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How to win Monopoly every time

Find out how to win Monopoly, with these six tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you dominate on your next family games night

Monopoly - a hand holding a chance card above a monopoly board

Monopoly can be a frustrating game, especially if you’re losing. A round of Monopoly can take a long time to finish, and it’s a long and gruelling experience when you’re the one who’s behind. Fortunately, we have some hot tips that will teach you how to win Monopoly every time.

It’s no fun watching your funds gradually trickle away, little by little, while the leader’s stacks of Monopoly money climb ever higher. So if you’re going to play this (some would say infamous) classic board game, you need to know how to win.

Everyone knows how to play it, but most people don’t know how to win Monopoly. Stick to these tried and true methods, and you’ll be the one sitting on fat stacks while your friends and family gripe and moan. Of course, we’re  sure you’ll be on hand to offer a loan with generous terms.

If you’d prefer a digital alternative, our sister site PCGamesN’s up-to-date list of Monopoly Go dice links can get you a fat stack of free dice rolls in Hasbro’s free-to-play videogame version. For now, though…

Monopoly, a hand rolling dice on a monopoly board.

Buy up properties aggressively

The early turns of Monopoly can make or break an entire game – get stuck in jail early, and you might as well pack your bags. You need to buy up properties as quickly as possible, and in the earliest turns, should be grabbing everything that you land on. Don’t make the mistake of saving money, passing over the low value properties you land on in the hopes of landing a bigger fish. It’s a gamble that usually doesn’t pay off.

In fact, while it’s particularly important on your first few goes, you should never really be saving money. ‘Spend, spend, spend’ should be your mantra throughout a game of Monopoly. While it might feel nice to wave around a big wad of fake cash, that money is doing no good burning a hole in your pocket. Use it to develop your properties, claim new ones, or to make smart trades whenever you can.

Prioritise the red and orange properties

While the green and dark blue properties are the ones Monopoly players lust after, red and orange are secretly ultra-valuable. That’s because they’re the properties players are most likely to land on, and therefore the ones that will pay the most dividends over the course of a game.

There’s a simple reason for that. Jail is the space players visit most often, statistically, and the red and orange properties are the ones players are most likely to land on after visiting jail. If you can get a monopoly on these colours, your chances of winning Monopoly will skyrocket.

Monopoly - a monopoly board

Skip utilities, but grab all the railroads

According to a strategy devised by mathematician Tim Darling, you should never buy the utilities. They won’t earn you a lot of money, and there are better ways to spend your cash.

Utilities are at least a safe space in the later game, so you can pick them up if you get a very good deal, but no one will win a game of Monopoly due to owning the utilities, so if in doubt, steer clear.

Meanwhile, the railways are more promising, but be aware they’re an all or nothing strategy. Either you want to invest a lot of money and effort into claiming all the railways, or you should ignore them entirely. On the flipside, if someone else is getting close to four railways early on, you should try to stop them if at all possible.

Monopoly - players placing houses and hotels onto a monopoly board

Three houses is the magic number

It’s tricky to know how many houses to go for, but expert Monopoly players hold that you should focus on getting three houses on your properties as quickly as you can. Check out Darling’s numbers, and you can see that you can break even very quickly with three houses – within just 10-15 opponents’ rolls. It’s typically not worth grabbing hotels or a fourth house if you’ve got valuable properties that don’t yet have that magic number three.

But when should you buy houses? The best time is when players are approaching your properties. The most rolled number on two dice will be seven. So, pay attention to when players get within seven squares of your properties, and buy your houses and hotels then.

Lurk in jail in the lategame

It might feel counterintuitive to stay in jail, but once hotels are popping up, racing around the Monopoly board starts to feel pretty scary. You’re actually more likely to win Monopoly by remaining in jail for the full three turns. Once there are no free properties left to buy, consider selling your ‘Get out of jail free’ cards to somebody else.

Monopoly - the box for monopoly cheaters edition

Watch out for cheaters

At Wargamer, we don’t condone cheating. But the fact remains that, for many, cheating at Monopoly is a pastime. According to a study by Hasbro, 50% of players have admitted to cheating at Monopoly. That means if you’re not cheating, chances are someone else at your table is, so keep those eyes peeled!

It’s easy to see why cheating happens so often in Monopoly. After all, most people who are losing at the game feel hard done by, and the bank, stuffed to the brim with tasty tasty money, is usually just sitting there on the table, open to all. I’m only making things even, the cheaters reason to themselves, taking the first steps down the road towards a life of crime.

In fact, cheating in Monopoly is so common, Hasbro has even gone so far as to acknowledge the issue and (sort of) celebrate it, creating an official Cheaters Edition. Stay vigilant!

Bonus: If you are looking for all the latest, new free Monopoly Go dice links today then check PCGamesN.