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Show Me The Money: Game Tips

What's the best way to force your friends into penury?

We asked Phil Orbanes, former chief judge at both the U.S. and world championships and the author of The Monopoly Companion. He gave us these pointers.

  • Early in the game, buy every property you land on. You can't win if you don't own property. Early in the game, mortgage property to build houses and hotels.
  • Railroads are almost always money-makers. Buy them.
  • It's almost always a good idea to block another player's possible monopoly. If, for example, someone else owns two red group properties and you land on the third, buy it.
  • The least rewarding properties are the green group. They are expensive and rarely get landed upon.
  • Some property groups tend to be more profitable than others. There are two reasons for this. Because of the layout of the board, certain spaces get landed on more often than others. And the ratio of cost-to-profit differs for each property group, which means that some properties offer a larger return on investment. The best bets are the oranges and the reds. "They're reasonably priced but they lie at the perfect distance from jail to be landed upon after people get out of jail," Orbanes says, "and people get out of jail a lot."
  • If you go to jail early in the game, pay to get out instead of waiting to roll doubles. You need those turns to buy property. Conversely, late in the game, staying in jail is a good way to avoid landing on other people's property.
  • Negotiation is essential to the game, so stay on good terms with your opponents, even if they gloat outrageously when you land on their hotels.
  • Cultivate a killer instinct. Remember: you're staying on good terms with other players only so you can eventually destroy them. When your opponents are down, finish them off. As game expert Eugene Provenzo says, "It's not about cooperation. There isn't a space for a university or a public library. It's basically cowboy eat dog, or dog eat car."

More Monopoly

The Myth Of Monopoly
Monopoly Facts
Why Is The Game Still So Popular?

Written by David Kohn with graphic design by Dana Byerly

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