Guide to Monopoly

Monopoly has been translated into 37 languages and licensed in more than 100 countries, making it one of the most widely played games of all time. The original version of Monopoly was released in 1935 and may be played with two or more people. The goal of the game is to amass the most money by forcing your opponents to go bankrupt by landing on your properties and paying rent. This game guide to Monopoly will teach you how to play the game if you are still one of the many who are puzzled or unsure of the rules. But before that, let’s look at where the popular game started.

The Landlord’s Game: Early Concept of Monopoly

The game was first developed by Lizzie Magie and titled The Landlord’s Game before being renamed Monopoly.

Magie devised the Landlord’s Game in 1903 to streamline the teaching of Henry George’s single tax theory. This economic philosophy holds that all members of society should profit from the value of any land. The Landlord’s Game was meant to visualize the drawbacks of a private monopoly on land and property ownership.

The game’s creator developed two sets of rules: one set encourages players to amass as many properties as possible and drive their opponents into bankruptcy. In contrast, the other rules reward everyone when money is distributed equitably. To a considerably greater extent than the second set of regulations, the first set won in popularity.

In contrast to Magie’s beliefs, the modern version of Monopoly encourages players to accumulate wealth by amassing property holdings and forming monopolies (a situation in which one corporation controls all of a particular market).

From its inception in the 1800s to the 1930s, numerous rule variations and variants of The Landlord’s Game emerged. Around this time, other boards using her rules and general concept appeared, causing Magie to reapply for a patent in 1926 after having done so initially in 1904.

The Birth of the Board Game “Monopoly”

When Charles Darrow sold the license to his version of the game to Parker Brothers in 1934, the name “Monopoly” was officially applied to Magie’s innovation for the first time. However, according to the work of economics professor Ralph Anspach, who also designed the Anti-Monopoly board game in 1973, we now know that Darrow stole the idea for Monopoly from The Landlord’s Game after playing it with a friend of his wife’s named Charles Todd in 1932.

Because of the enhancements made by Darrow, he was granted a patent for the game in December 1935; nonetheless, the concept was assigned to Parker Brothers with the assistance of F.O. Alexander, who created the game’s now-iconic mascot.

In the years after Parker Brothers purchased Monopoly’s licensing rights, the game’s popularity skyrocketed as it spread around the globe during World War II.

After acquiring Parker Brothers in 1991, Hasbro became the owner of Monopoly. Hasbro’s purchase of Monopoly led to the creation of numerous expansion packs and collector’s editions. Since the corporation is mainly responsible for the game’s meteoric rise to fame, it has become a recognized symbol of success in the board game industry around the world.

Starting a Game of Monopoly

All players must agree on a banker before the game begins; this person will be responsible for handing out and collecting money for the other players. Each player, including the banker, should then receive $1,500. Two $500 bills, two $100 bills, two $50 bills, six $20 bills, five $10 bills, five $5 bills, and five $1 bills are distributed to each player. Players can try asking the banker to replace the huge bills with smaller ones of the same value.

Once players have received their in-game money, they can select which piece they wish to move on the board. The game piece can be a top hat, a racing car, a battleship, or a cat. Although in other special versions, the properties and game pieces have been altered.

Moving Around the Board

Each player will roll a die to know who goes first on the board. The first player is whoever rolls the highest number. Everyone should begin at the GO space and travel clockwise around the board to play.

Players should roll two dice to determine how far they can advance on the board. The numbers on the dice’s upper sections represent the player’s total number of spaces to move clockwise. Doubles (when the top numbers on both dice are the same) allow the player to roll the dice again to move clockwise.

Buying Properties in the Game

You can buy the property on which you currently stand for the sum of money shown to the right of the property’s name. Once you’ve purchased the property, you’ll be handed a card detailing the rental fees other players will incur whenever they land on that property tile you bought. You can build up to four houses on the purchased property tile, and the rent will go up every time you acquire one house. The only way to put a hotel there is to get a Monopoly.

Getting a “Monopoly”

Properties are grouped into colors and can be seen at the top of each property tile. In the original board game of Monopoly, there are eight colors in total. Six of them have three properties each, while the other two have only two properties each. If you have purchased all properties of the same color, you will achieve a “Monopoly.” This allows you to double your rent on all properties where you earned a Monopoly. It also lets you build a red hotel on a property, but you need to give up the four green-colored houses built on it.

The Auction Rule

If you do not wish to purchase the property, the banker will begin the auction, and all interested players will place bids. The opening price for this auction is one dollar. This auction rule is optional and rarely applied because of how long it takes and how dull it may get.

Non-Property Spaces

Spaces labeled “GO,” “Community Chest,” “Chance,” “Go to Jail,” “In Jail,” “Just Visiting,” “Income Tax,” and “Free Parking” are not properties, although they are nonetheless part of the board game.

If a player lands on or moves through the GO space, they receive $200 from the bank. However, if a player lands on Income Tax, they must pay the bank either $200 or 10% of their current cash balance, whichever is greater.

If a player lands on either the Community Chest or the Chance square, they must draw one card and complete the task stated on it. Some examples of such tasks are a free pass to get out of jail, gain money, or lose money by paying for an event.

Getting Jailed in the Game

Landing on the “Go to Jail” space means you will be jailed in the game. If you are in jail, you can’t collect $200 on the GO space, and you will be unable to move your game piece. The only ways to get out of jail are using the “get out of jail free” card, paying a $50 bail, or taking your chance to roll the dice and get a double.

Rolling a double will get you out of jail and move your game piece based on the total number you have rolled. However, rolling a double thrice in a row will automatically put your game piece into jail.

Buying Other Player’s Properties

You can negotiate a deal with another player to acquire a property they already possess. However, most opponents will turn down your offer if they suspect you attempt to establish a Monopoly.

Mortgaging Properties

You could potentially run out of cash midgame, and your piece is still far away from “GO.” In this situation, players exchange their properties at the bank for cash, known as mortgaging. The only way to claim your mortgaged property is by paying the bank the mortgage amount plus interest of 10%. When a player lands on a property tile that is mortgaged, they will not pay rent to its owner. You can sell your mortgaged property to other players, but they are unlikely to do so unless they require your property to establish a Monopoly.

Going Bankrupt and Winning the Game

You must file for bankruptcy if you’ve exhausted your properties and have no more money left. If every other player goes bankrupt, the winner is the one who is still in the game.

Why Play Monopoly

Playing Monopoly is an excellent method to teach players about economics, money management, and other valuable life skills. Money and life lessons abound in this game, including the importance of strategy, planning ahead, math, negotiation, accepting defeat gracefully, and learning to regulate one’s emotions. 

Playing the board game is easy despite its sophisticated structure, which involves dealing with taxation, mortgages, and monopolies. The fact that people of many ages can enjoy it contributed to its rapid rise to prominence as a pastime. Since its inception, Monopoly has spawned countless unique editions and variants to appeal to a broader audience and attract players with various interests and backgrounds.