How long does it take to play Monopoly? Win in record time

Wondering how long it takes to Monopoly? It can take as little as 20 minutes and as long as 180 minutes (2.5 hours) to play.

Monopoly is partly a game of luck, which means there is no guaranteeing a win or how long it will take to play. Yet, I will reveal some secrets and strategies that will reduce that luck. Giving you the best, quickest chance to be victorious.

Number 5 is particularly tantalizing! Read on to find out how to win in record time.

  1. Don’t play house rules

There are many house rules but these house rules usually tend to extend the game. If you want to win fast then keeping money in the game will only prolong the end and give the opponent opportunity to fight back.

House rules like putting fines in the middle and the person who next lands on Free Parking gets the bounty just adds unnecessary gains financially. It could also bring your opponent back from the brink and steal an early victory from you.

Play the standard Parker Brothers rules.

How long does it take to play Monopoly?

  1. Be nice but be ruthless

Monopoly involves negotiating and trading. It goes without saying that being nice and affable will put the opponent at ease and like you. If players like you they will be more likely to trade with you favourably. 

If you land on another player’s property and they miss the opportunity to charge you rent then don’t rub their faces in it. This will only make them determined never to miss a rent again.

This is a good way to play and secure many rematches. Although Monopoly is competitive right? Then be nice but also ruthless. If you can finish off a player then do it, just do it nicely. Find that balance. 

  1. Understand the probability within the game

Some people say the game is solely based on luck and there is an element of luck that comes into play with the dice. However, if you understand the probability of which numbers are likely to come up then this gives you an advantage that you can use to plan your moves. 

There are two aspects that are key to this: which properties are players likely to land on the most and what numbers are most often going to come up. 

There is a superb article on the subject of probability written by Truman Collins in 1997. If you are interested you can find it here: http://www.tkcs-collins.com/truman/monopoly/monopoly.shtml

Probability of two dice rolling

Most commonly landed on properties

In Truman’s article he splits the probability into two parts: those getting out of jail as quickly as possible and those staying in as long as possible. With the in mind the top 10 squares players will land on are:

Square
In Jail
Illinois Avenue
Go
New York Avenue
B & O Railroad
Reading Railroad
Tennessee Avenue
Pennsylvania Railroad
Free Parking
Kentucky Avenue
Water Works
St. James Place
Indiana Avenue
Probability % (Jail Short)
3.9499
3.1858
3.0961
3.0852
3.0659
2.9631
2.9356
2.92
2.8836
2.8358
2.8074
2.7924
2.7357
Rank
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Square
In Jail
Illinois Avenue
Go
B & O Railroad
Free Parking
Tennessee Avenue
New York Avenue
Reading Railroad
St. James Place
Water Works
Pennsylvania Railroad
Kentucky Avenue
Electric Company
Probability % (Jail Long)
9.4569
2.9929
2.9143
2.893
2.8253
2.821
2.8118
2.801
2.6802
2.6507
2.6354
2.6143
2.614
Rank
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

So, you can see that if your opponent is playing one strategy it may suit you to change the properties you are looking to snap up.

The double dice

With a single dice each number has an equal chance of coming up but if you add another dice then this all changes. There is a great article here on how the numbers will come up. The diagram below shows the probability.

Probability of a number being rolled with two dice

The reason for this is that rolling a 7 has 6 different combinations that the dice could end up with. Whereas a 2 or 12 only has one combination. Understanding this can give you an idea of how to plan your moves as you are much more likely to roll a 5, 6,7, 8, or 9 and should plan accordingly.

There is no clear cut advantage here as there is always a level of a chance roll. However, understanding these two probabilities will give you an edge over your opponent.

  1. During the early stage buy, buy buy!

Properties generate rent and rent generates money whilst depleting the reserves of your opponents. So, in the early stages of the game buy every property you land on.

There are three considerations here:

  1. The more you buy the more chances you have of getting monopolies.
  2. Buying more properties is likely to foil other players from getting monopolies.
  3. Unwanted properties you buy are good for trading to get properties you do want.
Monopoly buy property

Straight out the gate, start buying even if it means mortgaging properties you already own to do so. If you mortgage properties to buy others, then mortgage them in the following priority:

  • Properties to trade
  • Any of the properties between Jail and Go
  • If you only have one utility
  • If you only have one Railroad
  • If you have both utilities

  1. Build three houses as quickly as possible

As soon as you can, build three houses on your properties. There is a jump in rent for the third house that will start impacting your opponent’s resources significantly when they land on it.

Don’t put a fourth house on if you have other monopolies without three houses. Work at getting 3 on each monopoly before you start adding the fourth.

Use up all the houses 

Whilst you are busily putting 3 houses on each property, keep going until all the houses are used up. This means that your opponent will be blocked from getting any more three properties and above monopolies, including hotels. This is not likely to go down well with them. However, you are now in a strong position to start draining their finances whilst they can’t increase their rent income.

Pile of Monopoly houses

Don’t buy Hotels

It should go without saying that you should not buy hotels. They are expensive and do not return well on your investment. Also consider what we have just discussed above about using up all the houses.

It will be a tactical mistake to buy a hotel and return all those houses back into the bank so that your opponent can build.

Building hotels can do more harm than good, so don’t build them.

  1. Jail is a good place to be

As the game progresses then the Jail can become a good place to be. 

Early in the game

During the initial phases of the game you need to be out there buying properties. So, if you end up in jail it is worth getting out as quickly as possible. To ensure your opponent doesn’t snap up some prime developments whilst you are in Jail, buy yourself out if necessary.

monopoly jail

Later in the game

Once the buying phase is completed then this will change. You are now wanting to get rent from your opponent and pay as little as possible in return. This is when Jail can actually become a good thing. 

If you have spent the last three turns in Jail then there is no way your opponent can charge you rent. On the other hand they will still be landing on your properties and giving you additional income.

When you decide to change from buying your way out of Jail to staying in will be up to you. However, running your rent empire from Jail can have it’s advantages.

  1. Consider the Railroads

Railroads are really strong in Monopoly. As you can see from the tables in 3), the probability of landing on B&O Railroad or Reading Railroad are in the top ten irrespective of which strategy the player is playing.

Having all four Railroads means you will get $200 every time a player lands on one of these. That is quite an income and so it makes sense for you to scoop up all four if you can.

On the flip side of this, it is also important to block your opponent from getting all four. So snap up at least one to prevent them from draining your finances 200 bucks at a time.

  1. Reds, Yellows…..and oranges too

Reds and Yellows are considered the best properties to have due to the fact they are landed on most often. However, don’t underestimate the oranges. These are really good too. 

As you can see from the tables above all three orange properties are in the top 10 if your opponent is playing the stay in jail strategy. Try and pick up monopolies on these colors and you will be getting rent often.

They are statistically better than other properties and can give you a better return.

I have always liked getting orange properties and this has served me well. Railroads, Orange, Reds and then Yellows would be my personal preference.

  1. Count the cards

There are 32 cards in Monopoly, 16 Chance and 16 Community Chest, and these get shuffled once at the beginning of the game. Which means they remain in order for the entire game.

If you can count the cards that have come off the decks you can have a much better idea of what will be coming up soon. This can be advantageous if you can orchestrate landing on a Chance or Community Chest when the next card is coming your way.

  1. Never be the banker

Being the banker gives you absolutely no benefits and can also have some downsides. How many times have you missed a rent because you are busy calculating something with another player? I know I have and it has cost me often. 

Being the banker just gives you more to do and does not provide any opportunity to advance your game to victory. It’s a distraction that is likely to make you miss key moments within the game. Unless you have to, don’t be the banker.

Monopoly banker

  1. Park Place and Boardwalk?

It is more of a personal preference on whether or not you keep Park Place or Boardwalk. Weigh up strategically how you want to play these. Bear in mind that these are often good properties to trade as they are often sought after by the other players.

This may give you a really good opportunity to trade either for more than they are really worth.

Did you know?

During World War II, J Waddington Ltd (who was licensed to manufacture Monopoly) was approached by the British secret service to make special Monopoly board games.

J Waddington had recently perfected printing on silk and so were creating silk maps for aircrew as these maps were quiet and could get wet.

J Waddington created special Monopoly sets that could be sent in Red Cross care packages to the allied prisoners of war. These special versions had silk maps, compasses and nail files in them to help prisoners escape. They even had real German, Italian and French money under the play money so the prisoners could use it to escape.

If you like spy movies then I can recommend this one called, ‘A call to Spy.’ It actually uses monopoly in the movie to do just that.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed these 11 strategies for winning Monopoly in record time. Monopoly is historically considered a game of luck but with these 11 strategies you can go ahead and make your own luck.

Whilst these strategies will help you win and win quickly. Bear in mind that it is the journey that is enjoyable and not just the arrival. So use these strategies wisely to extract the maximum amount of pleasure when playing Monopoly.

Over recent years Monopoly has fallen in popularity to more modern games to the point that people are quite negative about it. However, for me this will always be a game close to my heart and one that I will enjoy playing. 

If you love playing Monopoly then there are some great games that I think you would also enjoy playing. Below are some games that I think you’ll love. So click on one that takes your interest and maybe you will find a new favourite to add to your collection.

Ticket to Ride Europe

Ticket to Ride Europe

It’s time to get your cases packed and get ready to race across Europe, claiming routes as you go in this epic turn-of-the-century railroad board game from Days of Wonder.

Ticket to Ride Europe is designed by Alan R. Moon and follows on from the original Ticket to Ride which is set in the USA. It is for 2-5 players of age 8+ and takes around 30-60 minutes to play. Let’s see if it will become one of your favourite destinations.

Takenoko board game review

Takenoko

Let’s go back to feudal Japan where you are the lowly gardener on whose shoulders peace between China and Japan rests. China has gifted a giant panda to the Japanese emperor who in turn has entrusted you with keeping the cute cuddly beast alive. So, it is up to you to keep the hungry little fella well fed whilst tending the gardens or there will be trouble.

Takenoko is an award winning, fun family tile laying board game for two to four players from age 8+. You cultivate land to grow bamboo in order to accomplish objectives. Watch out or the panda could eat away your advantage! Once a certain number of objectives have been completed then the person with the highest score wins.