|The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game|
The Monopoly logo (2009–present)
|Players||Some versions 2–6
Other versions 2–8
|Setup time||5–10 minutes|
|Playing time||60–240 minutes (1–4 hours) [average]|
|Random chance||High (dice rolling, card drawing)|
Monopoly is an American-originated board game originally published by Parker Brothers. Subtitled "The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game", the game is named after the economic concept of monopoly—the domination of a market by a single entity. It is produced by the United States game and toy company Hasbro. Players move around the gameboard buying or trading properties, developing their properties with houses and hotels, and collecting rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy.
- 1 History
- 2 Board
- 3 Equipment
- 4 Rules
- 5 Strategy
- 6 Related games
- 7 Media
- 8 Tournaments
- 9 Variants
- 10 Criticisms
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1903, when an American 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 intended as an educational tool to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies). Her game, The Landlord's Game, was self-published, beginning in 1906. A series of variant board games based on her concept were developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land.
By 1933, a board game called Monopoly had been created which formed the basis of the game sold by Parker Brothers, beginning in 1935. Several people, mostly in the Midwestern United States and near the East Coast, contributed to the game's design and evolution, and this is when the game's design took on the 4×10 space-to-a-side layout and familiar cards were produced. The original version of the game in this format was based on Atlantic City, New Jersey. By the 1970s, the idea that the game had been created solely by Charles Darrow had become popular folklore: it was printed in the game's instructions and even in the 1974 book The Monopoly Book: Strategy and Tactics of the World's Most Popular Game by Maxine Brady.
In 1936, Parker Brothers began licensing the game for sale outside of the United States. In 1941, the British Secret Intelligence Service had John Waddington Ltd., the licensed manufacturer of the game in the United Kingdom, 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 Secret Service-created fake charity groups.
Economics professor Ralph Anspach published a game Anti-Monopoly in 1973, and was sued for trademark infringement by Parker Brothers in 1974. The case went to trial in 1976. Anspach won on appeals in 1979, as the 9th Circuit Court determined that the trademark Monopoly was generic, and therefore unenforceable. The United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the appellate court ruling to stand. This decision was overturned by the passage of Public Law 98-620 in 1984. With that law in place, Parker Brothers and its parent companies (Hasbro) continue to hold valid trademarks for the game Monopoly.
A new wave of licensed products began in 1994, when Hasbro granted a license to USAopoly to begin publishing a San Diego Edition of Monopoly, which has since been followed by over 100 more. Other licensees include Winning Moves Games (since 1995) and Winning Solutions, Inc. (since 2000) in the United States. Winning Moves also has offices in the UK, France, Germany and Australia, and other licensees include AH Media in The Netherlands, and Bestman Games in Nigeria.
The Monopoly gameboard consists of 40 spaces containing 28 properties (22 colored streets, four railway stations and two utilities), three Chance spaces, three Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, (In) Jail/Just Visiting, Free Parking, and Go to Jail.
There have been some changes to the board since the original. Not all of the Chance and Community Chest cards as printed in the 1935 patent were used in editions from 1936/1937 onwards, and graphics with the Mr. Monopoly character were added in that same timeframe. A graphic of a chest containing coins was added to the Community Chest spaces, as were the flat purchase prices of all of the properties. Traditionally, the Community Chest cards were yellow (although they sometimes were printed on blue stock) with no decoration or text on the back, and the Chance cards were orange, likewise with no text or decoration on the back.
Hasbro commissioned a major redesign to the US Standard Edition of the game in 2008. Among the changes: the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues (which changed from purple to brown), the colors of the GO square (which changed from red to black), the adoption of a flat $200 Income Tax (formerly the player's choice of $200 or 10% of their total holdings, which they may not calculate until after making their final decision), and increased $100 Luxury Tax amount (upped from $75). There were also changes to the Chance and Community Chest cards; for example, the "poor tax" and "grand opera opening" cards became "speeding fine" and "it is your birthday", respectively; though their effects remained the same, and the player must pay only $50 instead of $150 for the school tax. In addition, a player now gets $50 instead of $45 for sale of stock, and the Advance to Illinois Avenue card now has the added text concerning passing Go and collecting $200 on the way there. Similar color and amount changes are used in the US Edition of the "Here and Now: World Edition" game, and are also used in the most recent versions of the McDonald's Monopoly promotion.
All of the Chance and Community Chest cards received a graphic upgrade in 2008 as part of the graphic refresh of the game. Mr. Monopoly's classic line illustration was also now usually replaced by renderings of a 3D Mr. Monopoly model. The backs of the cards have their respective symbols, with Community Chest cards in blue, and Chance cards in orange.
In the US versions shown below, the properties are named after locations in (or near) Atlantic City, New Jersey. Atlantic City's Illinois Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the 1980s. St. Charles Place no longer exists, as the now-defunct Showboat Casino Hotel was developed where it once ran.
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was introduced by Charles and Olive Todd, who taught the game to Charles Darrow, and passed on when their homemade Monopoly board was copied by Darrow and thence to Parker Brothers. The Todds also changed the Atlantic City Quakers' Arctic Avenue to Mediterranean, and shortened the Shore Fast Line to the Short Line. It was not until 1995 that Parker Brothers acknowledged this mistake and formally apologized to the residents of Marven Gardens for the misspelling.
Short Line refers to the Shore Fast Line, a streetcar line that served Atlantic City. The B&O Railroad did not serve Atlantic City. A booklet included with the reprinted 1935 edition states that the four railroads that served Atlantic City in the mid-1930s were the Jersey Central, the Seashore Lines, the Reading Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The Baltimore & Ohio (now part of CSX) was the parent of the Reading. There is a tunnel in Philadelphia where track to the south was B. & O. and track to the north is Reading. The Central of N.J. did not have track to Atlantic City but was the daughter of the Reading (and granddaughter of the B. & O.) Their track ran from the New York City area to Delaware Bay and some trains ran on the Reading-controlled track to Atlantic City.
The actual "Electric Company" and "Water Works" serving the city are respectively Atlantic City Electric Company (a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings) and the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
In the 1930s, John Waddington Ltd. (Waddingtons) was a firm of printers from Leeds that had begun to branch out into packaging and the production of playing cards. Waddingtons had sent the card game Lexicon to Parker Brothers hoping to interest them in publishing the game in the United States. In a similar fashion, Parker Brothers sent over a copy of Monopoly to Waddingtons early in 1935 before the game had been put into production in the United States.
The managing director of Waddingtons, Victor Watson, gave the game to his son Norman (who was head of the card games division) to test over the weekend. Norman was impressed by the game and persuaded his father to call Parker Brothers on Monday morning – transatlantic calls then being almost unheard of. This call resulted in Waddingtons obtaining a license to produce and market the game outside of the United States. Watson felt that for the game to be a success in the United Kingdom, the American locations would have to be replaced, so Victor and his secretary, Marjory Phillips, went to London to scout out locations. The Angel, Islington is not a street in London but a building. It was a coaching inn that stood on the Great North Road. By the 1930s, the inn had become a J. Lyons and Co. tea room (it is now a Co-operative Bank). Some accounts say that Marjory and Victor met at the Angel to discuss the selection and celebrated the fact by including it on the Monopoly board. In 2003, a plaque commemorating the naming was unveiled at the site by Victor Watson's grandson, who is also named Victor.
The standard British board, produced by Waddingtons, was for many years the version most familiar to people in countries in the Commonwealth (except Canada, where the US edition with Atlantic City-area names was reprinted), although local variants of the board are now also found in several of these countries.
In 1998, Winning Moves procured the Monopoly license from Hasbro and created new UK city and regional editions with sponsored squares. Winning Moves struggled to raise the sponsorship deals for the gameboards, but did so eventually. A Nottingham Graphic Design agency, TMA, produced the visual design of the Monopoly 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 produces new city and regional editions annually. Nottingham based designers Guppi have been responsible for the games' visual design since 2001.
The original income tax choice from the 1930s US board is replaced by a flat rate on the UK board, and the $75 Luxury Tax space is replaced with the £100 Super Tax space, the same as the current German board. In 2008, the US Edition was changed to match the UK and various European editions, including a flat $200 Income Tax value and an increased $100 Luxury Tax amount.
The cases wherein the game was produced under license by a national company, the £ (pound) was replaced by a $ (dollar) sign, but the place names were unchanged.
Starting in the UK in 2005, an updated version of the game, titled Monopoly 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 gameboard. The popularity of this voting, in turn, caused the creation of similar websites, and secondary gameboards per popular vote to be created in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other nations.
In 2006, Winning Moves Games released the Mega Edition, with a 30% larger gameboard and revised game play. Other streets from Atlantic City (eight, one per color group) were included, along with a third "utility", the Gas Company. In addition, $1,000 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.
Monopoly Here and Now
In September 2006, the US edition of Monopoly Here and Now was released. This edition features top landmarks across the US. The properties were decided by votes over the Internet in the spring of 2006.
Monetary values are multiplied by 10,000 (e.g., one collects $2,000,000 instead of $200 for passing GO and pays that much for Income Tax (or 10% of their total, as this edition was launched prior to 2008), each player starts with $15,000,000 instead of $1,500, etc.). Also, the Chance and Community Chest cards are updated, the Railroads are replaced by Airports (Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles International, New York City's JFK, and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson), and the Utilities (Electric Company and Water Works) are replaced by Service Providers (Internet Service Provider and Cell Phone Service Provider). The houses and hotels are blue and silver, not green and red as in most editions of Monopoly. The board uses the traditional US layout; the cheapest properties are purple, not brown, and "Interest on Credit Card Debt" replaces "Luxury Tax". Despite the updated Luxury Tax space and the Income Tax space no longer using the 10% option, this edition uses paper Monopoly money, and not an electronic banking unit like the Here and Now World Edition. However, a similar edition of Monopoly, the Electronic Banking edition, does feature an electronic banking unit and bank cards, as well as a different set of tokens. Both Here and Now and Electronic Banking feature an updated set of tokens from the Atlantic City edition.
It is also notable that three states (California, Florida and Texas) are represented by two cities each (Los Angeles and San Francisco, Miami and Orlando, and Dallas and Houston respectively). No other state is represented by more than one city (not including the airports). One landmark, Texas Stadium, has been demolished and no longer exists. Another landmark, Jacobs Field, still exists, but was renamed Progressive Field in 2008.
All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the bank until bought by the players. A standard set of Monopoly pieces includes:
A deck of 32 Chance and Community Chest cards (16 Chance and 16 Community Chest) which players draw when they land on the corresponding squares of the track, and follow the instructions printed on them.
A title deed for each property 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 in order to build houses or hotels. Once achieved, color group properties must be improved or "broken down" evenly. See the section on Rules.
- 4 railroads, players collect $25 rent if they own one station; $50 for two; $100 for three; $200 for all four. These are usually replaced by railroad stations in non-US editions of Monopoly.
- 2 utilities, rent is four times the dice value if one utility is owned, but ten times if both are owned. Hotels and houses cannot be built on utilities or stations. Some country editions have a fixed rent for utilities; for example, the Italian editions has a L. 2,000 ($20) rent if one utility is owned, or L. 10,000 ($100) if both are owned.
The purchase prices for the various properties vary from $60 to $400 on a US Standard Edition set.
Houses and hotels
32 houses and 12 hotels made of wood or plastic (the original and 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.
Older US standard editions of the game included a total of $15,140 in the following denominations:
- 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)
Newer (September 2008 and later) US editions instead provide a total of $20,580—30 of each denomination. The colors of some of the bills also changed: $10s are now blue instead of yellow, $20s are a brighter color green than before, and $50s are now purple instead of blue.
Each player begins the game with his or her token on the Go square, and $1,500 (or 1,500 of a localized currency) in play money (2,500 with the Speed Die). Prior to September 2008, the money was divided with greater numbers of $20 and $10 bill. Since then, the US version has taken on the British version's initial cash distributions.
|US editions prior to 2008||US editions since 2008 / British editions|
|2 × $500||2 × $/£500|
|2 × $100||4 × $/£100|
|2 × $50||1 × $/£50|
|6 × $20||1 × $/£20|
|5 × $10||2 × $/£10|
|5 × $5||1 × $/£5|
|5 × $1||5 × $/£1|
Although the US version is indicated as allowing eight players, the above cash distribution is not possible with all eight players since it requires 32 $100 bills and 40 $1 bills. However, the amount of cash contained in the game is enough for eight players with a slight alteration of bill distribution.
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 game, each player received ₤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 $1,500. The classic Italian games were played with only four denominations of currency. Both Spanish editions (the Barcelona and Madrid editions) started the game with 150,000 in play money, with a breakdown identical to that of the American version.
Monopoly 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; while a $1,000 bill can be found in Monopoly: The Mega Edition and Monopoly: The Card Game (both published by Winning Moves Games), this note is not a standard denomination for "classic" versions of Monopoly.)
Each player is represented by a small metal token that is moved around the edge of the board according to the roll of two six-sided dice. The number of tokens (and the tokens themselves) have changed over the history of the game, with many appearing in special editions only, and some available with non-game purchases. As of 2013, eight tokens are included in standard edition games, including:
- Old-style shoe (or boot)
- Scottie dog
- Top hat
- Cat (added in 2013)
Previous tokens retired in the 1950s (replaced by the dog, man on horseback, and wheelbarrow):
Other retired tokens:
- Sack of money (1999–2007 editions; won a 1998 contest over a piggy bank and biplane)
- Man on horseback
- Iron (1935–2013 editions)
- Howitzer, better known as a cannon
- Police Cap (Monopoly Collection, 2011).
- Train (Only in Deluxe Editions)
Tokens exclusive to certain editions include the locomotive, which was available only in the Deluxe Edition of the game. An Australian edition of the game had a pewter koala in addition to the regular pieces, and the Canadian edition from 1982 did the same but with a beaver token. Tokens retired in 2008 and 2013 are still available in Monopoly: The Classic Edition. Tokens available without the gameboard included replicas of certain cars when purchased with licensed Johnny Lightning products, or a special Director's Chair token when purchased with Limited Edition DVD and Blu-ray copies of the documentary Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story.
Many of the early tokens were created by 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 usage. Hasbro recently adopted the battleship and cannon for Diplomacy.
Early localized editions of the standard edition (including some Canadian editions, which used the US board layout) did not include pewter tokens but instead had generic wooden pawns identical to those in Sorry!. Parker Brothers also acquired Sorry! in the 1930s. 1940s Monopoly sets in Britain had colored cardboard tokens that slotted onto small wooden blocks.
In 1998, a Hasbro advertising campaign asked the public to vote on a new playing piece to be added to the set, resulting in a "bag of money" token being added to the US edition. This piece was retired in 2007. In 2013, a similar promotional campaign was launched encouraging the public to vote on one of several possible new tokens to replace an existing one. The choices were a guitar, a diamond ring, a helicopter, a robot, or a cat. Unlike in 1998, one piece is to be retired, in this case the iron, and will be replaced by a new token, the cat. Both were chosen by a vote that ran on Facebook from January 8 to February 5, 2013. Shortly after the Facebook voting campaign, a limited edition golden token set was released exclusively at various national retailers, such as Target in the US and Tesco in the UK. This set contained the 2008-2013 tokens as listed above, and also contained all five of the iron's potential replacements: the cat, a guitar, a diamond ring, a helicopter and a robot.
- Source: Monopoly official rules
Players take turns in order, with the initial player determined by chance before the game. A typical turn begins with the rolling of the dice and advancing their piece clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares. If a player rolls doubles, they roll again after completing their turn. If a player rolls three consecutive sets of doubles on one turn, the player has been "caught speeding," and the player is immediately sent to jail instead of moving the amount shown on the dice for the third roll, ending the player's turn.
A player who lands or passes the Go space collects $200 (unless they automatically go to jail). Players who land on either Income Tax or Luxury Tax pay the indicated amount to the bank. In older editions of the game, two options were given for Income Tax: either pay a flat fee of $200 or 10% of the player's total worth (including the current values of all the properties and buildings owned). Players must choose which option before calculating their total worth, and cannot change their mind if it turns out that the $200 was actually less; in 2008, the 10% option was removed. Luxury Tax was originally $75; in 2008, it was increased to $100. Free Parking is just a "free" space; players who land here neither gain nor lose anything.
If a player lands on Chance or Community Chest, they draw the top card from the respective pile and obey its instructions. This may include collecting or paying the bank a specified amount of money, or automatically moving to a specific space on the board. Two types of cards that involve jail, "Go to Jail" and "Get Out of Jail Free", are explained below.
A player will land in jail if they land on "Go to Jail", throw three straight doubles in a turn, or draw a Community Chest or Chance Card saying "Go to Jail". When a player is sent to jail they move there directly ("Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.") and their turn ends. If the player is not "sent" to jail but just lands on that space, they are "Just Visiting", incur no penalty and move in the usual manner on their next turn.
If a player is in jail, they do not take a normal turn and must either pay a fine of $50 to be released from jail, use a Chance or Community Chest Get Out of Jail Free card, or attempt to roll doubles on the dice. If a player fails to roll doubles, they lose their turn. Failure to roll doubles thrice will result in paying the $50 fine (or use a Get out of Jail Free card) to be released. While a player is in jail, they may not buy property directly, by virtue of not being able to land on the properties. However, they may sell, trade and mortgage properties, purchase buildings, participate in auctions, and collect rents. If a player does roll doubles to exit Jail, they may immediately move according to the roll, but they cannot roll a second time after exiting jail. If the player instead pays the $50 fine or uses a Get out of Jail Free card and then rolls doubles, they are required to move the amount shown on the dice and then roll again.
If the player lands on an unowned property, whether street, railroad, or utility, they can buy the property for its listed purchase price. If they decline 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, they must pay the owner a given rent, the price dependent on whether the property is part of a set or its level of development.
When a player owns all of the properties in a color group and none of them are mortgaged, they may develop them during their turn or in between other player's turns. Development involves buying miniature houses or hotels from the bank and placing them on the property spaces, and must be done uniformly across the group. That is, a second house cannot be built on any property within a group until all of them have one house. Once the player owns an entire group, they can collect double rent for any undeveloped properties within it. Although houses and hotels cannot be built on railroads or utilities, the given rent also increases if a player owns more than one of either type. If there is more demand for houses to be built than what remains in the bank, then a housing auction is conducted to determine who will get to purchase each house.
Properties can also be mortgaged, although all developments on a monopoly must be sold before any property of that color can be mortgaged or traded. The player receives money from the bank for each mortgaged property (half of the purchase price), which must be repaid with 10% interest to unmortgage. Houses and hotels can be sold back to the bank for half their purchase price. Players cannot collect rent on mortgaged properties and may not give improved property away to others; however, trading mortgaged properties is allowed. The player receiving the mortgaged property must immediately unmortgage it for the mortgage price plus 10%, or pay the bank just the 10% amount and keep the property mortgaged; if the player chooses the latter, they must still pay the 10% again if the property is later unmortgaged.
A player who cannot pay what they owe is bankrupt and eliminated from the game. If the bankrupt player owes the bank, they must turn all of their assets over to the bank, who then auctions off their properties (if they have any), except buildings. If the debt is instead to another player, all the assets are instead given to that opponent, but the new owner must still pay the bank to unmortgage any such properties received. The winner is the remaining player left after all the others have gone bankrupt.
From 1936, the rules booklet included with each Monopoly set contained a short section at the end providing rules for making the game shorter, either by setting a time limit, or by ending the game after the second player goes bankrupt. As well, an additional rules booklet or sheet was included giving the rules for a short variant with several changes, such as starting each player out with two properties selected at random. A later version of the rules included this variant, along with the time limit game, in the main rules booklet, omitting the second bankruptcy method as a third short game.
Many house rules have emerged for the game since its creation. A popular one is the "Free Parking jackpot rule", where money paid in fines is stockpiled on the "free parking" space instead of being returned to the bank. When a player lands on that square, they may take the money. House rules that slow or prevent money being returned to the bank in this way 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 that increase the amount of money in the game may change the strategies of the players, such as changing the relative value of different properties. For instance, with the official rules, players can rarely afford to build significant numbers of houses on the third and fourth sides of the board, but with more money in the game, this strategy may become more workable.[not in citation given]
Video game and computer game versions of Monopoly have options where popular house rules can be used. In 2014, Hasbro determined five popular house rules by public Facebook vote, and released a "House Rules edition" of the board game. Rules selected include collecting paid fines on free parking, forcing players to traverse the board once before buying properties, and awarding money for players rolling a double-1 on the dice.
According to Jim Slater in The Mayfair Set, the Orange property group is the best to own because players land on them more often, as a result of the Chance cards Go to Jail, Advance to St. Charles Place (Pall Mall), Advance to Reading Railroad (Marylebone 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 (Marylebone Station) are the most frequently landed-upon properties. Mediterranean Avenue (Old Kent Road), Baltic Avenue (Whitechapel Road), Park Place (Park Lane), and Oriental Avenue (The Angel Islington) are the least-landed-upon properties. Among the property groups, the Railroads are most frequently landed upon, as no other group has four properties; Orange has the next highest frequency, followed by Red.
Other strategies may include exploitation of the game's rules, or loopholes that are not necessarily addressed by the rules. A nearly bankrupt player could, for instance, sell or trade all remaining assets to another player for substantially less than their actual value, effectively engaging in kingmaking. One might deploy this strategy in a last-ditch effort to avoid conceding their assets to wealthy players when the threat of bankruptcy becomes unavoidable. However, this tactic is usually prevented by judges at the national championship level as trades are required to be beneficial to all parties involved.
Some players have also used tactics such as selling houses from one set of properties, then immediately buying them back and placing them on more expensive sets of properties, all during the course of a single turn. Although the housing auction rule sometimes applies, this tactic could still be used if other players simply cannot afford to participate in auctions at the time. When the number of houses available to the bank is particularly limited, some players may quickly purchase and hoard all available housing without ever upgrading to hotels, effectively restricting anyone else from upgrading as well.
One common criticism of Monopoly 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 could go on for hours. Also, a game was supposed to have a definite end somewhere. In Monopoly 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 gameboard includes a Plankton piece that moves every time someone rolls a 1 with the dice (if a player rolls two 1s, the Plankton piece moves two spaces), and the game is over when it reaches the end of the board.
Hasbro states that the longest game of Monopoly ever played lasted 1,680 hours (70 days or 10 weeks or 21⁄3 months).
Numerous add-ons have been made for Monopoly, sold independently from the game both before its commercialization and after, with three official ones discussed below:
The original Stock Exchange add-on was published by Capitol Novelty Co. of Rensselaer, New York in early 1936. It was marketed as an add-on for Monopoly, Finance, or Easy Money games. Shortly after Capitol Novelty introduced Stock Exchange, Parker Brothers bought it from them then marketed their own, slightly redesigned, version as an add-on specifically for their "new" Monopoly game; the Parker Brothers version was available in June 1936. The Free Parking square is covered over by a new Stock Exchange space and the add-on included three Chance and three Community Chest cards directing the player to "Advance to Stock Exchange". The Stock Exchange add-on was later redesigned and rereleased in 1992 under license by Chessex, this time including a larger number of new Chance and Community Chest cards. This version included ten new Chance cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and five other related cards) and eleven new Community Chest cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and six other related cards; the regular Community Chest card "From sale of stock you get $45" is removed from play when using these cards). Many of the original rules applied to this new version (in fact, one optional play choice allows for playing in the original form by only adding the "Advance to Stock Exchange" cards to each deck).
A Monopoly Stock Exchange Edition was released in 2001 (although not in the US), this time adding an electronic calculator-like device to keep track of the complex stock figures. This was a full edition, not just an add-on, that came with its own board, money and playing pieces. Properties on the board were replaced by companies on which shares could be floated, and offices and home offices (instead of houses and hotels) could be built.
Playmaster, another official add-on, released in 1982, is an electronic device that keeps track of all player movement and dice rolls as well as what properties are still available. It then uses this information to call random auctions and mortgages making it easier to free up cards of a color group. It also plays eight short tunes when key game functions occur; for example when a player lands on a railroad it plays "I've Been Working on the Railroad", and a police car's siren sounds when a player goes to Jail.
Get Out of Jail and Free Parking Mini Games
In 2009, Hasbro released two mini games that can be played as stand-alone games or combined with the Monopoly game. In Get Out of Jail, the goal is to manipulate a spade under a jail cell in an attempt to flick out various colored prisoners. The game can be used as an alternative to rolling doubles to get out of jail. In Free Parking, players attempt to balance taxis on a wobbly board. The Free Parking add-on can also be used with the Monopoly game. When a player lands on the Free Parking, the player can take the Taxi Challenge, and if successful, can move to any space on the board.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
Unlike the three add-ons above, which have always been sold separately, the Speed Die was introduced in-game in 2006. In 2007, Parker Brothers began releasing its standard version of Monopoly with the same die (originally in blue, later in red). First included in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Mega Edition variant, this third, six-sided die is rolled with the other two, and accelerates gameplay when in use. Its faces are: 1, 2, 3, two "Mr. Monopoly" sides, and a bus. The numbers behave as normal, adding to the other two dice, unless a "triple" is rolled, in which case the player can move to any space on the board. The bus (properly "get off the bus") allows the player to use only one of the two numbered dice or the sum of both, thus a roll of 1, 5, and bus would let the player choose between moving 1, 5, or 6 spaces. If "Mr. Monopoly" is rolled while there are unowned properties, the player advances forward to the nearest one. Otherwise, the player advances to the nearest property on which rent is owed.
The Speed Die is used throughout the game in the "Mega Edition", while in the "Regular Edition" it is used after every player has passed GO for the first time. In these editions it remains optional, although use of the Speed Die was made mandatory for use in the 2009 US & World MONOPOLY Championship.
Parker Brothers and its licensees have also sold several spin-offs of Monopoly. These are not add-ons, as they do not function as an addition to the Monopoly game, but are simply additional games in the flavor of Monopoly:
- Advance to Boardwalk board game (1985): Focusing mainly on building the most hotels along the Boardwalk.
- Don't Go to Jail: Dice game originally released by Parker Brothers; roll combinations of dice to create color groups for points before rolling the words "GO" "TO" and "JAIL" (which forfeits all earned points for the turn).
- Don't Go to Jail: Monopoly Express: A deluxe, travel edition re-release of Don't Go To Jail, replacing the word dice with "Officer Jones" dice and adding an eleventh die, Houses & Hotels, and a self-contained game container/dice roller & keeper.
- Express Monopoly card game (1994 US, 1995 UK): Released by Hasbro/Parker Brothers and Waddingtons in the UK, now out of print. Basically a rummy-style card game based on scoring points by completing color group sections of the gameboard.
- Free Parking card game: A more complex card game released by Parker Brothers, with several similarities to the card game Mille Bornes. Uses cards to either add time to parking meters, or spend the time doing activities to earn points. Includes a deck of Second Chance cards that further alter gameplay. Two editions were made; minor differences in card art and Second Chance cards in each edition.
- Monopoly City: Gameplay retains similar flavor but has been made significantly more complex in this version. The traditional properties are replaced by “districts” mapped to the previously underutilized real estate in the center of the board.
- Monopoly Deal: The most recent card game version of Monopoly. Players attempt to complete three property groups by playing property, cash & event cards.
- Monopoly Empire (2013): A variation where brands are purchased and owned instead of properties. Games are designed to finish in 30 minutes.
- Monopoly Express Casino: A gambling-themed version of the above game, that adds wagering to the gameplay.
- Monopoly Here & Now Electronic Edition: Eliminates the need for money, using credit cards instead.
- Monopoly Hotels (2012): based on the mobile app.
- Monopoly Junior board game (first published 1990, multiple variations since): A simplified version of the original game for young children.
- Monopoly: The Card Game (2000): an updated card game released by Winning Moves Games under license from Hasbro. Similar, but decidedly more complex, gameplay to the Express Monopoly card game.
- Monopoly Millionaire (2012): A variant of the game where the goal is to be the first player to make $1,000,000.
- Monopoly Millionaire Deal (2012): Card game; Combines gameplay elements of Monopoly Millionaire and Monopoly Deal.
- U-Build Monopoly (2010): A variant of Monopoly City using separate game tiles that allow for construction of custom gameboard configurations.
Besides the many variants of the actual game (and the Monopoly Junior spin-off) released in either video game or computer game formats (e.g., Commodore 64, Macintosh, Windows-based PC, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Satellaview, iPad, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, etc.), two spin-off computer games have been created. An electronic handheld version was marketed from 1997–2001.
- Monopoly: The iPhone game designed by Electronic Arts.
- Monopoly City Streets: An online version, using Google Maps and OpenStreetMap.
- Monopoly Millionaires The Facebook game designed by Playfish.
- Monopoly Streets: A video game played for the Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3. The video game includes properties now played on a street.
- Monopoly Tycoon: A game where you build businesses on the properties you own.
- Monopoly Hotels: An iPad app where players focus on buying Monopoly properties to accommodate characters from other Hasbro properties (such as Mr. Potato Head).
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
Many Monopoly-themed slot machines and lotteries have been produced by WMS Gaming in conjunction with International Game Technology for land-based casinos. WagerWorks, who have the online rights to Monopoly, have created online Monopoly themed games.
There was also a live, online version of Monopoly. Six painted taxis drive around London picking up passengers. When the taxis reach their final destination, the region of London that they are in is displayed on the online board. This version takes far longer to play than board-game monopoly, with one game lasting 24 hours. Results and position are sent to players via e-mail at the conclusion of the game.
The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sweepstakes advertising promotion of McDonald's and Hasbro that has been offered in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.
Television game show
A short-lived Monopoly game show aired on Saturday evenings from June 16 to September 1, 1990 on ABC. The show was produced by Merv Griffin and hosted by Mike Reilly. The show was paired with a summer-long Super Jeopardy! tournament, which also aired during this period on ABC.
Currently, The Hub airs the game show Family Game Night. For the first two seasons, teams earn cash in the form of "Monopoly Crazy Cash Cards" from the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Corner", which is then inserted to the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine" at the end of the show. In addition, starting with Season 2, teams win "Monopoly Party Packages" for winning the individual games. For Season 3, there is a Community Chest. Each card on Mr. Monopoly has a combination of three colors. Then teams will use the combination card to unlock the chest. If it's the right combination, then they will advance to the Crazy Cash Machine for a brand-new car. For the show's fourth season, a new game is added called Monopoly Remix, featuring Park Place and Boardwalk, as well as Income Tax and Luxury Tax.
In November 2008, Ridley Scott was announced to direct Universal Pictures' film version of the game, based on a script written by Pamela Pettler. The film is co-produced by Hasbro's Brian Goldner, as part of a deal with Hasbro to develop movies based on the company's line of toys. The story is being developed by author Frank Beddor. However, Universal eventually passed on the project and rights reverted to Hasbro.
In October 2012, Hasbro announced a new partnership with production company Emmett/Furla, and they have confirmed that they will work on a live action version of Monopoly, along with Action Man and Hungry Hungry Hippos. Ridley Scott's role on this film has now been changed to a producer.
The documentary Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story, covering the history and players of the game, won an Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2010 Anaheim International Film Festival. The film played theatrically in the US beginning in March 2011 and was released on Amazon & iTunes on February 14, 2012. The film is directed by Kevin Tostado and narrated by Zachary Levi.
US National Championship
Although in the past, US entrants had to successfully compete in regional competitions before the national championship, qualifying for the National Championship has been online since 2003. For the 2003 Championship, qualification was limited to the first fifty people who correctly completed an online quiz. Out of concerns that such methods of qualifying might not always ensure a competition of the best players, the 2009 Championship qualifying was expanded to include an online multiple-choice quiz (a score of 80% or better was required to advance); followed by an online five-question essay test; followed by a two-game online tournament at Pogo.com. The process was to have produced a field of 23 plus one: Matt McNally, the 2003 national champion, who received a bye and was not required to qualify. However, at the end of the online tournament, there was an eleven-way tie for the last six spots. The decision was made to invite all of those who had tied for said spots. In fact, two of those who had tied and would have otherwise been eliminated, Dale Crabtree of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Brandon Baker, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, played in the final game and finished third and fourth respectively.
The 2009 Monopoly US National Championship was held on April 14–15 in Washington, D.C. In his first tournament ever, Richard Marinaccio, an attorney from Sloan, New York (a suburb of Buffalo), prevailed over a field that included two previous champions to be crowned the 2009 US National Champion. In addition to the title, Mr. Marinaccio took home $20,580 — the amount of money in the bank of the board game — and competed in the 2009 World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 21–22, where he finished in third place.
Hasbro conducts a worldwide Monopoly tournament. The first Monopoly World Championships took place in Grossinger's Resort in New York, in November 1973, but it wasn't until 1975 that they included competitors from outside the United States. It has been aired in the United States by ESPN. In 2009, 41 players competed for the title of Monopoly World Champion and a cash prize of $20,580 USD, which is the total amount of 'Monopoly money' in the current Monopoly set used in the tournament.
|1973||Liberty, New York||Lee Bayrd||United States|
|1974||New York City||Alvin Aldridge||United States|
|1975||Washington, D.C.||John Mair||Ireland|
|1977||Monte Carlo||Cheng Seng Kwa||Singapore|
|1983||Palm Beach||Greg Jacobs||Australia|
|1985||Atlantic City||Jason Bunn||United Kingdom|
|1992||Berlin||Joost van Orten||Netherlands|
|1996||Monte Carlo||Christopher Woo||Hong Kong|
|2004||Tokyo||Antonio Zafra Fernández||Spain|
|2009||Las Vegas||Bjørn Halvard Knappskog||Norway|
Because Monopoly evolved in the public domain before its commercialization, Monopoly has seen many variant games. The game is licensed in 103 countries and printed in 37 languages. Most of the variants are exact copies of the Monopoly games with the street names replaced with locales from a particular town, university, or fictional place. National boards have been released as well. Over the years, many specialty Monopoly editions, licensed by Parker Brothers/Hasbro, and produced by them, or their licensees (including USAopoly and Winning Moves Games) have been sold to local and national markets worldwide. Two well known "families" of -opoly like games, without licenses from Parker Brothers/Hasbro, have also been produced.
Several published games similar to Monopoly include:
- Anti-Monopoly, one of several games that are a sort of monopoly backwards. The name of this game led to legal action between Anti-Monopoly's creator, Ralph Anspach, and the owners of Monopoly.
- Business, a Monopoly-like game not associated with Hasbro. In this version the "properties" to be bought are cities of India; Chance and Community Chest reference lists of results printed in the center of the board, keyed to the dice roll; and money is represented by counters, not paper.
- Dostihy a sázky, a variant sold in Czechoslovakia. This game comes from the totalitarian communist era (1948–1989), when private businesses were forbidden and mortgages didn't exist, so the monopoly theme was changed to a horse racing theme.
- Ghettopoly, released in 2003, caused considerable offense upon its release. The game, intended to be a humorous rendering of ghetto life, was decried as racist for its unflinching use of racial stereotypes. Hasbro sought and received an injunction against Ghettopoly's designer.
- Make Your Own -OPOLY: This game allows you to customize the board, money, and rules to your liking.
Games by locale or theme
There have been a large number of localized editions, broken down here by region:
- List of licensed and localized editions of Monopoly: Africa and Asia (including the Middle East and Southeast Asia but excluding Russia and Turkey)
- List of licensed and localized editions of Monopoly: Europe (including Russia and Turkey)
- List of licensed and localized editions of Monopoly: North America (including Central America but excluding the United States of America)
- List of licensed and localized editions of Monopoly: Oceania (Australia and New Zealand)
- List of licensed and localized editions of Monopoly: South America
- List of licensed and localized editions of Monopoly: USA (including the United States of America and all editions based on commercial brands)
This list is of unauthorized, unlicensed games based on Monopoly: Anti-Monopoly
Game description: Gay Monopoly – A celebration of gay life.
Tokens: Jeep, teddy bear, blow drier, leather cap, handcuffs, stiletto heel.
Other features: Board layout is circular rather than square.
|Micropoly – The Microsoft Monopoly Game|
Game description: A parody game based on Anti-Monopoly.
Other features: Chance is Download, Community Chest is Open Sources and the Railroads are Internet Service Provider(s).
Middopoly Memeopolis (Android app)
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
|Setup time||5–15 minutes|
|Playing time||About 1.5 hours|
|Random chance||High (dice rolling, card drawing)|
|Skill(s) required||Negotiation, Basic Resource management|
In 2008, Hasbro released Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition. 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.
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 uses its own currency unit, the Monopolonian (a game-based take on the Euro; designated by
M). The game uses said unit in millions and thousands. As seen above, there is no dark purple color-group, as that is replaced by brown, as in the European version of the game.
It is also notable that three cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) are from Canada and three other cities (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) are from the People's Republic of China. No other countries are represented by more than one city.
Of the 68 cities listed on Hasbro Inc.'s website for the vote, Jerusalem, was chosen as one of the 20 cities to be featured in the newest Monopoly World Edition. Before the vote took place, a Hasbro employee in the London office eliminated the country signifier "Israel" after the city, in response to pressure from pro-Palestinian advocacy groups. After the Israeli government protested, Hasbro Inc. issued a statement that read: "It was a bad decision, one that we rectified relatively quickly. This is a game. We never wanted to enter into any political debate. We apologize to our Monopoly fans."
Hasbro 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 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 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. This set was designed by artist Sidney Mobell to honor the game's 50th anniversary in 1985.
Wired magazine believes Monopoly is a poorly designed game. Former Wall Streeter Derk Solko explains, "Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It's a very negative experience. It's all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money."
Most of the 3 to 4-hour average playing time is spent waiting for other players to play their turn. "Board game enthusiasts disparagingly call this a 'roll your dice, move your mice' format".
- List of world championships in mind sports
- Rich Uncle Pennybags, also known as "Mr. Monopoly", the game's mascot character
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- Announcement of the renaming of Jacobs Field to Progressive Field on January 11, 2008 (via cleveland.com)
- Darwin, Clarence B. Passing Go: Early Monopoly 1933–1937 (1, revised ed.). River Forest, Illinois: Folkopoly Press. pp. 207–208.
- Darwin, Clarence B. Passing Go: Early Monopoly 1933–1937 (1, revised ed.). River Forest, Illinois: Folkopoly Press. p. 206.
- "Still Passing Go". Los Angeles Times.
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- Golden Token Edition product page at tesco.com
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- The Mayfair Set – Episode 4 (Adam Curtis, BBC on YouTube
- Collins, Truman (1997). "Monopoly Square Probabilities". Retrieved May 28, 2006.; the page includes detailed analyses of expected income from each property and discussion of the strategic implications.
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- Monopoly – History & Fun Facts
- "1936 Stock Exchange Game". Retrieved October 26, 2011.
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- Tostado, Kevin. Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story. Tostie Productions, 2010, film.
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- BoardGameGeek.com page on Monopoly Deal
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- "Anti-Monopoly". BoardGameGeek, LLC. Retrieved 13 August 2013. "The "Bust~the~Trust!" Game The basic idea of the game is to end the monopolistic practices of the 3-company-combinations of the gameboard. The players are Trust-Busting lawyers going about the board slapping lawsuits on the monopolies. The winning trust buster is the one who ends with the largest number of social-credit points when one of the players runs out of money."
- Pilon, Mary (October 20, 2009). "How a Fight Over a Board Game Monopolized an Economist's Life". The Wall Street Journal.
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- Make Your Own -OPOLY: The first do-it-yourself board game
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- Darzinskis, Kaz (1987). Winning Monopoly: A Complete Guide to Property Accumulation, Cash-Flow Strategy, and Negotiating Techniques When Playing the Best-Selling Board Game (First Edition ed.). Harper & Row, New York. ISBN 0-06-096127-9.
- Moore, Tim (2004). Do Not Pass Go. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-09-943386-9.
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|The Wikibook Monopoly has a page on the topic of: Strategy|
|The Wikibook Monopoly has a page on the topic of: Official Rules|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monopoly (game).|
- The official US Monopoly web site
- Hasbro's Fun Facts page
-  Monopoly History, properties around the world and various editions.
- Monopoly Tournaments.com
- World Monopoly Association
- U.S. Patent 748,626 and U.S. Patent 1,509,312 – Patents for the first and second version of The Landlord's Game
- U.S. Patent 2,026,082 Patent awarded to C. B. Darrow for Monopoly on December 31, 1935
- Atlantic City 150th Anniversary series of articles from the newspaper Courier Post, which describe the streets of Atlantic City that appear on Monopoly
- History of Monopoly
- Pre-Parker Brothers Stock Exchange game pieces by Capitol Novelty Co.
- Online Monopoly Simulator interactive, customizable real-world Monopoly simulator and estimated win percentage generator.
- Over 1700 Monopoly versions, updated continuously (some unofficial)
- Database of street names in local editions
- Monopoly games and places from around the world
- Rich Man series review (Chinese)
- Bucharest Version: Detailed article
- MONOPOLY around the World and a contact for different MONOPOLY boards
- What The Monopoly Properties Look Like In Real Life « Scouting NY (September 23, 2013)