Mastering Monopoly - The Odds of Winning
In the real world, your odds of gobbling up properties and businesses like John D. Rockefeller in the late 19th century are dismally low. Luckily, there's the classic board game Monopoly, where your odds of accruing extreme wealth are a whole lot better.
In Monopoly, you can pretend to be a real estate bigwig – buying, selling, and trading your assets to ultimately drive your competition into bankruptcy. This unique board game gives players the opportunity to test their financial savvy against their friends and family in a fun (yet competitive) arena. To give you an edge the next time you play, we calculated the odds of winning and analyzed which strategies will give you the best chances of taking home the Monopoly title.
Keep reading to increase your odds!
Owning the Hot Properties
In 85% of Monopoly games, one player will end up owning both Park Place and Boardwalk by the end of the game, with both properties being owned by two or more separate players in about 12% of games. Owning both properties at any point in the game increases your overall chances of winning to 50%.
Ruling the Railroads
Your chance of landing all four railroads is much less (only 6%), but doing so will boost your overall chances of winning to 80%.
Controlling One Color, aka The Monopoly
During each game, the average player will gain 1.7 monopolies, with 16% of players earning no monopolies, and 10% of players gaining five or more. The winner of the game will have gained an average of 3.2 monopolies, with other players averaging 0.8 monopolies. Your chance of winning the game without having earned any monopolies is almost zilch.
If You're Not First, You're Last!
Going first is a big advantage in the game of Monopoly. The first player has a 32.5% chance of winning the game, as opposed to a 22.5% chance among players who roll the dice second, third, or fourth. To determine which player goes first, the official rules of the game state that all players roll the dice and the player with the highest total goes first.
Monopoly Numbers You Should Know
The average game lasts 62 rounds (one round involves each active player rolling the dice once). There is a 1-in-4 chance the game will wrap up in as few as 30 rounds, and a 1-in-10 chance you'll be at the table for more than 100 rounds. The dice will be rolled an average of 203 times per game.
Calculations were made using a simulator model of the board game Monopoly. All "Community Chest" and "Chance" cards were included in the calculations. The following game conditions were also applied:
- Players will always purchase a property they land on if it is available and they have the money.
- Players will always prefer to pay $50 to get out of jail if they do not have a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card.
- Players will choose to mortgage the cheapest properties that they have not built on first.
- Players will choose to unmortgage the most expensive properties they can afford.
- Players will offer trades at routine intervals and seek properties for which they own other properties of the same color.
- Players will accept trades if they result in gaining a monopoly or is a net cash value gain.
- Players will build as many houses as possible on their most expensive monopolies.
- "Free Parking" is on.
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