Monopoly

Monopoly - game

The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game
The Monopoly logo (2008-present)
Players Some versions 2-6
Other versions 2-8
Playing time 60-240 minutes (1-4 hours) [average]
Random chance High (dice rolling, card drawing)
Skill(s) required
  • Negotiation
  • Resource management
  • Strategy

Monopoly is a board game that originated in the United States in 1903 as a way to demonstrate that an economy which rewards wealth creation is better than one in which monopolists work under few constraints and to promote the economic theories of Henry George and in particular his ideas about taxation and women’s rights. The current version was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935. Subtitled "The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game", the game is named after the economic concept of monopoly - the domination of a market by a single entity. It is now produced by the United States game and toy company Hasbro. Players move around the gameboard buying or trading properties, developing their properties with houses and hotels, and collecting rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them all into bankruptcy leaving one monopolist in control of the entire economy. Since the board game was first commercially sold in the 1930s, it has become a part of popular world culture, having been locally licensed in more than 103 countries and printed in more than 37 languages.

History

Early history

The history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1903, when American anti-monopolist Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips, created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George. It was intended as an educational tool to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. Magie took out a patent in 1904. Her game, The Landlord's Game, was self-published, beginning in 1906. A series of variant board games based on her concept was developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land. Cardboard houses were added and rents were increased as they were added. Magie again patented the game in 1924.

According to an advertisement placed in The Christian Science Monitor, Charles Todd of Philadelphia recalled the day in 1932 when his childhood friend, Esther Jones, now married to Charles Darrow, came to their house with her husband for dinner. After the meal, the Darrows played the game of Monopoly several times with them, a game that was entirely new to the Darrows, and before he left, Darrow asked for a written set of the rules. After Darrow brought his own Monopoly game out, the Todds never spoke to the Darrows again.

Origin

By 1933, a variation on "The Landlord's Game" called Monopoly was the basis of the board game sold by Parker Brothers, beginning on 6 February 1935. Several people, mostly in the Midwestern United States and near the East Coast, contributed to the game's design and evolution, and this is when the game's design took on the 4x10 space-to-a-side layout and familiar cards were produced. The original version of the game in this format was based on streets in Atlantic City, New Jersey. By the 1970s, the false notion that the game had been created solely by Charles Darrow had become popular folklore: it was printed in the game's instructions.

1936-70

In 1936, Parker Brothers began licensing the game for sale outside the United States. In 1941, the British Secret Intelligence Service had John Waddington Ltd., the licensed manufacturer of the game in the United Kingdom, create a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by the Nazis. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by British secret service-created fake charity groups.

1970s-80s

Economics professor Ralph Anspach published a game Anti-Monopoly in 1973, and was sued for trademark infringement by Parker Brothers in 1974. The case went to trial in 1976. Anspach won on appeals in 1979, as the 9th Circuit Court determined that the trademark Monopoly was generic, and therefore unenforceable. The United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the appellate court ruling to stand. This decision was overturned by the passage of Public Law 98-620 in 1984. With that law in place, Parker Brothers and its parent companies (Hasbro) continue to hold valid trademarks for the game Monopoly. However, Anti-Monopoly was exempted from the law and Anspach later reached a settlement with Hasbro and markets his game under license from them.

The research that Dr. Anspach conducted during the course of the litigation was what helped to bring the game's history before Charles Darrow into the spotlight.

1990s-present

A new wave of licensed products began in 1994, when Hasbro granted a license to USAopoly to begin publishing a San Diego Edition of Monopoly, which has since been followed by over 100 more. Other licensees include Winning Moves Games (since 1995) and Winning Solutions, Inc. (since 2000) in the United States. Winning Moves also has offices in the UK, France, Germany and Australia, and other licensees include AH Media in The Netherlands, and Bestman Games in Nigeria.

Board

The Monopoly gameboard consists of 40 spaces containing 28 properties: (22 streets (grouped into 8 color groups), four railway stations and two utilities), three Chance spaces, three Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, (In) Jail/Just Visiting, Free Parking, and Go to Jail.

US versions

2014 US MONOPOLY Box

There have been some changes to the board since the original. Not all of the Chance and Community Chest cards as printed in the 1935 patent were used in editions from 1936/1937 onwards, and graphics with the Mr. Monopoly character (then known as "Rich Uncle Pennybags") were added in that same timeframe. A graphic of a chest containing coins was added to the Community Chest spaces, as were the flat purchase prices of all of the properties. Traditionally, the Community Chest cards were yellow (although they sometimes were printed on blue stock) with no decoration or text on the back, and the Chance cards were orange, likewise with no text or decoration on the back.

Hasbro commissioned a major redesign to the US Standard Edition of the game in 2008. Among the changes: the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues (which changed from purple to brown), the colors of the GO square (which changed from red to black), the adoption of a flat $200 Income Tax (formerly the player's choice of $200 or 10% of their total holdings, which they may not calculate until after making their final decision), and increased $100 Luxury Tax amount (upped from $75). There were also changes to the Chance and Community Chest cards; for example, the "poor tax" and "grand opera opening" cards became "speeding fine" and "it is your birthday", respectively; though their effects remained the same, and the player must pay only $50 instead of $150 for the school tax. In addition, a player now gets $50 instead of $45 for sale of stock, and the Advance to Illinois Avenue card now has the added text concerning a player collecting $200 should they pass Go on the way there. Similar color and amount changes are used in the US Edition of the "Here and Now: World Edition" game, and are also used in the most recent versions of the McDonald's Monopoly promotion.

All of the Chance and Community Chest cards received a graphic upgrade in 2008 as part of the graphic refresh of the game. Mr. Monopoly's classic line illustration was also now usually replaced by renderings of a 3D Mr. Monopoly model. The backs of the cards have their respective symbols, with Community Chest cards in blue, and Chance cards in orange.

In the US versions shown below, the properties are named after locations in (or near) Atlantic City, New Jersey. Atlantic City's Illinois Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the 1980s. St. Charles Place no longer exists, as the now-defunct Showboat Casino Hotel was developed where it once ran.

Standard (American Edition) Monopoly board layout as of September 2008 
Free Parking
Kentucky Avenue
$220
Chance
?
Indiana Avenue
$220
Illinois Avenue
$240
B&O Railroad
$200
Atlantic Avenue
$260
Ventnor Avenue
$260
Water Works
$150
Marvin Gardens
$280
Go To Jail
New York Avenue
$200
MONOPOLY
Pacific Avenue
$300
Tennessee Avenue
$180
North Carolina Avenue
$300
Community Chest Community Chest
St. James Place
$180
Pennsylvania Avenue
$320
Pennsylvania Railroad
$200
Short Line
$200
Virginia Avenue
$160
Chance
?
States Avenue
$140
Park Place
$350
Electric Company
$150
Luxury Tax
(pay $100)
St. Charles Place
$140
Boardwalk
$400
In Jail/Just Visiting Connecticut Avenue
$120
Vermont Avenue
$100
Chance
?
Oriental Avenue
$100
Reading Railroad
$200
Income Tax
(pay $200)
Baltic Avenue
$60
Community Chest Mediter-
ranean Avenue
$60
Collect $200 salary as you pass
GO

Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was introduced by Charles and Olive Todd, who taught the game to Charles Darrow, and passed on when their homemade Monopoly board was copied by Darrow and thence to Parker Brothers. The Todds also changed the Atlantic City Quakers' Arctic Avenue to Mediterranean, and shortened the Shore Fast Line to the Short Line. It was not until 1995 that Parker Brothers acknowledged the misspelling of Marvin Gardens, formally apologizing to the residents of Marven Gardens.

Short Line refers to the Shore Fast Line, a streetcar line that served Atlantic City. The B&O Railroad did not serve Atlantic City. A booklet included with the reprinted 1935 edition states that the four railroads that served Atlantic City in the mid-1930s were the Jersey Central, the Seashore Lines, the Reading Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Seashore Lines were a joint venture of the Reading and Pennsylvania companies; all lost a large number of lines, and passenger service was absent from the 1960s until the 1970s, when service was restored by New Jersey Transit.

The Baltimore & Ohio (now part of CSX) was the parent of the Reading. There is a tunnel in Philadelphia where track to the south was B. & O. and track to the north is Reading. The Central of N.J. did not have track to Atlantic City but was the daughter of the Reading (and granddaughter of the B. & O.) Their track ran from the New York City area to Delaware Bay and some trains ran on the Reading-controlled track to Atlantic City.

The actual "Electric Company" and "Water Works" serving the city are respectively Atlantic City Electric Company (a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings) and the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority.

UK version

The board cover of the standard British version, with the 2009-13 artwork

In the 1930s, John Waddington Ltd. (Waddingtons) was a firm of printers from Leeds that had begun to branch out into packaging and the production of playing cards. Waddingtons had sent the card game Lexicon to Parker Brothers hoping to interest them in publishing the game in the United States. In a similar fashion, Parker Brothers sent over a copy of Monopoly to Waddingtons early in 1935 before the game had been put into production in the United States.

The managing director of Waddingtons, Victor Watson, gave the game to his son Norman (who was head of the card games division) to test over the weekend. Norman was impressed by the game and persuaded his father to call Parker Brothers on Monday morning - transatlantic calls then being almost unheard of. This call resulted in Waddingtons obtaining a license to produce and market the game outside of the United States. Watson felt that for the game to be a success in the United Kingdom, the American locations would have to be replaced, so Victor and his secretary, Marjory Phillips, went to London to scout out locations. The Angel, Islington, is not a street in London but a building (and the name of the road intersection it is located at). It was a coaching inn that stood on the Great North Road. By the 1930s, the inn had become a J. Lyons and Co. tea room (it is now a Co-operative Bank). Some accounts say that Marjory and Victor met at the Angel to discuss the selection and celebrated the fact by including it on the Monopoly board. In 2003, a plaque commemorating the naming was unveiled at the site by Victor Watson's grandson, who is also named Victor.

During World War II, the British Secret Service contacted Waddington (who could also print on silk) to make Monopoly sets that included escape maps, money, a compass and file, all hidden in copies of the game sent by Red Cross packages to prisoners of war.

The standard British board, produced by Waddingtons, was for many years the version most familiar to people in countries in the Commonwealth (except Canada, where the US edition with Atlantic City-area names was reprinted), although local variants of the board are now also found in several of these countries.

In 1998, Winning Moves procured the Monopoly license from Hasbro and created new UK city and regional editions with sponsored squares. Winning Moves struggled to raise the sponsorship deals for the gameboards, but did so eventually. A Nottingham Graphic Design agency, TMA, produced the visual design of the Monopoly packaging. Initially, in December 1998, the game was sold in just a few WHSmith stores, but demand was high, with almost fifty thousand games shipped in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. Winning Moves still produces new city and regional editions annually. Nottingham based designers Guppi have been responsible for the games' visual design since 2001.

The original income tax choice from the 1930s US board is replaced by a flat rate on the UK board, and the $75 Luxury Tax space is replaced with the £100 Super Tax space, the same as the current German board. In 2008, the US Edition was changed to match the UK and various European editions, including a flat $200 Income Tax value and an increased $100 Luxury Tax amount.

The cases wherein the game was produced under license by a national company, the £ (pound) was replaced by a $ (dollar) sign, but the place names were unchanged.

UK Edition Monopoly board layout 
Free Parking
Strand
£220
Chance
?
Fleet Street
£220
Trafalgar Square
£240
Fenchurch Street station
£200
Leicester Square
£260
Coventry Street
£260
Water Works
£150
Piccadilly
£280
Go To Jail
Vine Street
£200
MONOPOLY
Regent Street
£300
Marlborough Street
£180
Oxford Street
£300
Community Chest Community Chest
Bow Street
£180
Bond Street
£320
Marylebone station
£200
Liverpool Street station
£200
Northumberland Avenue
£160
Chance
?
Whitehall
£140
Park Lane
£350
Electric Company
£150
Super Tax
(pay £100)
Pall Mall
£140
Mayfair
£400
In Jail/Just Visiting Pentonville Road
£120
Euston Road
£100
Chance
?
The Angel Islington
£100
King's Cross station
£200
Income Tax
(pay £200)
Whitechapel Road
£60
Community Chest Old Kent Road
£60
Collect £200 salary as you pass
GO

Post-2005 variations

Starting in the UK in 2005, an updated version of the game, titled Monopoly Here and Now, was produced, replacing game scenarios, properties, and tokens with modern equivalents. Similar boards were produced for Germany and France. Variants of these first editions appeared with Visa-branded debit cards taking the place of cash - the later US "Electronic Banking" edition has unbranded debit cards.

The success of the first Here and Now editions caused Hasbro US to allow online voting for 26 landmark properties across the United States to take their places along the gameboard. The popularity of this voting, in turn, caused the creation of similar websites, and secondary gameboards per popular vote to be created in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other nations.

In 2006, Winning Moves Games released the Mega Edition, with a 30% larger gameboard and revised game play. Other streets from Atlantic City (eight, one per color group) were included, along with a third "utility", the Gas Company. In addition, $1,000 denomination notes (first seen in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Card Game) are included. Game play is further changed with bus tickets (allowing non-dice-roll movement along one side of the board), a speed die (itself adopted into variants of the Atlantic City standard edition; see below), skyscrapers (after houses and hotels), and train depots that can be placed on the Railroad spaces.

This edition was adapted for the UK market in 2007, and is sold by Winning Moves UK. After the initial US release, critiques of some of the rules caused the company to issue revisions and clarifications on their website.

Monopoly Here and Now

In September 2006, the US edition of Monopoly Here and Now was released. This edition features top landmarks across the US. The properties were decided by votes over the Internet in the spring of 2006.

Monetary values are multiplied by 10,000 (e.g., one collects $2,000,000 instead of $200 for passing GO and pays that much for Income Tax (or 10% of their total, as this edition was launched prior to 2008), each player starts with $15,000,000 instead of $1,500, etc.). Also, the Chance and Community Chest cards are updated, the Railroads are replaced by Airports (Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles International, New York City's JFK, and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson), and the Utilities (Electric Company and Water Works) are replaced by Service Providers (Internet Service Provider and Cell Phone Service Provider). The houses and hotels are blue and silver, not green and red as in most editions of Monopoly. The board uses the traditional US layout; the cheapest properties are purple, not brown, and "Interest on Credit Card Debt" replaces "Luxury Tax". Despite the updated Luxury Tax space, and the Income Tax space no longer using the 10% option, this edition uses paper Monopoly money, and not an electronic banking unit like the Here and Now World Edition. However, a similar edition of Monopoly, the Electronic Banking edition, does feature an electronic banking unit and bank cards, as well as a different set of tokens. Both Here and Now and Electronic Banking feature an updated set of tokens from the Atlantic City edition.

It is also notable that three states (California, Florida and Texas) are represented by two cities each (Los Angeles and San Francisco, Miami and Orlando, and Dallas and Houston respectively). No other state is represented by more than one city (not including the airports). One landmark, Texas Stadium, has been demolished and no longer exists. Another landmark, Jacobs Field, still exists, but was renamed Progressive Field in 2008.

Monopoly Here and Now: The US Edition (2006) 
Free Parking
Camelback Mountains, Phoenix
$2.2M
Chance
?
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
$2.2M
Walt Disney World, Orlando
$2.4M
JFK Airport, New York City
$2M
French Quarter, New Orleans
$2.6M
Hollywood, Los Angeles
$2.6M
Internet Service
$1.5M
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
$2.8M
Go To Jail
Pioneer Square, Seattle
$2M
MONOPOLY
Here and Now:
The US Edition
Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
$3M
Johnson Space Center, Houston
$1.8M
Wrigley Field, Chicago
$3M
Community Chest Community Chest
South Beach, Miami
$1.8M
White House, Washington
$3.2M
Los Angeles International Airport
$2M
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
$2M
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
$1.6M
Chance
?
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver
$1.4M
Fenway Park, Boston
$3.5M
Cell Phone Service
$1.5M
Interest On Credit Card Debt
pay $750K
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta
$1.4M
Times Square, New York City
$4M
In Jail/Just Visiting Mall of America, Minneapolis
$1.2M
Gateway Arch, St. Louis
$1M
Chance
?
Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
$1M
O'Hare Airport, Chicago
$2M
Income Tax
pay $2M or 10%
Texas Stadium, Dallas
$600K
Community Chest Jacobs Field, Cleveland
$600K
Collect $2M salary as you pass
GO

In 2015, in honor of the game's 80th birthday, Hasbro held an online vote in order to determine which cities would make it into an updated version of the Here and Now edition of the game. Hasbro released a World edition with the top voted cities from all around the world, as well as at least a Here & Now edition with the voted-on US cities.

Equipment

During World War II, the dice in the United Kingdom were replaced with a spinner because of a lack of materials.

All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the bank until bought by the players. A standard set of Monopoly pieces includes:

Cards

A deck of 32 Chance and Community Chest cards (16 Chance and 16 Community Chest) which players draw when they land on the corresponding squares of the track, and follow the instructions printed on them.

Deeds

A title deed for each property is given to a player to signify ownership, and specifies purchase price, mortgage value, the cost of building houses and hotels on that property, and the various rent prices depending on how developed the property is. Properties include:

The purchase prices for the various properties vary from $60 to $400 on a US Standard Edition set.

Dice

A pair of six-sided dice. (In 2007, a third "Speed Die" was added for variation.)

Houses and hotels

32 houses and 12 hotels made of wood or plastic (the original and current Deluxe Edition have wooden houses and hotels; the current "base set" uses plastic buildings). Unlike money, houses and hotels have a finite supply. If no more are available, no substitute is allowed. In most editions, houses are green and hotels red.

Money

Read main article: Monopoly money

Older US standard editions of the game included a total of $15,140 in the following denominations:

Newer (September 2008 and later) US editions instead provide a total of $20,580 - 30 of each denomination. The colors of some of the bills also changed: $10s are now blue instead of yellow, $20s are a brighter color green than before, and $50s are now purple instead of blue.

Each player begins the game with his or her token on the Go square, and $1,500 (or 1,500 of a localized currency) in play money (2,500 with the Speed Die). Prior to September 2008, the money was divided with greater numbers of 20 and 10 dollar bills. Since then, the US version has taken on the British version's initial cash distributions.

US editions prior to 2008 US editions since 2008 / British editions
2 x $500 2 x $/£500
2 x $100 4 x $/£100
2 x $50 1 x $/£50
6 x $20 1 x $/£20
5 x $10 2 x $/£10
5 x $5 1 x $/£5
5 x $1 5 x $/£1

Although the US version is indicated as allowing eight players, the above cash distribution is not possible with all eight players since it requires 32 $100 bills and 40 $1 bills. However, the amount of cash contained in the game is enough for eight players with a slight alteration of bill distribution.

International currencies

Pre-Euro German editions of the game started with 30,000 "Spielmark" in eight denominations (abbreviated as "M."), and later used seven denominations of the "Deutsche Mark" ("DM."). In the classic Italian game, each player received L. 350,000 ($3500) in a two-player game, but L. 50,000 ($500) less for each player more than two. Only in a six-player game does a player receive the equivalent of $1,500. The classic Italian games were played with only four denominations of currency. Both Spanish editions (the Barcelona and Madrid editions) started the game with 150,000 in play money, with a breakdown identical to that of the American version.

Extra currency

Monopoly money is theoretically unlimited; if the bank runs out of money the players must make do with other markers, or calculate on paper. Additional paper money can be bought at certain locations, notably game and hobby stores, or downloaded from various websites and printed and cut by hand. One such site has created a $1,000 bill; while a $1,000 bill can be found in Monopoly: The Mega Edition and Monopoly: The Card Game, both published by Winning Moves Games, this note is not a standard denomination for "classic" versions of Monopoly.

Tokens

All twelve tokens from a pre-2008 copy of the US Deluxe Edition Monopoly

Each player is represented by a small metal or plastic token that is moved around the edge of the board according to the roll of two six-sided dice. The number of tokens (and the tokens themselves) have changed over the history of the game, with many appearing in special editions only, and some available with non-game purchases. As of 2013, eight tokens are included in standard edition games, including:

Previous tokens retired in the 1950s (replaced by the dog, man on horseback, and wheelbarrow):

Other retired tokens:

Special Tokens:

Tokens exclusive to certain editions include the locomotive, which was available only in the Deluxe Edition of the game. Tokens retired in 2008 and 2013 are still available in Monopoly: The Classic Edition. Tokens available without the gameboard included replicas of certain cars when purchased with licensed Johnny Lightning products, or a special Director's Chair token when purchased with Limited Edition DVD and Blu-ray copies of the documentary Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story.

Many of the early tokens were created by companies such as Dowst Miniature Toy Company, which made metal charms and tokens designed to be used on charm bracelets. The battleship and cannon were also used briefly in the Parker Brothers war game Conflict (released in 1940), but after the game failed on the market, the premade pieces were recycled into Monopoly usage. Hasbro recently adopted the battleship and cannon for Diplomacy.

Early localized editions of the standard edition (including some Canadian editions, which used the US board layout) did not include pewter tokens but instead had generic wooden pawns identical to those in Sorry!. Parker Brothers also acquired Sorry! in the 1930s.

In 1998, a Hasbro advertising campaign asked the public to vote on a new playing piece to be added to the set, resulting in a "bag of money" token being added to the US edition. This piece was retired in 2007. In 2013, a similar promotional campaign was launched encouraging the public to vote on one of several possible new tokens to replace an existing one. The choices were a guitar, a diamond ring, a helicopter, a robot, and a cat. Unlike in 1998, one piece is to be retired, in this case the iron, and will be replaced by a new token, the cat. Both were chosen by a vote that ran on Facebook from January 8 to February 5, 2013. Shortly after the Facebook voting campaign, a limited-edition golden token set was released exclusively at various national retailers, such as Target in the US and Tesco in the UK. This set contained the 2008-2013 tokens as listed above, and also contained all five of the iron's potential replacements: the cat, the guitar, the diamond ring, the helicopter and the robot.

Rules

Official rules

Source: Monopoly official rules

Players take turns in order, with the initial player determined by chance before the game. A typical turn begins with the rolling of the dice and advancing their piece clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares. If a player rolls doubles, they roll again after completing their turn. If a player rolls three consecutive sets of doubles on one turn, the player has been "caught speeding", and the player is immediately sent to jail instead of moving the amount shown on the dice for the third roll, ending the player's turn.

A player who lands or passes the Go space collects $200 (unless they automatically go to jail). Players who land on either Income Tax or Luxury Tax pay the indicated amount to the bank. In older editions of the game, two options were given for Income Tax: either pay a flat fee of $200 or 10% of the player's total worth (including the current values of all the properties and buildings owned). Players must choose which option before calculating their total worth, and cannot change their mind if it turns out that the $200 was actually less; in 2008, the 10% option was removed. Luxury Tax was originally $75; in 2008, it was increased to $100. Free Parking is just a "free" space; players who land here neither gain nor lose anything.

Chance/Community Chest

If a player lands on Chance or Community Chest, they draw the top card from the respective pile and obey its instructions. This may include collecting or paying the bank a specified amount of money, or automatically moving to a specific space on the board. Two types of cards that involve jail, "Go to Jail" and "Get Out of Jail Free", are explained below.

Jail

A player will land in jail if they land on "Go to Jail", throw three consecutive doubles on one turn, or, if using the optional speed die, choose to land on the "Go to Jail" space when he rolls a triple. Another way a player can go to jail is by drawing the Community Chest or Chance Card saying "Go to Jail". When a player is sent to jail by the space or a card, they move there directly ("Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.") and their turn ends. If the player is not "sent" to jail but just lands naturally on the Jail space, they are "Just Visiting", incur no penalty, and move ahead in the usual manner on their next turn.

If a player is in jail, they do not take a normal turn and must either pay a fine of $50 to be released from jail, use a Chance or Community Chest Get Out of Jail Free card, or attempt to roll doubles on the dice. If a player fails to roll doubles, they lose their turn. Failure to roll doubles thrice will result in paying the $50 fine (or using a Get out of Jail Free card) to be released. While a player is in jail, they may not buy property directly, by virtue of not being able to land on the properties. However, they may sell, trade and mortgage properties, purchase buildings, participate in auctions, and collect rents. If a player does roll doubles to exit Jail, they may immediately move according to the roll, but they cannot roll a second time after exiting jail. If the player instead pays the $50 fine or uses a Get out of Jail Free card and then rolls doubles, they are required to move the amount shown on the dice and then roll again.

Properties

If the player lands on an unowned property, whether street, railroad, or utility, they can buy the property for its listed purchase price. If they decline this purchase, the property is auctioned off by the bank to the highest bidder, including the player who declined to buy. If the property landed on is already owned and unmortgaged, they must pay the owner a given rent, the price dependent on whether the property is part of a set or its level of development.

When a player owns all of the properties in a color group and none of them are mortgaged, they may develop them during their turn or in between other player's turns. Development involves buying miniature houses or hotels from the bank and placing them on the property spaces, and must be done uniformly across the group. That is, a second house cannot be built on any property within a group until all of them have one house. Once the player owns an entire group, they can collect double rent for any undeveloped properties within it. Although houses and hotels cannot be built on railroads or utilities, the given rent also increases if a player owns more than one of either type. If there is more demand for houses to be built than what remains in the bank, then a housing auction is conducted to determine who will get to purchase each house.

Mortgaging

Properties can also be mortgaged, although all developments on a monopoly must be sold before any property of that color can be mortgaged or traded. The player receives money from the bank for each mortgaged property (half of the purchase price), which must be repaid with 10% interest to unmortgage. Houses and hotels can be sold back to the bank for half their purchase price. Players cannot collect rent on mortgaged properties and may not give improved property away to others; however, trading mortgaged properties is allowed. The player receiving the mortgaged property must immediately unmortgage it for the mortgage price plus 10%, or pay the bank just the 10% amount and keep the property mortgaged; if the player chooses the latter, they must still pay the 10% again if the property is later unmortgaged.

Bankruptcy

A player who cannot pay what they owe is bankrupt and eliminated from the game. If the bankrupt player owes the bank, they must turn all of their assets over to the bank, who then auctions off their properties (if they have any), except buildings. If the debt is instead to another player, all the assets are instead given to that opponent, but the new owner must still pay the bank to un-mortgage any such properties received. The winner is the remaining player left after all the others have gone bankrupt.

If a player runs out of money but still has assets that can be converted to cash, they can do so by selling buildings, mortgaging properties, or trading with other players. To avoid bankruptcy the player must be able to raise enough cash in order to pay the full amount owed.

Rule modifications

From 1936, the rules booklet included with each Monopoly set contained a short section at the end providing rules for making the game shorter, either by setting a time limit, or by ending the game after the second player goes bankrupt. As well, an additional rules booklet or sheet was included giving the rules for a short variant with several changes, such as starting each player out with two properties selected at random. A later version of the rules included this variant, along with the time limit game, in the main rules booklet, omitting the second bankruptcy method as a third short game.

House rules

Many house rules have emerged for the game since its creation. A popular one is the "Free Parking jackpot rule", where money paid in fines and taxes is stockpiled on the Free Parking space instead of being returned to the bank. When a player lands on that square, they may take the money. Another rule is that if a player lands directly on Go, they collect double the amount, or $400, instead of $200. House rules that slow or prevent money being returned to the bank in this way have a side-effect of increasing the time it takes for players to become bankrupt, lengthening the game considerably, as well as decreasing the effects of strategy and prudent investment.

House rules that increase the amount of money in the game may change the strategies of the players, such as changing the relative value of different properties. For instance, with the official rules, players can rarely afford to build significant numbers of houses on the third and fourth sides of the board, but with more money in the game, this strategy may become more workable.

Video game and computer game versions of Monopoly have options where popular house rules can be used. In 2014, Hasbro determined five popular house rules by public Facebook vote, and released a "House Rules edition" of the board game. Rules selected include collecting paid fines on Free Parking, forcing players to traverse the board once before buying properties, and awarding money for players rolling a double-1 on the dice.

Strategy

According to Jim Slater in The Mayfair Set, the Orange property group is the best to own because players land on them more often, as a result of the Chance cards Go to Jail, Advance to St. Charles Place (Pall Mall), Advance to Reading Railroad (Kings Cross Station) and Go Back Three Spaces.

In all, during game play, Illinois Avenue (Trafalgar Square), New York Avenue (Vine Street), B&O Railroad (Fenchurch Street Station), and Reading Railroad (Kings Cross Station) are the most frequently landed-upon properties. Mediterranean Avenue (Old Kent Road), Baltic Avenue (Whitechapel Road), Park Place (Park Lane), and Oriental Avenue (The Angel Islington) are the least-landed-upon properties. Among the property groups, the Railroads are most frequently landed upon, as no other group has four properties; Orange has the next highest frequency, followed by Red.

End game

One common criticism of Monopoly is that although it has carefully defined termination conditions, it may take an unlimited amount of time to reach them. Edward P. Parker, a former president of Parker Brothers, is quoted as saying, "We always felt that forty-five minutes was about the right length for a game, but Monopoly could go on for hours. Also, a game was supposed to have a definite end somewhere. In Monopoly you kept going around and around."

Hasbro states that the longest game of Monopoly ever played lasted 1,680 hours (70 days or 10 weeks or 213 months).

Related games

Add-ons

Numerous add-ons have been made for Monopoly, sold independently from the game both before its commercialization and after, with three official ones discussed below:

Stock Exchange

The original Stock Exchange add-on was published by Capitol Novelty Co. of Rensselaer, New York in early 1936. It was marketed as an add-on for Monopoly, Finance, or Easy Money games. Shortly after Capitol Novelty introduced Stock Exchange, Parker Brothers bought it from them then marketed their own, slightly redesigned, version as an add-on specifically for their "new" Monopoly game; the Parker Brothers version was available in June 1936. The Free Parking square is covered over by a new Stock Exchange space and the add-on included three Chance and three Community Chest cards directing the player to "Advance to Stock Exchange". The Stock Exchange add-on was later redesigned and rereleased in 1992 under license by Chessex, this time including a larger number of new Chance and Community Chest cards. This version included ten new Chance cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and five other related cards) and eleven new Community Chest cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and six other related cards; the regular Community Chest card "From sale of stock you get $45" is removed from play when using these cards). Many of the original rules applied to this new version (in fact, one optional play choice allows for playing in the original form by only adding the "Advance to Stock Exchange" cards to each deck).

A Monopoly Stock Exchange Edition was released in 2001 (although not in the US), this time adding an electronic calculator-like device to keep track of the complex stock figures. This was a full edition, not just an add-on, that came with its own board, money and playing pieces. Properties on the board were replaced by companies on which shares could be floated, and offices and home offices (instead of houses and hotels) could be built.

Playmaster

Playmaster, another official add-on, released in 1982, is an electronic device that keeps track of all player movement and dice rolls as well as what properties are still available. It then uses this information to call random auctions and mortgages making it easier to free up cards of a color group. It also plays eight short tunes when key game functions occur; for example when a player lands on a railroad it plays "I've Been Working on the Railroad", and a police car's siren sounds when a player goes to Jail.

Get Out of Jail and Free Parking Mini Games

In 2009, Hasbro released two mini games that can be played as stand-alone games or combined with the Monopoly game. In Get Out of Jail, the goal is to manipulate a spade under a jail cell in an attempt to flick out various colored prisoners. The game can be used as an alternative to rolling doubles to get out of jail. In Free Parking, players attempt to balance taxis on a wobbly board. The Free Parking add-on can also be used with the Monopoly game. When a player lands on the Free Parking, the player can take the Taxi Challenge, and if successful, can move to any space on the board.

Speed Die

The Speed Die

Unlike the three add-ons above, which have always been sold separately, the Speed Die was introduced in-game in 2006. In 2007, Parker Brothers began releasing its standard version of Monopoly with the same die (originally in blue, later in red). First included in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Mega Edition variant, this third, six-sided die is rolled with the other two, and accelerates gameplay when in use. Its faces are: 1, 2, 3, two "Mr. Monopoly" sides, and a bus. The numbers behave as normal, adding to the other two dice, unless a "triple" is rolled, in which case the player can move to any space on the board. The bus (properly "get off the bus") allows the player to use only one of the two numbered dice or the sum of both, thus a roll of 1, 5, and bus would let the player choose between moving 1, 5, or 6 spaces. If "Mr. Monopoly" is rolled while there are unowned properties, the player advances forward to the nearest one. Otherwise, the player advances to the nearest property on which rent is owed.

The Speed Die is used throughout the game in the "Mega Edition", while in the "Regular Edition" it is used by any player who has passed GO at least once. In these editions it remains optional, although use of the Speed Die was made mandatory for use in the 2009 US & World MONOPOLY Championship, as well as the 2015 World Championship.

Spinoffs

Parker Brothers and its licensees have also sold several spin-offs of Monopoly. These are not add-ons, as they do not function as an addition to the Monopoly game, but are simply additional games in the flavor of Monopoly:

Video games

Besides the many variants of the actual game (and the Monopoly Junior spin-off) released in either video game or computer game formats (e.g., Commodore 64, Macintosh, Windows-based PC, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Satellaview, iPad, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, etc.), two spin-off computer games have been created. An electronic handheld version was marketed from 1997-2001.

Gambling games

Many Monopoly-themed slot machines and lotteries have been produced by WMS Gaming in conjunction with International Game Technology for land-based casinos. WagerWorks, who have the online rights to Monopoly, have created online Monopoly themed games.

London’s Gamesys Group have also developed a bingo-based online game called "Monopoly Snap!" for the Jackpotjoy online bingo site.

The British quiz machine brand itbox also supports a Monopoly trivia and chance game, which, like most other itbox games, costs 50p (£0.50) to play and has a £20 jackpot.

There was also a live, online version of Monopoly. Six painted taxis drive around London picking up passengers. When the taxis reach their final destination, the region of London that they are in is displayed on the online board. This version takes far longer to play than board-game monopoly, with one game lasting 24 hours. Results and position are sent to players via e-mail at the conclusion of the game.

Media

Commercial promotions

The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sweepstakes advertising promotion of McDonald's and Hasbro that has been offered in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.

Comic Books

In the 1979 Issue 7 of the Howard the Duck magazine, the story "Of Dice and Ducks!" placed Howard the Duck and Man-Thing in a small town based on the Monopoly game, including the properties, Chance cards, and Rich Uncle Pennybags (now Mr. Monopoly).

Television game show

A short-lived Monopoly game show aired on Saturday evenings from June 16 to September 1, 1990 on ABC. The show was produced by Merv Griffin and hosted by Mike Reilly. The show was paired with a summer-long Super Jeopardy! tournament, which also aired during this period on ABC.

From 2010 to 2014, The Hub aired the game show Family Game Night with Todd Newton. For the first two seasons, teams earn cash in the form of "Monopoly Crazy Cash Cards" from the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Corner", which is then inserted to the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine" at the end of the show. In addition, starting with Season 2, teams win "Monopoly Party Packages" for winning the individual games. For Season 3, there is a Community Chest. Each card on Mr. Monopoly has a combination of three colors. Then teams will use the combination card to unlock the chest. If it's the right combination, then they will advance to the Crazy Cash Machine for a brand-new car. For the show's fourth season, a new game is added called Monopoly Remix, featuring Park Place and Boardwalk, as well as Income Tax and Luxury Tax.

To honor the game's 80th anniversary, a brand new game show came to syndication on March 28, 2015 called Monopoly Millionaires' Club with Billy Gardell from Mike & Molly. The show takes place at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino and at Bally's Las Vegas in Las Vegas where players could win up to $1,000,000.

Films

In November 2008, Ridley Scott was announced to direct Universal Pictures' film version of the game, based on a script written by Pamela Pettler. The film was co-produced by Hasbro's Brian Goldner, as part of a deal with Hasbro to develop movies based on the company's line of toys and games. The story was being developed by author Frank Beddor. However, Universal eventually halted development in February 2008 then opted out of the agreement and rights reverted to Hasbro.

In October 2012, Hasbro announced a new partnership with production company Emmett/Furla Films, and they said they will develop a live-action version of Monopoly, along with Action Man and Hungry Hungry Hippos. Emmett/Furla/Oasis dropped out of the production of this satire version that was to be directed by Ridley Scott.

In July 2015, Hasbro announced that Lionsgate will distribute a Monopoly film with Andrew Niccol writing the film as a family-friendly action adventure film co-financed and produced by Lionsgate and Hasbro's Allspark Pictures.

The documentary Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story, covering the history and players of the game, won an Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2010 Anaheim International Film Festival. The film played theatrically in the US beginning in March 2011 and was released on Amazon and iTunes on February 14, 2012. The television version of the film won four regional Emmy awards from the Pacific Southwest Chapter of NATAS. The film is directed by Kevin Tostado and narrated by Zachary Levi.

Tournaments

US National Championship

Although in the past, US entrants had to successfully compete in regional competitions before the national championship, qualifying for the National Championship has been online since 2003. For the 2003 Championship, qualification was limited to the first fifty people who correctly completed an online quiz. Out of concerns that such methods of qualifying might not always ensure a competition of the best players, the 2009 Championship qualifying was expanded to include an online multiple-choice quiz (a score of 80% or better was required to advance); followed by an online five-question essay test; followed by a two-game online tournament at Pogo.com. The process was to have produced a field of 23 plus one: Matt McNally, the 2003 national champion, who received a bye and was not required to qualify. However, at the end of the online tournament, there was an eleven-way tie for the last six spots. The decision was made to invite all of those who had tied for said spots. In fact, two of those who had tied and would have otherwise been eliminated, Dale Crabtree of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Brandon Baker, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, played in the final game and finished third and fourth respectively.

The 2009 Monopoly US National Championship was held on April 14-15 in Washington, D.C. In his first tournament ever, Richard Marinaccio, an attorney from Sloan, New York (a suburb of Buffalo), prevailed over a field that included two previous champions to be crowned the 2009 US National Champion. In addition to the title, Mr. Marinaccio took home $20,580  - the amount of money in the bank of the board game  - and competed in the 2009 World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 21-22, where he finished in third place.

In 2015, Hasbro used a competition that was held solely online to determine who would be the US representative to compete at the 2015 MONOPOLY World Championship. Interested players took a 20-question quiz on MONOPOLY strategy and rules, and submitted a 100-word essay on how to win a MONOPOLY tournament. Hasbro then selected Brian Valentine of Washington, D.C. to be the US representative.

World Championship

Hasbro conducts a worldwide Monopoly tournament. The first Monopoly World Championships took place in Grossinger's Resort in New York, in November 1973, but it wasn't until 1975 that they included competitors from outside the United States. It has been aired in the United States by ESPN. In 2009, 41 players competed for the title of Monopoly World Champion and a cash prize of $20,580 USD, which is the total amount of 'Monopoly money' in the current Monopoly set used in the tournament. The most recent World Championship took place September 2015 in Macau. Italian Nicolò Falcone defeated the defending world champion and players from 26 other countries.

Date Location Winner Nationality
1973 Liberty, New York Lee Bayrd United States
1974 New York City Alvin Aldridge United States
1975 Washington, D.C. John Mair Ireland
1977 Monte Carlo Cheng Seng Kwa Singapore
1980 Bermuda Cesare Bernabei Italy
1983 Palm Beach Greg Jacobs Australia
1985 Atlantic City Jason Bunn United Kingdom
1988 London Ikuo Hyakuta Japan
1992 Berlin Joost van Orten Netherlands
1996 Monte Carlo Christopher Woo Hong Kong
2000 Toronto Yutaka Okada Japan
2004 Tokyo Antonio Zafra Fernández Spain
2009 Las Vegas Bjørn Halvard Knappskog Norway
2015 Macau Nicolò Falcone Italy

Variants

Because Monopoly evolved in the public domain before its commercialization, Monopoly has seen many variant games. The game is licensed in 103 countries and printed in 37 languages. Most of the variants are exact copies of the Monopoly games with the street names replaced with locales from a particular town, university, or fictional place. National boards have been released as well. Over the years, many specialty Monopoly editions, licensed by Parker Brothers/Hasbro, and produced by them, or their licensees (including USAopoly and Winning Moves Games) have been sold to local and national markets worldwide. Two well known "families" of -opoly like games, without licenses from Parker Brothers/Hasbro, have also been produced.

Several published games similar to Monopoly include:

Games by locale or theme

There have been a large number of localized editions, broken down here by region:

Unauthorized and parody games

This list is of unauthorized, unlicensed games based on Monopoly:

Anti-Monopoly

Gay Monopoly
Copyright date: 1983 Released by: Fire Island Games, Inc.
Game description: Gay Monopoly - A celebration of gay life.
Tokens: Jeep, teddy bear, blow drier, leather cap, handcuffs, stiletto heel.
Other features: Board layout is circular rather than square.
 

Ghettopoly

Micropoly - The Microsoft Monopoly Game
Copyright date: Open source Released by: The Micropoly Project Issued through: Download
Free Software
XEROX
$220
Download SGI
$220
APPLE
$240
Internet Service Provider
AOL
$200
REAL NETWORKS
$260
AMAZON
$260
Television Network
MSNBC
$150
YAHOO
$280
Corrupted Registry: Goto Reinstall
3COM
$200
Micropoly - The Microsoft Monopoly Game HP
$300
CISCO
$180
IBM
$300
Open Sources Open Sources
NOVELL
$180
SUN
$320
Internet Service Provider
UUNET
$200
Internet Service Provider
MSN
$200
ADOBE
$160
Download
ORACLE
$140
INTEL
$350
Computer Network
NETWORK SOLUTIONS
$150
Antitrust Ruling
(pay $75)
NETSCAPE
$140
MICROSOFT
$400
Reinstall Windows/Just Rebooting DELL
$120
COMPAQ
$100
Download MOTOROLA
$100
Internet Service Provider
MINDSPRING
$200
Deposition
(pay 10% or $200)
LUSH CREATIONS
$60
Open Sources AETHER-SPHERE
$60
Start
Collect $200 salary as you pass
Game description: A parody game based on Anti-Monopoly.
Other features: Chance is Download, Community Chest is Open Sources and the Railroads are Internet Service Provider(s).
 

Middopoly Memeopolis (Android app)

World editions

Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition
Players 2-6
Playing time About 1.5 hours
Random chance High (dice rolling, card drawing)
Skill(s) required Negotiation, Basic Resource management

In 2008, Hasbro released Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition. This world edition features top locations of the world. The locations were decided by votes over the Internet. The result of the voting was announced on August 20, 2008.

Out of these, Gdynia is especially notable, as it is by far the smallest city of those featured and won the vote thanks to a spontaneous, large-scale mobilization of support started by its citizens. The new game uses its own currency unit, the Monopolonian (a game-based take on the Euro; designated by M). The game uses said unit in millions and thousands. As seen above, there is no dark purple color-group, as that is replaced by brown, as in the European version of the game.

It is also notable that three cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) are from Canada and three other cities (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) are from the People's Republic of China. No other countries are represented by more than one city.

Of the 68 cities listed on Hasbro Inc.'s website for the vote, Jerusalem, was chosen as one of the 20 cities to be featured in the newest Monopoly World Edition. Before the vote took place, a Hasbro employee in the London office eliminated the country signifier "Israel" after the city, in response to pressure from pro-Palestinian advocacy groups. After the Israeli government protested, Hasbro Inc. issued a statement that read: "It was a bad decision, one that we rectified relatively quickly. This is a game. We never wanted to enter into any political debate. We apologize to our Monopoly fans."

Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition (2008) 
Free Parking
Sydney
M2.2M
Chance
?
New York
M2.2M
London
M2.4M
Monopoly Cruise
M2M
Beijing
M2.6M
Hong Kong
M2.6M
Wind Energy
M1.5M
Jerusalem
M2.8M
Go To Jail
Vancouver
M2M
MONOPOLY
Here and Now:
The World Edition
Paris
M3M
Shanghai
M1.8M
Belgrade
M3M
Community Chest Community Chest
Rome
M1.8M
Cape Town
M3.2M
Monopoly Air
M2M
Monopoly Space
M2M
Toronto
M1.6M
Chance
?
Kyiv
M1.4M
Riga
M3.5M
Solar Energy
M1.5M
Super Tax
pay M1M
Istanbul
M1.4M
Montreal
M4M
In Jail/Just Visiting Athens
M1.2M
Barcelona
M1M
Chance
?
Tokyo
M1M
Monopoly Rail
M2M
Income Tax
pay M2M
Taipei
M600K
Community Chest Gdynia
M600K
Collect M2M salary as you pass
GO

A similar online vote was held in early 2015 for an updated version of the game. The resulting board should be released worldwide in late 2015. Lima, Peru won the vote and will hold the Boardwalk space.

Deluxe editions

Hasbro sells a Deluxe Edition, which is mostly identical to the classic edition but has wooden houses and hotels and gold-toned tokens, including one token in addition to the standard eleven, a railroad locomotive. Other additions to the Deluxe Edition include a card carousel, which holds the title deed cards, and money printed with two colors of ink.

In 1978, retailer Neiman Marcus manufactured and sold an all-chocolate edition of Monopoly through its "Christmas Wish Book" for that year. The entire set was edible, including the money, dice, hotels, properties, tokens and playing board. The set retailed for $600.

In 2000, the FAO Schwarz store in New York City sold a custom version called One-Of-A-Kind Monopoly for $100,000. This special edition comes in a locking attaché case made with Napolino leather and lined in suede, and features include:

The Guinness Book of World Records states that a set worth $2,000,000 and made of 23-carat gold, with rubies and sapphires atop the chimneys of the houses and hotels, is the most expensive Monopoly set ever produced. This set was designed by artist Sidney Mobell to honor the game's 50th anniversary in 1985.

Criticisms

Wired magazine believes Monopoly is a poorly designed game. Former Wall Streeter Derk Solko explains, "Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It's a very negative experience. It's all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money."

Most of the 3 to 4-hour average playing time is spent waiting for other players to play their turn. "Board game enthusiasts disparagingly call this a 'roll your dice, move your mice' format".

The hobby-gaming community BoardGameGeek is especially critical. User reviews of Monopoly rank the game among the 20 worst games out of nearly 10,000 ranked in the database.

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