Monopoly is the first game that comes to mind when I think of classic family board games. Players compete to out-earn their opponents by purchasing properties around the game board in hopes of collecting the most money.
The origin of the Monopoly game dates back over 100 years ago. Interestingly enough, the game was created for educational purposes to explain the ins and outs of real estate. Little did they know just how popular this game would become!
This Monopoly rules guide will cover the following:
- What is Monopoly?
- A brief history of Monopoly
- What you’ll need to play Monopoly
- Monopoly Rules
- How to play Monopoly (Video Tutorial)
Read on to learn how to play Monopoly:
What is Monopoly?
Monopoly is a family board game that challenges players to buy property, earn income, and beat opponents by collecting the most money. A monopoly is when the same player owns all properties in a single color.
Number of Players: 2-6 players
Length of Play: 45-90 Minutes
Category: Board games
Similar to: The Game of Life, Payday, Monopoly Deal, Monopoly Speed
Main Objective: Be the last player remaining on the board after everyone else declares bankruptcy. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins!
Why We Love It: Since Monopoly requires minimal strategy, its outcomes are based on luck. What card will you draw? What space will you land on? Games of chance are incredibly entertaining because you just never know what may happen next!
A Brief History of Monopoly
Monopoly is the best-selling privately owned board game in history. During the Great Depression in the United States, an engineer named Charles Darrow sold the concept to Parker Brothers.
Historians believe the Monopoly game evolved from an earlier homemade game known as The Landlord’s Game. The Landlord’s game and a similar edition, Finance, were never patented. Therefore sales sored when Parker Brother’s took over production of Monopoly around 1934.
Monopoly has gained so much popularity over the years, there are numerous editions available, including the 85th Anniversary game.
Monopoly Ultimate Banking, Monopoly Cheater’s Edition, Kid’s versions such as Monopoly Jr. and Monopoly Animal Crossing, to name a few. You can also find Star Wars Monopoly, Jurassic Park Monopoly, Disney Villians, Pixar Monopoly, and many more!
What You’ll Need to Play Monopoly
Everything you need to play the classic Monopoly game is included in this boxed set.
The original box contains:
- 1 Monopoly game board
- 2 dice
- 32 green, house pieces
- 12 red hotel pieces
- 6 player tokens
- Paper bills ($1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500)
- Chance cards
- Community Chest cards
- Instruction manual
Area of Play
Begin the setup by opening the game board. Shuffle the Chance cards and the Community Chest cards and place them on their designated spaces on the board.
Each player selects a game token and places it on the Go space on the board.
Give each player $1,500 from the following bills before starting the game:
The money remaining is called the bank and stays beside the board game. During the game, one player will be the banker, and their money must remain separate from the bank funds.
Property cards, houses, and hotels can be positioned near the bank to start.
Each player rolls the dice to start, and the player with the highest total will go first, and the game proceeds clockwise.
After rolling both dice on your turn, move your token to the total number of spaces clockwise around the game board.
If you land on a vacant property, you can purchase it by paying the bank the listing price. Once you buy a property, take the property listing card and place it face-up in front of you.
If you do not want to purchase a vacant property, the bank sells it at auction to the highest bidder. If you land on someone else’s unimproved property, you must pay them the rental amount specified on the property card.
A property that does not yet have any houses or a hotel is called an unimproved property.
If a player owns all the properties of the same color, you must pay double the amount of rent.
If you land on someone’s property with houses or a hotel, you must pay the corresponding rental payment based on the property listing card.
For example, a property with two homes will charge more for rent than an unimproved property or only one house.
The owner of the lot must remember to ask for rent before the game moves on to the next player. If the property owner fails to ask for payment before the next player rolls the dice, the rental fees do not have to be paid.
If you do not have enough money to pay rent, you must sell houses, hotels, or mortgage properties until you can pay the specific amount owed.
In order to mortgage a property, turn the property card face-down, and collect the mortgage value listed from the bank.
If you land on a mortgaged property, you are not allowed to purchase it, nor are you expected to pay any rent.
You must pay the bank the mortgage price, plus 10% in order to unmortgage a property. You then can flip the property card face-up again.
You must still pay double the rental fees on unimproved lots in a monopoly, even if some of the properties are mortgaged.
If you sell and mortgage all of your properties, but you still cannot afford to pay rent on another player’s property, you are bankrupt and out of the game.
In the event of bankruptcy, you will give all your money and claimed property cards to the creditor. The mortgaged properties will still continue to be mortgaged.
If you land on a Community Chest or Chance space on the board, you must draw from the specified deck of cards and follow the directions on the card.
If you land on the tax space, you must pay the bank the amount of taxes listed on the space.
If you land on or pass Go, you collect $200 from the bank.
Nothing happens if you land on Free Parking.
If you go to jail, you cannot pass Go or collect the $200. You must place your token directly on the jail space on the game board. If you simply land on the jail space, nothing happens. You are just visiting.
If you roll doubles on your turn, you can move and roll again. However, if you roll doubles three times in a row, you must go straight to jail.
While in jail, you can still buy and sell properties and collect rent.
You can choose to pay $50 upon immediate arrival in jail to be released. If you choose to do this, you pay, then roll the dice and continue your turn.
If you decide not to pay, you can still roll the dice. If you roll doubles, you will be released from jail, and you can move that number of spaces on the board. You do not roll again.
If you do not roll doubles by your third turn in jail, you must pay the $50 and move to the total number of spaces rolled.
Trading, Buying, and Selling
You can trade money, “get out of jail free” cards, and undeveloped property cards with other players throughout the game.
You cannot trade houses or hotels, “free rent,” sell buildings, or loan money during the game. Players cannot gift money to other players either.
When you own all the properties of the same color, this is called a Monopoly. Once you have a Monopoly, then you can build houses and hotels on the properties.
You can buy and sell houses on your turn or in between other players’ turns.
The purchase price for houses is listed on the property card. When developing lots, you must build evenly across all properties in the Monopoly. For example, after purchasing a home for one property, you must buy a home for the additional lots before adding on to the initial lot.
If there are no more available houses from the bank, you can purchase hotels or wait until other players sell homes.
If you sell a house back to the bank, you will only get half the listing price in return.
If you have 4 houses on each property in a Monopoly, you can upgrade those houses to a hotel for the price of 1 home.
Once a property has a hotel, it cannot be further improved or developed.
If you land on the Income Tax space, you must decide if you will pay the 10% of your total property values or the fixed price before calculating the totals.
Related: 15 games like Monopoly
How to Keep Score in Monopoly
Since Monopoly is played with money during the game, there is no additional scoring needed. Players buy and sell property, pay rent to other players, and ultimately the player with the most money at the end of the game wins!
How to Play Monopoly – Video Tutorial
Frequently Asked Questions
Who wins in Monopoly?
Monopoly winners have the most property or the most money at the end of the game. Eventually, players will become bankrupt, lose money, and are forced to sell properties. Ultimately, the winner of Monopoly is the last man standing, so to speak.
Can you get change in Monopoly?
Traditionally, players will not be issued money back in the event of a payment overage or lack of the appropriate bills needed for exact change. If you and your opponents want to establish your own rules, you can allow the bank to “make change,” but that is not necessary to play.
Other Games Similar to Monopoly (Our Guides)
If Monopoly is the type of board game you enjoy, be sure to try out these other fun games: