Friday, December 11, 2009

Tips on How to Kick Ass at Monopoly

Monopoly can be more than a frustrating game when you’re losing, but a victory can be more rewarding than a Nobel Peace Prize.

You'll probably work harder to win a game of Monopoly than he did to get this.

Unfortunately, for most losing at Monopoly exceeds irritation to the point of “Hulk-esque” flip-outs, causing the game to come to an abrupt end, and robbing the victor of their celebratory fist pumps and crotch chops.


Today I am going to share with you a few helpful tips that will end your Monopoly losing streak, giving you the overwhelming joy of financial success while not robbing you of your God given right to be an incompetent failure.

Tip #1: Know the House Rules

Parker Brothers' official instructions have long encouraged the use of "House Rules," specific additions to or subtractions from the official rule sets. Many casual Monopoly players are surprised to discover that some of the rules that they are used to are not part of the official rules.

What do you mean I can’t build hotels on Water Works? I call bullshit.

In order to strategize you need to know all of the rules. Jumping in without this knowledge will give you the same odds as a nameless red-shirted Starfleet officer on an unknown planet.

Guess which one isn’t beaming back up.

Before the game begins outline all of the rules, in detail, so there is no confusion. Keep in mind that there will be disagreements; they are inevitable, and unavoidable. You need to be willing to compromise. If you refuse to bend on the rules you are comfortable with than go ahead and quit, because you obviously can’t adapt well to change. Remember, the goal is not to win on your terms, the goal is to WIN.

Tip #2: Have a Strategy

Monopoly is a game of skill as much as it is a game of chance. You can’t help the roll of the dice, but you can make or break a game by having a plan. Watch the other players closely. Observe how they interact with each other, and how they react to getting certain properties. If you know what they want, you’ll have an advantage when it comes to trading.

While planning your strategy keep a few things in mind:

•    Buy as much property as you can at the beginning of the game, regardless if it fits into your strategy. You land on it, you buy it.
•    Be willing to adapt. You might not get the properties you were counting on, so be ready to change course at any moment.
•    Have back up contingencies. Never go in thinking your plan is fool proof. If you disagree, than I have a bridge you might be interested in.
•    Be patient. Impatience leads to poor trades and misguided investments, which in turn can lead to anger. If you get angry you’ll be prone to “Hulking Out” and no one will want to play with you anymore.

Anger also leads to hate, and then Yoda won’t let you be a Jedi.

Tip #3: Invest in the Right Property

Most people will try and invest in the high dollar, boner-inducing properties like Marvin Gardens, Park Place, and Boardwalk. These are considered to be the best properties on the board because of their high rent costs, but in reality they are landed on once in a blue moon, so your investment will see a smaller pay out than if you build on less valuable property. The safe thing to do would be to wait and build on these pieces after you have already established yourself elsewhere on the board. If you get cocky you’ll win as often as Stevie Wonder does at “I Spy.”

If he isn’t blind, then there is no excuse for this.

Strategically the best properties to buy and build on are the orange and purple properties. They are generally low cost, ($140 to $200) and have reasonable building fees. And, due to their proximity to the Jail space they are prime real estate. Everyone in the game is going to visit the jail during play, and when they finally get out those properties are going to be the ones they most likely land on. Red and yellow properties are also good, but the higher their price tag, the more it will cost to build on them. Start slow, and work your way up.

The cheap properties are nothing to sneeze at either. Most people compare these low dollar lots to the slums, but they can have certain strategic advantages. Because of their location to the GO space, hotels on Baltic and Mediterranean can take away another players salary (and then some) just after they make it. You know, just like a real slum.

Baltic Avenue

But, even though their locations make them worth investing in, their low pay out will keep them from being your primary properties. Look at these pieces as wild cards that can supplement your income as you build elsewhere.

As for utilities and railroads go, keep in mind that most dumb players will rely on them to win the game. But, their horrible judgment will be your advantage. In order to do that, you need to take into account that buying utilities is as like fantasy drafting Reggie Bush. It seems like a good idea at the time, but you'll end up with an empty roster spot and unmitigated shame. If you are building your Monopoly empire around your utility acquisitions, than slap your opponents for taking advantage of a retarded person.

Still, you shouldn’t pass up on them if the opportunity presents itself. Remember, stupid players value them highly, so you can use them as bargaining chips. They most likely won’t get you anything alone, but they can be used to sweeten the pot. Same goes for railroads. If you have all the four railroads they are a forced to be reckoned with, but acquiring all four of the properties without trading is unlikely. They are not worth trading your properties for outright, so it’s best to treat them the same way you do utilities. A railroad gives you an edge when dealing with morons, so collect that shit like they're Pokémon cards.

B&O Railroad, I choose you!

Tip #4: Trading

Trading can make or break a game. This is where you stop relying on luck and start relying on your mad negotiating skills. Here are some things to consider when it comes to trading:

•    Never trade in the first round of the game.

If you trade away properties before you’ve even passed GO than you are either a moron or someone who is preying on the inexperienced. Either way it’s a bad habit to start. You cannot accurately come up with a strategy unless you know what you’re working with. Let the board create a map for you to use in your attack. See where your opponent’s properties are and asses their value. Ask yourself questions like “How serious is he about building on light blue when he has two yellows?” Let the terrain build itself before you go charging in.

•    Never reveal your hand.

Always keep your game face on. Never give your opponent something they can use against you in a trade. If you huff and puff after someone buys Illinois because it played into your pre-game strategy, you’ve just given them a big juicy carrot to dangle over your head. Be indifferent to everything, and they will have nothing to tempt you with.

•    Never initiate a trade.

Initiating a trade instantly reveals to your opponent that they have something you want. If they’re smart (or an idiot who just wants to be a dick) they will try to use this against you. Let them pitch the trade, and the advantage will be yours.

•    Try to make deals privately.

You’re about to make a game making deal; trading Park Place for New York and Tennessee Avenues, completing your orange set. Just when you’re about to seal the deal another player chirps in, advises that it’s a bad move for them to make, and suddenly the deal is off. Interference in negotiations is a huge annoyance that can way on your patience and drag the game on for hours. If someone wants to trade with you, try and get them to walk away from the game to discuss the terms. If they refuse, introduce them to your middle finger and tell them to enjoy losing for the rest of their lives.

If you smile when you give them the finger there's a chance they won't flip over the board and quit.

•    Never make a trade where you do not benefit.

You should never make a deal if you do not gain as much or more than the person you a trading with. If someone opens negotiations with you and they have nothing that you could use, be like D.A.R.E. and just say no. Do not take pity on other players because they are not doing well. Empathy is the enemy, and showing compassion is just as damaging as letting the table know your intentions. I don’t care if it’s your dear sweet grandma who has always taken care of you, during the game she is your nemesis, and it's your job to bankrupt and destroy her.

Take this bitch DOWN.

Tip #5: Keep Your Cool

Your emotional state is very important while playing Monopoly. If you spend the whole game bitching and moaning then not only will it be a miserable time for you, but it will ruin the fun for everyone else. If no one wants to play with you because you are a bad sport, how will you establish your dominance? Let petty things go. Who cares if your little sister insists on being the car? Let her have it, it has no strategic advantage. Take the shoe and kick the shit out of her all over the board.
These are the tears of VICTORY.

Stick to these tips and you should finally reach the top of the Monopoly mountain. That is, unless you're playing me. If you are, then go ahead and just quit early, because you're SCREWED.


  1. I'm going to share this with my family. I don't think we have ever finished a game without some sort of physical violence.

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