How To Play the Monopoly Game: Money, Pieces and Cards

Get Tips for Traveling Around the Monopoly Board

Playing monopoly

Playing Monopoly together is a fun way to spend an exciting night with your friends and family. Though the game can take a while, it's quite simple to play once you understand the rules.  

Monopoly has been a beloved game around the world for many years. Created by Charles Darrow in 1934, the original Monopoly board game uses the actual street names of Atlantic City, NJ to allow players a chance to create their own real estate empire. There are several different versions on the market today, but each uses the same set of basic rules, no matter the location or theme. Here's how to play Monopoly:

  1. Set up the game. Place the Chance and Community Chest cards in their proper places on the board and have each player choose his or her token and place it in the start square. Assign a player to be the banker and handle the money and property deeds for the duration of the game.
  2. Hand out Monopoly money to each player. At the start of the game each player will have $1500 in the following denominations: 2-$500's, 2-$100's, 2-$50's, 6-$20's, 5-$10's, 5-$5's, and 5-$1's.
  3. Roll the dice to see who goes first. The player with the highest number on the initial roll will start the game.
  4. Starting from the GO space, each player on his or her turn will roll the dice and advance that number of spaces. Depending on which space you happen to land on, your next step at this point can vary. If you roll doubles, you are entitled to another roll. If you roll doubles three times in a row, you must go to jail.
  5. Take the action required by the space you have landed on. For Chance or Community Chest spaces, draw a card from the pile and follow the Monopoly instructions. If you land on a property space, you can buy it from the bank for the price listed on the space, if it is unowned. If someone else already owns the space, pay them the rent they are due. Landing on the Income Tax space gives you two choices: pay a flat $200 to the bank or pay 10% of all your cash, street-level property, and owned buildings. If you choose the 10% and add the amount up, you cannot change your mind and pay the $200. Free Parking is just a resting space; nothing happens when you land here.
  6. During the course of the game, you are entitled to collect $200 each time you pass GO, so don't forget to remind the banker to pay you your "salary."
  7. At some point in the game, you may end up in jail. This does not happen when landing on the jail space during a regular turn. You only go to jail when you land on the Go Directly To Jail space; if you are instructed by the Community Chest or Chance Monopoly cards to Go To Jail; or if you roll doubles three consecutive rolls in a row. You remain in jail until one of four things happens: you present a Get Out Of Jail Free card, roll doubles on your turn while in jail, pay $50 to get out of jail, or let three turns pass without you rolling doubles.
  8. Managing your property purchases is probably the trickiest aspect of the game. As you travel around the board, you'll want to try to purchase as many full sets of properties as possible. By sets, I mean properties in the same color block. You may also buy or trade properties with another player to achieve a complete set. Once you have obtained all the properties in a color group, you are then entitled to double the rent shown on your deeds and you may begin adding buildings to these properties.
  9. Once you have all of the properties in a set, you may add houses and hotels. The rent amount to be paid to you when other players land on these properties changes as per the chart on the deed card. You must always build evenly; each property must have one house each before adding a second to any property. Each property in the set must have four houses before adding a hotel. The even building rule also stands true if you must sell houses back to the bank later in the game.
  10. If you find yourself short on cash when you must pay money to the bank or rent to another player, you may then mortgage your properties to the bank. Before mortgaging the properties, you must sell back all the homes on that property group and you will no longer be able to collect any rent on these spaces. The mortgage value of each property is stated on the deed card. You may pay off the mortgage and retain rental and building rights to your property by repaying the bank.
  11. Once you cannot pay the amount owed to the bank or another player and have no property left to mortgage, you are considered bankrupt. If landing on another player's property causes your demise, you must give that player everything you have left after selling any remaining houses or hotels back to the bank.
  12. Once a player has gone bankrupt, the game is over. The remaining players must now determine their total values, including cash, properties owned at full board price, mortgaged properties at half board price, and houses and hotels at purchase price. The player worth the largest amount of money is the Monopoly winner!


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