Monopoly is a board game based on the dog eat dog world of business and requires a mixture of skill and luck. It involves each player generating the maximum income at the expense of the other players. Eventually, some become bankrupt, and one person is left as the winner. The game has many twists and turns, with rules that are often adapted by families or groups of friends who play regularly, to customise the experience. Monopoly boards are now available in various themes, including boards inspired by films, comics or global brands, and there are also many digital versions and video games.
The Story of Monopoly
The idea for Monopoly was first dreamt up by Elizabeth Magie, a stenographer from Washington DC, who saw the property-based board game as a form of wry social commentary. She patented her idea in 1903, but it wasn’t until the game was refined and marketed by Charles Farrow, that the concept really took off. Soon, the game publisher Parker Brothers took over production and Monopoly in its modern form became a major success. The game is now owned by Hasbro, with Parker Brothers being one of their brands.
What is the Original Monopoly?
The original version of Monopoly was launch in the United States in 1934, then the rest of the world in 1936. The square Monopoly board is made up of 10 small rectangles around each side, these are named after railway stations, utilities and notable locations.
At the first corner is the Go square where players begin the game, the next corner is the Jail, and the following is Free Parking, where nothing happens according to the official rules. The final corner is Go to Jail and players landing here are sent straight to the Jail corner.
In the centre of the board are two rectangles where the Chance and Community Chest cards are kept. These are action cards which usually require a player to move their piece to another square, or payout or collect money.
What’s Included in the Monopoly Box?
Part of the fun when playing Monopoly are the quirky play pieces and the huge hoard of cash, but there are other items included in the box.
The game board – The glossy Monopoly board of London has remained largely unchanged in terms of its design, though the locations are different.
Eight metal playing pieces – These iconic tokens have often been changed, but most standard versions of the game now include a cat (which replaced the iron), a rubber duck, battleship, a penguin, a dog, a Tyrannosaurus rex and a car.
Title Deed cards – The twenty-eight title deed cards in the standard UK version of the game include famous streets and places in London, these range from Old Kent Road, which is the cheapest location at £60, to Mayfair, which is the most expensive at £400.
Chance cards – The sixteen Chance cards are placed next to the Go space. When players take one, they are often given instructions to move somewhere else on the board, sometimes with costly repercussions.
Community Chest cards – There are sixteen Community Chest cards, these are placed near the Free Parking space. Players who have to select a Community Chest card are often asked for money.
A money pack – This is usually made up of £1, £5, £10, £20, £50 £100 and £500 notes, all featuring Mr Monopoly’s face.
Houses – A total of 32 houses are included, they are shaped like a house and made of green plastic.
Hotels – There are only twelve hotels, these are larger than the houses and made of red plastic.
Dice – Most standard games come with two dice. Some include a third, known as a Speed Die. The sides of a Speed Die are made up of the numbers 1, 2 and 3, as well as two sides with Mr Monopoly and one side with a bus. Players have to carry out various additional actions when they roll a Mr Monopoly or a bus, so the game is speeded up.
The instructions – Although they are not always read or adhered to, there is a comprehensive set of instructions covering every aspect of gameplay.
How is Monopoly Played?
The game starts when everyone selects a gaming piece and receives a set amount of money. Next, the board is set up with the Chance and Community Chest cards in the correct place, and one player is chosen to be the banker.
Everyone rolls the dice once and the player with the highest score goes first. Rolling two dice, they move off from the Go square. This is then repeated by all the other players and everyone continues to take their turn in order. When players land on an unowned property, they can choose to buy it, or ask the banker to auction it off. If a player manages to acquire all the properties in one colour group, they can build houses and then hotels.
Players who land on these places have to pay the owner a set amount of rent. Some places on the board cannot be bought, Instead, a player landing here has to carry out the required action. This may be drawing a Chance or Community Chest card, paying income tax or going to jail.
The aim of the game is to earn as much money as possible by having the monopoly on various sets of locations. This allows players to make money from other players, hopefully rendering the competition bankrupt and leaving one person as the winner.
How is Monopoly Different from Other Board Games?
The most unique aspect of Monopoly is the style of play. Although there is an extensive list of printed rules, these are rarely followed correctly by players. Instead, people learn the game from friends or family who have been playing for years, not necessarily in the official way. The use of house rules is popular because it allows groups of people to adapt the game, making it more playable for children for example, who may find themselves bankrupt very quickly and become frustrated. The fact that players are inclined to bend the rules has even been acknowledged by Hasbro with the tongue in cheek Monopoly Cheaters Edition.
A popular way of avoiding swift bankruptcies is by giving players who are down on their luck a loan, taken from the game’s cash store, rather than other players. Another of the most common unofficial rules is the creation of a kitty in the centre of the board, this is paid into by players who receive fines as part of the game. When a player lands on Free Parking, they collect the kitty.
On the downside, more generous rules create never-ending games where there is so much cash moving around, that it is almost impossible for anyone to win or lose. However, they also nurture smoother interactions between players and can make the game a lot more fun to play.
What Different Monopoly Editions are there?
In 1991, Hasbro bought the Parker Brothers brand and Monopoly came as part of the package. Until this time, only two versions of the game were available, the standard board and a deluxe version, which included more detail. After 1991, Hasbro soon got to work producing licensed versions of the game which included themed boards, pieces and actions. There are now over one hundred special editions of Monopoly, some of which are digital. You can choose one to suit your interests, the people you’ll be playing with or your style of play. Here is a look at some of the most recent versions.
Monopoly Fornite Edition - For fans of the Fortnite video game, this is a great version of the original which challenges players to survive, rather than acquire property. Designed for 2 to 7 people it is inspired by the look and play of Fortnite. During a game, the Storm has to be avoided whilst players claim locations and take part in combat. Rather than cash, players earn health point chips and obtain loot chest items for more effective battling. Monopoly Fortnite Edition is complete with 27 different outfits, as well as an action die, health point chips and loot cards. Just like in the video game, the goal is to be the last player standing.
Monopoly Friends - Styled as F.R.I.E.N.D.S on the packaging, this version of the game is designed for fans of the 1990’s television sitcom. You can choose to play as any one of the regular cast of characters, by selecting a piece that represents them. These include Ross’s dinosaur, Pheobe’s guitar and Rachel’s handbag. Gameplay involves re-enacting some of the series most memorable moments, from weddings to Thanks Giving celebrations. To win Monopoly Friends you need to make money through investing in Central Perk mugs or sofas, rather than houses and hotels.
Monopoly Junior - Developed to engage children, Monopoly Junior is for 2 to 4 players. The game is similar to the original, but rather than London streets you purchase sweet shops, pet stores and games arcades, plus transactions can be carried out with a single bank note to save time. Despite these adjustments, the rules are essentially the same, you need to build up a portfolio and charge other players rent to become the richest player.
Monopoly Deal - If you like the concept and look of Monopoly, but you would prefer a faster turnaround, Monopoly Deal is a card game which speeds up the process. Designed to last for no longer than 20 minutes, the rules are similar to those of the card game Rummy. You need to collect three sets of properties in order to become the winner. However, you’ll be trying to avoid cards like Forced Deals, Deal Breakers and Debt Collectors along the way. To extend the gameplay by adding a Chance card to each turn, you can link up with the Shuffle app, which is available for both Android and iOSsmartphones and tablets.
Monopoly Electronic Banking – This slightly high-tech version of the game can be played by between 2 and 4 people. To win you need to buy up properties and charge rent, as with the original, but instead of cash, all transactions are carried out by card – much like in real life. The board comes with an electronic banking unit which keeps track of everyone’s balance, it also gives out cash gifts and takes payments at the swipe of a card.
What are the Best and Worst Things About Playing Monopoly?
Monopoly is an engaging game that has endured for over a century, but not everyone appreciates the style of play. Here’s a look at the pros and cons, so you can decide whether you, your family and your friends would enjoy playing.
Highly social – Players interact with each other continually throughout the game as everyone’s fortunes change, making it a fun way to spend time together.
Teaches mathematical skills – From counting the amount of money you have left, to moving the dice and paying out rent, players are called upon to add and subtract constantly. This helps children to learn maths in an accessible and fun way.
Nostalgic fun – For many adults, Monopoly is a familiar game from their childhood and now they can experience it again with younger family members.
Games can last hours – This is particularly common when house rules are in force, but even games that adhere strictly to the official rules can drag on if no clear winner begins to emerge.
Competitiveness – Most people who have played Monopoly regularly can remember a time when nerves frayed. Children especially can become frustrated with the long-term planning involved in Monopoly and even some adults don’t have the patience for this style of game.
Pieces get lost – When a game has eight pieces, along with dice, cash and cards, it is inevitable that things will go missing over time. However, replacement pieces are relatively easy to find online.
Monopoly House Rules Edition from Smyth Toys Superstore
Where To Find Cheap Monopoly Offers and Deals
Hamleys, Argos and Smyths Toys all stock a wide range of Monopoly board games. For the digital versions, you can browse the selections at Game and for rarer editions released by Parker Brothers, head to eBay.
Over bank holiday weekends and during other seasonal events, a Monopoly sale may take place as part of general reductions on board games at high street and online stores. Another time to shop for reductions on the traditional game or digital versions is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which takes place at the end of November. During this sale, stores cut the prices of their video games and board games by up to 50% in order to attract pre-Christmas shoppers.
Become a Property Tycoon with the Cheapest Monopoly Deals from hotukdeals
For a complete list of all the most recent offers and places to buy cheap Monopoly sets, head to hotukdeals. We collect the details of reductions from across the web and the high street, then publish them on our Monopoly page.