How to Play Monopoly

How to Play Monopoly

Parker Brothers classic real estate board game is the most popular board game in history. Millions of copies of Monopoly have been sold since the game first appeared in 1935. Based on neighborhoods the game’s inventor was familiar with from his summers spent on the Jersey shore, Monopoly involves buying and selling commercial and residential real estate.

The game is iconic in every sense. The design of the game has stayed true to the original, though alternate versions of the game appeared nearly as soon as the original. You can still buy the “classic” Monopoly played by people since the time of the second World War.

There’s lots of amazing facts about Monopoly, including the fact that over $100 trillion in Monopoly money is printed every year. For a game with such an interesting history, Monopoly is still evolving, releasing new versions with significant changes to game play on a yearly basis.


The standard game of Monopoly is full of rules–for a complete breakdown of Monopoly rules, you need to read the instructions that came with the game.

Further confusing people trying to learn to play the game is the fact that “house rules” are not just tolerated by actually encouraged by the game’s manufacturer. Your house rules are likely very different from my own, but probably include bonus amounts for different players (using the Free Parking and Go spaces) and rules about buying, selling, and auctioning properties.

Here’s a general look at the rules of Monopoly.

Players take turns rolling dice and moving clockwise around the board. Depending on what square you land on, you could draw a card, buy a piece of property, pay rent, or any number of house rules outcomes.

If a player doesn’t buy a property, the bank auctions it to the highest bidder. If the property you land on is already owned and unmortgaged, you have to pay the owner a specific amount of rent.

Players who roll doubles must rolls again after finishing a turn. Three sets of doubles in a row land the player in jail.

During a turn, players have the chance to develop the properties.

Players move around the board collecting rent from other players as return on their property investments. The winner is the player who either has the most money after a specific period of time or the last player to go bankrupt.

InstructionsHow to Play Monopoly

Setting up the Monopoly board is easy. Each player selects a token to represent themselves. You pile the Community Chest cards in one spot, Chance cards in their spot, and get ready to hand out cash.

The player who will act as the bank should hand out the cash. House rules on cash amounts vary, but the game board calls for $1,500 split up like so:

Two $500

Four $100

One $50

One $20

Two $10

One $5

Five $1


The most commonly used Monopoly strategy is to buy up or trade for all the orange properties. That’s because they are the most commonly landed-on properties, thanks in part to the Chance cards “Go to Jail”, “Advance to St. Charles Place”, “Advance to Reading Railroad” and “Go Back Three Spaces”. Placing a hotel and a bunch of houses on the orange properties nearly guarantees you a win.

Though they’re cheap and easy to develop, avoid the two purple properties after the Go space, “Baltic” and “Mediterranean”. They are the two least landed-on spots on the entire board.

Monopoly has been hugely popular since the game appeared nearly 90 years ago. Every home should have a copy of Monopoly–if nothing else, look into modern variations of the game which attempt to bring the put the simple joy of Monopoly in the hands of people who may not otherwise be interested.

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