R80o has a lovely set of Monopoly Macros on Flickr
Today I beat my sister and nine year old cousin in Monopoly and I feel great. Nah, jk, Monopoly is a lot luck, but I did learn some new stragetery today. The key is to keep your money working for you all the time rather than sitting around. Usually this takes the form of buying absolutely everything you land on, but sometimes you don’t land on anything. I actually read the rule book, however, and there is one loophole.
You can actually buy houses and extract higher rent without owning all the properties of one color. This means that you can continue reinvesting money in your properties, extracting higher and higher rent. When players run out of money you can make advantageous deals for property, and finally their everlasting souls. There is also the ‘Rolling Front’ technique to only build houses when your opponents are about to cross that territory and mortgaging properties that are temporarily out of play. Then there is a lesser known technique called ‘Playing Against Nine Year Olds.’
If you land on something, buy it. Doesn’t matter if it’s Baltic Avenue (the cheaps) or Boardwalk. Even Connecticut and Oriental (light blue) make $600 rent with a hotel on them, and hotels only cost $450. There is never a good reason to not buy something. In fact, you should beg, borrow and mortgage to buy new properties.
I read through the rules and apparently you don’t have to own all the houses in a colored set to start building. News to me, but it makes stuff easier. You should build houses as fast as possible, but to ensure a return I try to build them right when people are about to enter that part of the board. You could also mortgage those properties immediately after they leave and build houses on the territory they are entering. If you hit someone hard once you can reup the cash into further houses and gradually begin taking their property.
Players, especially small children, are loath to trade property for cash. If, however, you offer the exchange of property with cash it can be more enticing. Also try to catch people off guard, like when they owe you a fuckload of money. Offer to accept property in lieu of cash and most people will go for it. Little do they know that this condemns them to future serfitude.. Some properties with high prestige but low expected value are the Utilities (maximum payout of $120, and only two spots on the board) and, yes, Boardwalk and Park Place. If you can get a row of shanty hotels that can make money faster than Boardwalk alone. If you can trade Boardwalk for all the early spots on the board you can build houses and make a couple thousand fast.
If you own all 4 the Railroads make $200 in rent apiece, and there are two Community Chest cards that force players to go there. The utilities are useless, but you should hold on to them until you can trade them to someone for something cool, like a Railroad.
Go To Jail
In the end-game it’s the best place to be. You can sit back, collect rent and build houses all without ever having to pay rent to anybody else. I try to stay in Jail whenever I go but I always roll doubles and have to leave.
And that is all I have to say about Monopoly. I actually prefer Scrabble, but the Mono can be pretty fun. We also had Lincoln Logs in summer camp and if I ever saw some I think I would buy them. I would also drink Ecto Cooler if I could find some bomb-shelter packages on eBay.