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|The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game|
The Monopoly logo (2008–present)
Some versions 2–6|
Other versions 2–10
|Setup time||5–10 minutes|
|Playing time||60–240 minutes (1–4 hours) [average]|
|Random chance||High (dice rolling, card drawing)|
Monopoly is a board game where players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels. Players collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. Money can also be gained or lost through Chance and Community Chest cards, and tax squares; players can end up in jail, which they cannot move from until they have met one of several conditions. The game has numerous house rules, and hundreds of different editions exist, as well as many spin-offs and related media. Monopoly has become a part of international popular culture, having been licensed locally in more than 103 countries and printed in more than thirty-seven languages.
Monopoly is derived from The Landlord's Game created by Elizabeth Magie in the United States in 1903 as a way to demonstrate that an economy which rewards wealth creation is better than one where monopolists work under few constraints, and to promote the economic theories of Henry George—in particular his ideas about taxation. It was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935. The game is named after the economic concept of monopoly—the domination of a market by a single entity. It is now owned and produced by the American game and toy company Hasbro.
The history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1903, when American anti-monopolist Elizabeth Magie created a game which she hoped would 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. She 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 both the process of buying land for its development and the sale of any undeveloped property. Cardboard houses were added, and rents were increased as they were added to a property. Magie patented the game again in 1923.
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, and her husband Charles Darrow came to their house for dinner. After the meal, the Todds introduced Darrow to The Landlord's Game, which they then played several times. The game was entirely new to Darrow, and he asked the Todds for a written set of the rules. After that night, Darrow went on to utilize this and distribute the game himself as Monopoly. Because of this act the Todds refused to speak to Darrow ever again.
After the game's excellent sales during the Christmas season of 1934, Parker Brothers bought the game's copyrights from Darrow. When the company learned Darrow was not the sole inventor of the game, it bought the rights to Magie's patent.
Parker Brothers began selling the game on February 6, 1935. Several people, mostly in the Midwestern United States and near the East Coast, contributed to the game's design and evolution. This is when the game's design took on the 4×10 space-to-a-side layout and the now familiar cards were produced. Cartoonist F. O. Alexander is credited with creating the "Go to Jail" Officer Edgar Mallory, Jake the Jailbird, and mascot Milburn Pennybags characters. U. S. patent number US 2026082 A was issued to Charles Darrow on December 31, 1935, for the game board design and was assigned to Parker Brothers Inc. The original version of the game in this format was based on the streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
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.
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 company, 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 Anspach conducted during the course of the litigation was what helped to bring the game's history before Charles Darrow into the spotlight.
In 1991, Hasbro acquired Parker Bros. and thus Monopoly. Prior to the Hasbro acquisition, Parker Bros. acted as a publisher only issuing two versions at a time, a regular and deluxe. Hasbro moved to create and license other versions and involve the public in varying the game. 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 a hundred more licensees including Winning Moves Games (since 1995) and Winning Solutions, Inc. (since 2000) in the United States.
In 2003, the company held a national tournament on a chartered train going from Chicago to Atlantic City (see § U.S. National Championship). Also in 2003, Hasbro sued the maker of Ghettopoly and won. In 2005, the company sued RADGames over their Super Add-On accessory board game that fit in the center of the board. In January 2017, Hasbro invited Internet users to vote on a new set of game pieces, with this new regular edition to be issued in March 2017.
The Monopoly game-board consists of forty spaces containing twenty-eight properties—twenty-two streets (grouped into eight color groups), four railroads, 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.
There have been some changes to the board since the original. Not all of the Chance and Community Chest cards as shown in the 1935 patent were used in editions from 1936/1937 onwards. Graphics with the Mr. Monopoly character (then known as "Rich Uncle Pennybags") were added in that same time-frame. A graphic of a chest containing coins was added to the Community Chest spaces, as were the flat purchase prices of the properties. Traditionally, the Community Chest cards were yellow (although they were sometimes printed on blue stock) with no decoration or text on the back; the Chance cards were orange with no text or decoration on the back.
Hasbro commissioned a major graphic redesign to the U.S. Standard Edition of the game in 2008, with some minor revisions. Among the changes: the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues changed from purple to brown, and the colors of the GO square changed from red to black. A flat $200 Income Tax was imposed (formerly the player's choice of $200 or 10% of their total holdings, which they could not calculate until after making their final decision). Originally the amount was $300 but was changed a year after the game's debut, and the Luxury Tax amount increased to $100 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; 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 indicating a player collects $200 if they pass Go on the way there.
All 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 U.S. 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 Showboat Atlantic City was developed where it once ran.
Marvin Gardens, the farthest yellow property, is a misspelling of its actual name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was introduced by Charles and Olive Todd, who taught the game to Charles Darrow. It was passed on when their homemade Monopoly board was copied by Darrow and then by 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 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 a 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.
In the 1930s, John Waddington Ltd. (Waddingtons) was a printing company in 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.
Victor Watson, the managing director of Waddingtons, gave the game to his son Norman, 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 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 where it is located). It had been a coaching inn that stood on the Great North Road. By the 1930s, the inn had become a J. Lyons and Co. tea room (today The 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 fake POW relief charities 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 U.S. 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. Initially, in December 1998, the game was sold in just a few W H Smith stores, but demand was high, with almost fifty thousand games shipped in the four weeks leading to Christmas. Winning Moves still produces new city and regional editions annually.
The original income tax choice from the 1930s U.S. 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 U.S. 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.
In cases where a national company produced the game, the $ (dollar) sign replaced the £ (pound), but the place names were unchanged.
Beginning in the U.K. in 2005, a revised version of the game, titled Monopoly Here and Now, was produced, replacing game scenarios, properties, and tokens with newer 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 U.S. "Electronic Banking" edition has unbranded debit cards.
The success of the first Here and Now editions prompted Hasbro U.S. to allow online voting for twenty-six landmark properties across the United States to take their places along the game-board. The popularity of this voting, in turn, led to the creation of similar websites, and secondary game-boards per popular vote to be created in the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other nations.
In 2006, Winning Moves Games released the Mega Edition, with a 30% larger game-board 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 U.K. market in 2007, and is sold by Winning Moves U.K. After the initial U.S. release, critiques of some of the rules caused the company to issue revisions and clarifications on their website.
In September 2006, the U.S. edition of Monopoly Here and Now was released. This edition features top landmarks across the U.S. 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 U.S. 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). 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.
In 2015, in honor of the game's 80th birthday, Hasbro held an online vote to determine which cities would make it into an updated version of the Here and Now edition of the game. This second edition is more a spin-off as the winning condition has changed to completing your passport instead of bankrupting your opponents. Community Chest is replaced with Here and Now cards while the Here and Now space replaced the railroads. Houses and hotels have been removed.
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 U.S. cities.
Monopoly Empire has uniquely branded tokens and places based on popular brands. Instead of buying properties, players buy popular brands one by one and slide their billboards onto their Empire towers. Instead of building houses and hotels, players collect rent from their rivals based on their tower height. A player wins by being the first player to fill his or her tower with billboards. Every space on the board is a brand name, including Xbox, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Samsung.
Monopoly Token Madness
This version of Monopoly contains an extra eight "golden" tokens. That includes a penguin, a television, a race car, a Mr. Monopoly emoji, a rubber duck, a watch, a wheel and a bunny slipper.
During the game, players travel around the gameboard buying properties and collecting rent. If they land on a Chance space, or roll the Chance icon on a die, they can spin the Chance spinner to try to make more money. Players may hit the "Jackpot", go bankrupt, or be sent to Jail. The player who has the most cash when the bank crashes wins.
Monopoly: Ultimate Banking Edition
In this version, there is no cash. The Monopoly Ultimate Banking game features an electronic ultimate banking piece with touch technology. Players can buy properties instantly and set rents by tapping. Each player has a bankcard and their cash is tracked by the Ultimate Banking unit. It can scan the game's property cards and boost or crash the market. Event cards and Location spaces replace Chance and Community Chest cards. On an Event Space, rents may be raised or lowered, a player may earn or lose money, or someone could be sent to Jail. Location Spaces allow players to pay and move to any property space on the gameboard.
All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the bank until bought by the players. A standard set of Monopoly pieces includes:
A deck of thirty-two Chance and Community Chest cards (sixteen each) which players draw when they land on the corresponding squares of the track, and follow the instructions printed on them.
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 rents depending on how developed the property is. Properties include:
The purchase price for properties varies from $60 to $400 on a U.S. Standard Edition set.
A pair of six-sided dice is included, with a "Speed Die" added for variation in 2007. The 1999 Millennium Edition featured two jewel-like dice which were the subject of a lawsuit from Michael Bowling, owner of dice maker Crystal Caste. Hasbro lost the suit in 2008 and had to pay $446,182 in royalties. Subsequent printings of the game reverted to normal six-sided dice.
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.
Older U.S. standard editions of the game included a total of $15,140 in the following denominations:
Newer (September 2008 and later) U.S. editions provide a total of $20,580–30 of each denomination instead. The colors of some of the bills are also changed: $10s are now blue instead of yellow, $20s are a brighter 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). Before September 2008, the money was divided with greater numbers of 20 and 10-dollar bills. Since then, the U.S. version has taken on the British version's initial cash distributions.
|U.S. editions prior to 2008||U.S. editions since 2008 / British editions|
|2 × $500||2 × $/£500|
|2 × $100||4 × $/£100|
|2 × $50||1 × $/£50|
|6 × $20||1 × $/£20|
|5 × $10||2 × $/£10|
|5 × $5||1 × $/£5|
|5 × $1||5 × $/£1|
Although the U.S. version is indicated as allowing eight players, the cash distribution shown above 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.
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.
According to the Parker Brothers rules, Monopoly money is theoretically unlimited; if the bank runs out of money it may issue as much as needed "by merely writing on any ordinary paper". However, Hasbro's published Monopoly rules make no mention of this. 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.
In several countries there is also a version of the game that features electronic banking. Instead of receiving paper money, each player receives a plastic bank card that is inserted into a calculator-like electronic device that keeps track of the player's balance.
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. After prints with wood tokens in 1937, a set of eight tokens was introduced. Two more were added in late 1937, and tokens changed again in 1942. During World War II, the game tokens were switched back to wood. Early localized editions of the standard edition (including some Canadian editions, which used the U.S. board layout) did not include pewter tokens but instead had generic wooden pawns identical to those in Sorry!. 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 for Monopoly usage. By 1943, there were ten tokens which included the Battleship, Boot, Cannon, Horse and rider, Iron, Racecar, Scottie Dog, Thimble, Top hat, and Wheelbarrow. These tokens remained the same until the late 1990s, when Parker Brothers was sold to Hasbro.
In 1998, a Hasbro advertising campaign asked the public to vote on a new playing piece to be added to the set. The candidates were a "bag of money", a bi-plane, and a piggy bank. The bag ended up winning 51 percent of the vote compared to the other two which failed to go above 30%. This new token was added to the set in 1999 bringing the number of tokens to eleven. Another 1998 campaign poll asked people which monopoly token was their favorite. The most popular was the Race Car at 18% followed by the Dog (16%), Cannon (14%) and Top Hat (10%). The least favorite in the poll was the Wheelbarrow at 3% followed by Thimble (7%) and the Iron (7%). The "Cannon", and "Horse and rider" were both retired in 2000 with no new tokens taking their place. Another retirement came in 2007 with the sack of money that brought down the total token count to eight again.
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. This new campaign was different than the one in 1998 as one piece was retired and replaced with a new one. Both were chosen by a vote that ran on Facebook from January 8 to February 5, 2013. The cat took the top spot with 31% of the vote over the iron which was replaced.  In January 2017, Hasbro placed the line of tokens in the regular edition with another vote which included a total of 64 options. The eight playable tokens at the time included the Battleship, Boot, Cat, Racecar, Scottie Dog, Thimble, Top hat, and Wheelbarrow. By March 17, 2017, Hasbro retired three tokens which included the thimble, wheelbarrow, and boot, these were replaced by a penguin, a Tyrannosaurus and a rubber duck.
|Boot||1937–2017||Yes||Penguin, Rubber Duck, T-Rex|
|Horse and rider||1942–2000||Yes||None|
|Lantern||1937–1942||Yes||Dog, Horse and rider, Wheelbarrow|
|Purse||1937–1942||Yes||Dog, Horse and rider, Wheelbarrow|
|Rocking horse||1937–1942||Yes||Dog, Horse and rider, Wheelbarrow|
|Sack of money||1999–2007||Yes||None|
|Thimble||1937–2017||Yes||Penguin, Rubber Duck, T-Rex|
|Wheelbarrow||1942–2017||Yes||Penguin, Rubber Duck, T-Rex|
Over the years Hasbro has released tokens for special or collector's editions of the game. One of the first tokens to come out included a Steam Locomotive which was only released in Deluxe Editions. A Director's Chair token was released in 2011 in limited edition copies of Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story. Shortly after the 2013 Facebook voting campaign, a limited-edition Golden Token set was released exclusively at various national retailers, such as Target in the U.S., and Tesco in the U.K. The set contained the Battleship, Boot, Iron, Racecar, Scottie Dog, Thimble, Top hat, and Wheelbarrow as well as the iron's potential replacements. These replacement tokens included the cat, the guitar, the diamond ring, the helicopter, and the robot. Hasbro released a 64-token limited edition set in 2017 called Monopoly Signature Token Collection to include all of the candidates that were not chosen in the vote held that year.
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 a piece clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares. If a player rolls doubles, they roll again after completing their turn. A player who rolls three consecutive sets of doubles on one turn has been "caught speeding" and is immediately sent to jail instead of moving the amount shown on the dice for the third roll.
A player who lands on or passes the Go space collects $200 from the bank. 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 total net worth (including the current values of all the properties and buildings owned). No calculation could be made before the choice, and no latitude was given for reversing an unwise calculation. In 2008, the calculation option was removed from the official rules, and simultaneously the Luxury Tax was increased to $100 from its original $75. No reward or penalty is given for landing on Free Parking.
Properties can only be developed once a player owns all the properties in that color group. They then must be developed equally. A house must be built on each property of that color before a second can be built. Each property within a group must be within one house level of all the others within that group.
If a player lands on a Chance or Community Chest space, they draw the top card from the respective deck and follow its instructions. This may include collecting or paying money to the bank or another player or moving to a different space on the board. Two types of cards that involve jail, "Go to Jail" and "Get Out of Jail Free", are explained below.
A player is sent to jail for doing any of the following:
When a player is sent to jail, they move directly to the Jail space and their turn ends ("Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200."). If an ordinary dice roll (not one of the above events) ends with the player's token on the Jail corner, they are "Just Visiting" and can move ahead on their next turn without incurring any penalty.
If a player is in jail, they do not take a normal turn and must either pay a fine of $50 to be released, 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. Failing to roll doubles in three consecutive turns requires the player to either pay the $50 fine or use a Get Out of Jail Free card, after which they move ahead according to the total rolled. Players in jail may not buy properties directly from the bank since they are unable to move. They can engage all other transactions, such as mortgaging properties, selling/trading properties to other players, buying/selling houses and hotels, collecting rent, and bidding on property auctions. A player who rolls doubles to leave jail does not roll again; however, if the player pays the fine or uses a card to get out and then rolls doubles, they do take another turn.
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 amount depends on whether the property is part of a set or its level of development.
When a player owns all 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; this 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 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.
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 half the purchase price from the bank for each mortgaged property. This must be repaid with 10% interest to clear the mortgage. 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 pay the bank the mortgage price plus 10% or pay just the 10% amount and keep the property mortgaged; if the player chooses the latter, they must pay the 10% again when they pay off the mortgage.
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 their assets over to the bank, who then auctions off their properties (if they have any), except buildings. If the debt is owed to another player instead, all assets are given to that opponent, except buildings which must be returned to the bank. The new owner must either pay off any mortgages held by the bank on such properties received or pay a fee of 10% of the mortgaged value to the bank if they choose to leave the properties mortgaged. The winner is the remaining player left after all of 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 to pay the full amount owed.
A player cannot choose to go bankrupt; if there is any way to pay what they owe, even by returning all their buildings at a loss, mortgaging all their real estate and giving up all their cash, even knowing they are likely going bankrupt the next time, they must do so.
From 1936, the rules booklet included with each Monopoly set contained a short section at the end providing rules for making the game shorter, including dealing out two Title Deed cards to each player before starting the game, by setting a time limit or by ending the game after the second player goes bankrupt. A later version of the rules included this variant, along with the time limit game, in the main rules booklet, omitting the last, the second bankruptcy method, as a third short game.
|“||[V]irtually no one plays the game with the rules as written.||”|
|— Computer Gaming World, 1994|
Many house rules have emerged for the game since its creation. Well-known is the "Free Parking jackpot rule", where all the money collected from Income Tax, Luxury Tax, Chance and Community Chest goes to the center of the board instead of the bank. Many people add $500 to start each pile of Free Parking money, guaranteeing a minimum payout. When a player lands on Free Parking, 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 may 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.
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 a "Free Parking" house rule without additional money and forcing players to traverse the board once before buying properties.
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) (Red), New York Avenue (Vine Street) (Orange), B&O Railroad (Fenchurch Street Station), and Reading Railroad (Kings Cross Station) are the most frequently landed-upon properties. Mediterranean Avenue (Old Kent Road) (brown), Baltic Avenue (Whitechapel Road) (brown), Park Place (Park Lane) (blue), and Oriental Avenue (The Angel Islington) (light blue) 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.
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 2.3 months).
Numerous add-ons have been produced for Monopoly, sold independently from the game both before its commercialization and after, with three official ones discussed below:
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 re-released 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 U.S.), 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, 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.
In 2009, Hasbro released two minigames 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 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.
First included in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Mega Edition variant, this third, six-sided die is rolled with the other two, and accelerates game-play when in use. In 2007, Parker Brothers began releasing its standard version (also called the Speed Die Edition) of Monopoly with the same die (originally in blue, later in red). 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. 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. In the Monopoly:Mega Edition, rolling the bus allows you take the regular dice move then either take a bus ticket or move to the nearest draw card space. Mega rules specifies that triples do not count as doubles for going to jail as you do not roll again. Used in a regular edition, 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. 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 U.S. and World Monopoly Championship, as well as the 2015 World Championship.
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 with the flavor of Monopoly:
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, Nintendo Entertainment System, iPad, Genesis, Super NES, etc.), two spin-off computer games have been created. An electronic hand-held version was marketed from 1997 to 2001.
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.
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.
The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sweepstakes advertising promotion of McDonald's and Hasbro that has been offered in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States.
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 earned cash in the form of "Monopoly Crazy Cash Cards" from the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Corner", which was then inserted to the "Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine" at the end of the show. In addition, beginning with Season 2, teams won "Monopoly Party Packages" for winning the individual games. For Season 3, there was a Community Chest. Each card on Mr. Monopoly had a combination of three colors. Teams used the combination card to unlock the chest. If it was the right combination, they advanced to the Crazy Cash Machine for a brand-new car. For the show's fourth season, a new game was 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 game show in syndication on March 28, 2015, called Monopoly Millionaires' Club was launched. It was connected with a multi-state lottery game of the same name and hosted by comedian Billy Gardell from Mike & Molly. The game show was filmed at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino and at Bally's Las Vegas in Las Vegas, with players having a chance to win up to $1,000,000. However, the lottery game connected with the game show (which provided the contestants) went through multiple complications and variations, and the game show last aired at the end of April 2016.
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 2012 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 said they would 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 U.S. 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.
Although in the past, U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. National Champion. In addition to the title, 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 U.S. representative to compete at the 2015 Monopoly World Championship. Interested players took a twenty-question quiz on Monopoly strategy and rules and submitted a hundred-word essay on how to win a Monopoly tournament. Hasbro then selected Brian Valentine of Washington, D.C., to be the U.S. representative.
Hasbro conducts a worldwide Monopoly tournament. The first Monopoly World Championships took place in Grossinger's Resort in New York, in November 1973, but they did not include competitors from outside the United States until 1975. It has been aired in the United States by ESPN. In 2009, forty-one players competed for the title of Monopoly World Champion and a cash prize of $20,580 (USD)—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 twenty-six other countries.
|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|
|1983||Palm Beach||Greg Jacobs||Australia|
|1985||Atlantic City||Jason Bunn||United Kingdom|
|1992||Berlin||Joost van Orten||Netherlands|
|1996||Monte Carlo||Christopher Woo||Hong Kong|
|2004||Tokyo||Antonio Zafra Fernández||Spain|
|2009||Las Vegas||Bjørn Halvard Knappskog||Norway|
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 thirty-seven 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 like Monopoly include:
Other unlicensed editions include: BibleOpoly, HomoNoPolis and Petropolis, among others.
There have been a large number of localized editions, broken down here by region:
This list is of unauthorized, unlicensed games based on Monopoly:
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.
|Micropoly – The Microsoft Monopoly Game|
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).
Memeopolis (Android app)
|Setup time||5–15 minutes|
|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 below, 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."
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.[needs update] Lima, Peru won the vote and will hold the Boardwalk space.
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, and is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
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 three to four-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 with an average rating of 4.422 out of 10.
The "Bust~the~Trust!" Game. The basic idea of the game is to end the monopolistic practices of the three-company-combinations of the gameboard. The players are Trust-Busting lawyers going about the board slapping lawsuits on the monopolies. The winning trust buster is the one who ends with the largest number of social-credit points when one of the players runs out of money.
|The Wikibook Monopoly has a page on the topic of: Strategy|
|The Wikibook Monopoly has a page on the topic of: Official Rules|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monopoly (game).|