Have you ever found yourself wondering, "Gee, who's this crazy guy Brianna married?" There's nothing that can explain it as well as this breathlessly written article by Frank at how to win at Monopoly.
Frank doesn't just want to play you at Monopoly. He has made it his mission in life to F%^&ing destroy you. A PhD in Bacteriology will help you understand some of the analogies.
Here’s an article about using math to win at Monopoly:
It is to be studied. Monopoly is almost perfectly balanced between skill and luck. If you win, you can say it was skill. If you lose, you can blame your luck. But here are some strategies to improve your chances:
FRANK’S 19 TIPS FOR WINNING AT MONOPOLY (these are state secrets - treat them accordingly):
1. Not all spaces are landed on equally. This is because players are often shunted to GO or JAIL. And the average roll of the dice after leaving those spaces is 7. This puts you on the oranges after Jail or the light blues after GO.
2. So wouldn’t the light blues and oranges be the best monopolies to have? Oranges yes, and light blues, maybe. There are two Monopoly principals at play here:
3. One is keeping your opponent from growing in power (e.g., “germistatic”). The other is the killing blow (“germicidal”). From these concepts all Monopoly wisdom flows.
4. Some monopolies are germistatics (especially early in the game), and others are germicidals. Light blues: germistatic (max rent: $600), oranges: germicidal (max rent: $1000).
5. In addition to the max rent, three other factors determine which monopoly is which: A. Which is landed on most? Orange, red, light blues. B. Which are most expensive to build on? The ones furthest from GO (Green and Boardwalk). C. Which only have two properties? Purple – Mediterranean/Baltic and Dark Blues – Boardwalk and Park Place.
6. Put all these into the hopper and my order of Desirability of Properties is this: Orange or Red > Magenta or Yellow > Dark Blues (Boardwalk and Park Place) > Light Blue > Greens > Purples (Mediterranean and Baltic). Remember this list, especially that:
7. Greens suck. Suppose it’s late in the game, no one has any monopolies. Thus: a trade. The only workable kind is one wherein both players get one monopoly. But which do you want? Suppose Larry offers this: You take all three Greens and he gets only the two Blues (Boardwalk and Park Place). Everybody winds up with $1200 in cash. Do you take the deal, because then you’d have three properties? Do you? No, you do NOT. The building evenly rules demands that there’s no more than 1 building difference among your properties. Thus, with $1200 you can only build 2 houses each on 3 properties (max rent is $450 – germistatic), but with the Blues, you can build 3 on each of 2 properties (max rent is $1400 – a killing blow). No, you ask him to swap, and you get Boardwalk. The exception to this rule: If everyone has lots and lots of money, you can use Larry Lust for Boardwalk to get the Greens. His max rent for two properties is $3500 ($2000 for Boardwalk, plus $1500 for Park Place). Your total max rent for three properties is: $3950 ($1400 + $1275 + $1275). You also have an approx. 50% higher chance that Larry will land on one of your three versus you landing on either of his two. (It’s not exactly 50% due to the Advance to Boardwalk card.)
8. Also remember: Baltic and Mediterranean sucketh even worse. These will rarely be germistatic and never germicidal. They aren’t landed on much, and even when they are, Larry has just passed GO ($200) and is likely to be able to scrape up $250 more somewhere to pay the max rent ($450) on Baltic. Thus: toss these in to sweeten a deal and trick Larry into a bad trade. Only exception to this is if you own the adjoining properties (light blues or dark blues), because it’s nice to have monopolies next to each other. The fear of your monopolies will keep him in line, scaring him into not buying houses he should.
9. Let’s say Larry offers you a trade wherein you end up with the light blues and he ends with up the oranges. No way, you say, oranges are more valuable than light blues. But what if I toss in ALL FOUR RAILROADS, he says. Do you take it then? No! Railroads (max rent $200) are germistatic but rarely germicidal. Same with the light blues (max rent $600). But oranges (max rent $1000) can be.
10. Suppose Larry sweetens the deal with ALL the railroads… and BOTH utilities? Do you take it now? No, don’t be stupid. Utilities are useless and never a killing blow. Mortgage or sell them.
11. The same rules apply in multi-player games. The trading can be Steinbrennian, involving three or four players and five or six properties. Convince Larry and Tim that you don’t want to waste all evening chasing each other around the board, and devise the deal that will get you the oranges and leave them with the Greens or Light Blues.
12. Once you have the right monopolies, know much do you build? Suppose: It’s early in the game, and you’ve got a monopoly on the reds. No one else has any monopolies. You can only afford to build one or two houses on each. Do you do it? No, you do not. Because… the max rent ($300) for two houses is NOT germicidal, barely germistatic. One house each? Max rent is only $100! And you spent $450 (3 houses x $150) to get that! No, your break-even point is three houses. So I generally don’t buy houses at all until I can afford 3 each – and still have enough to pay the max rent if I land on someone else’s properties. And buy anything I land on, if I want. The exceptions? Build hotels on the cheap properties (they only cost $250 each), or build one or two houses on Boardwalk. Later in the game, when it’s killing time, buy hotels on everything.
13. Wait – you said, I buy anything I land on, “if I want”? You mean, I don’t have to buy a property I land on? No, you do not. Read the rules. If you land on a red, and the other two reds are already split between Larry and Tim, you can declare, I don’t want it, and it goes to auction. Anyone can then bid on it, even you. Anything less than ½ face value is a bargain – because you can buy it and immediately mortgage it and actually turn a profit. Let Larry and Tim waste their resources fighting over it. And pray that neither gets the full monopoly on the reds.
14. Speaking of rules, it’s best to set up “house rules” before the game starts to avoid fistfights. Most common house rules: Getting an extra $200 ($400 total) if you land exactly on GO. And all taxes and fees that don’t go to another player, go not to the bank but in the middle of the board and whoever lands on FREE PARKING gets those. These are NOT in the official rules, people, and should be decided one way or another before the game starts. If not by vote, then whoever owns the board decides.
15. Also: Remember that you can buy houses not only during your turn but between turns. Thus, if Larry is coming around the corner toward your undeveloped properties, you can say, Wait, don’t roll yet, and quickly buy houses before he gets there. For this, it helps also to be banker. Because then you buy the houses yourself. It’s a fait accompli and you don’t have to argue with a banker who doesn’t know the rules.
16. Another good reason to be banker: It is your duty to keep the game going. As you SLOWLY hand Larry the title deed that completes his monopoly, QUICKLY ask whose turn it is now and give them the dice. This helps distract Larry from buying houses. Hopefully for many turns as you whip past his undeveloped properties. Sneaky, but not against the rules.
17. Also, as banker, it’s easier for you to keep track of which monopolies are split, and which are still available to which players. As soon as all the monopolies are split, and you have one, mortgage everything and build houses.
18. What if you go to jail? Do you pay your $50, or try to roll doubles (which you can do for three turns, after which, if you fail, you have to pay $50 anyway)? It depends. Early in the game, you pay your $50. Why? Otherwise you waste valuable turns in jail while everyone else is gobbling up precious properties. But late in the game… while Larry’s hotels of death dot the land... Jail is your best friend. Sit there turn after turn, waiting for Larry to land on your hotels. And remind him as he protests that the rules say that you can still collect rent while in jail.
19. The overall key is to make sure that –knowledge of which spots are landing on most, building the right number of houses, and staying in jail – that your max rents total more than your opponents. And then let the chance and probability of dice rolls sweep you to victory!
Yup, the Monopoly Book. I got that for Christmas one year and read through it at least three or four times. IIRC, most, if not all, of the strategy it outlined is the same as the strategy today.
Yes, yes - buying up the houses until there aren't any more. Yes, I LOVE that strategy. Most people don't know that the Bank cannot run out of money, ever, but it can run out of houses. And, yeah, you technically have to buy four houses before getting a hotel, so buying all the available houses would prevent people from getting hotels, too.
I used to play Monopoly on the Gameboy, and you could trick the computer players into selling you monopolies. The goal was to have the max number of houses and hotels possible, which took a long time but was quite achievable. It was a little over half the board, starting at Baltic and Mediterranean and going more expensive. It was beautiful when it was done.