card for landing on St. Charles Place and all three of the orange spaces are among the ten most landed on spots on the board.
I do consider the red properties from row three to be assets as well as there is a chance card that directs you to Illinois Avenue and all three red spaces are also in the top ten most landed on spots. So, in other words, owning that entire corner can win you the game.
I don’t place much priority over owning Boardwalk and Park Place. Yeah, those two get you the most money but they don’t get landed on too often. If I owned those and another player owned a set of either of the colours on row two, I’d probably lose because a, the cost of developing Park Place and Boardwalk to completion is $2,000 so I’d probably be low on funds anyway, and b, each hit on those opposing properties would set me back between $750 and $1,000.
My least favourite properties to own are the green ones, the yellow ones and the utilities. I won’t turn them down if given the opportunity to buy but I’d be less likely to mortgage something for them if it came down to it.
And finally, the single most important properties in the game in my opinion: the Railroads. Owning all four railroads gives you four chances, evenly distributed around the board, at getting $200 each time they are landed on. I would trade a lot of properties for the railroads if I had to, and I have. The first person lucky enough to land on a railroad will probably be the person who will inevitably win – unless I can make a trade for it…
So there’s my Monopoly secrets. If you’re reading this and we ever play Monopoly, you’ll know how I play and we probably can’t be friends anymore.