Written by Irvin R. Hentzel, PhD, Iowa State University.
The Math Professor's Secrets of Winning At Monopoly Every Time
People would be better Monopoly players if they knew more about the probabilities involved.
While winning any one game requires some luck — since moves are dictated by the dice — there are ways to tilt the odds dramatically in your favor...
Where players land most often: Illinois Avenue...followed by Go...B&O Railroad...Free Parking... Tennessee Avenue...New York Avenue...Reading Railroad...St. James Place...Water Works...and Pennsylvania Railroad.
The frequency of landing on a square is affected by the odds of throwing doubles, landing in Jail and being forced to move according to the whims of Chance and Community Chest.
All squares of the Orange monopoly (Tennessee, New York and St. James) are on the hot list. So — is the Orange monopoly the best in the game? Yes — AND no. When you own a monopoly, your expected return is easy to calculate. It rises for each monopoly as you go around the board, with one exception. Boardwalk/Park Place ranks between Orange and Red monopolies.
How ideal this location is depends on how much money you have. Examples...
*If you have more than $2,500, the Green monopoly offers you the largest pure return.
*If you have $800 to $2,000, the Orange monopoly offers you the largest pure return.
*If you have less than $500, the railroads offer the most bang for the buck.
A few rounds into the game, get a sense of whether you have more money than your opponents.
If you have only $800 to $2,000 and doubt whether you'll have enough money to make an expensive monopoly pay off, adopt my Peasant Strategy. Instead of waiting to land on and buy an expensive monopoly, choose one that pays off moderately well early in the game.
This will help prevent opponents from acquiring enough capital to improve their property by adding houses.
You have limited power in "choosing" monopolies. But the strategy applies, too, when you trade properties with opponents. If you don't have enough to execute any strategy of your choosing, trade some nonessential properties for cash.
Why give away the best property in the game? Because your opponent will have a great property but little cash to develop it, while you can immediately put three hotels on the Light Blue monopoly for just $1,050.
Eventually, he may be willing to trade back a monopoly for the railroads. It will probably be a cheap one, such as the Maroon monopoly (St. Charles Place, States Avenue and Virginia Avenue). With cash from railroad rents, you should be able to improve the property quickly.
To win with the Peasant Strategy, you have to win early.
If you have more than $2,000 in cash, do not build by adding houses to your properties until you have acquired enough capital for at least three houses on each property of the monopoly. At that time, the Tycoon should build.
Meanwhile, do what you can to discourage opponents from developing their properties.
If you start with my Peasant Strategy and then accumulate wealth, switch to the Tycoon Strategy.
*Building houses. Game rules state that houses and hotels must be built up evenly across like-colored monopolies.
So where should add-on houses go? Build up properties around the board counterclockwise — in the reverse order from the direction of play.
*First few trips around the board. But everything you land on. This strategy gives you more options, especially is you are a skillful trader of properties.
*When you own two monopolies, build up one exclusively. It's usually wise to mortgage the other monopoly in order to raise cash to invest in houses and hotels on the other one.
*Jail. When you need properties, pay $50 to get out of Jail. Otherwise,
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