How to Play Monopoly

When it comes to classic tabletop board games, it can’t get more classic than Monopoly. This game of buying and selling properties to develop hotels and houses was first published in 1935. And, it’s been a classic ever since. With a relatively straight-forward gameplay and lots of different versions of it to play, it’s no wonder that Monopoly is one of the most popular board games of all time. So, let’s get on our way to passing go, collecting $200 and learning the basics of how to play Monopoly.

What Kind of Game is Monopoly?

Monopoly really is a classic board game. Featuring a standard square game board, dice, cards, and game pieces, this game works best with 3-5 players. But, if you want to play with smaller or larger groups of players, the game can accommodate 2-8 players in one game. The game is great for most ages too. And, generally, children ages 8 and up can easily learn the rules of Monopoly.

The basic premise of Monopoly is to win the game by becoming the wealthiest player by buying, renting, or selling different pieces of property. It’s that simple. To do this, players are given a set amount of money to start and must choose to invest or sell wisely in order to win. Players can earn more money by selling or renting property, passing the “Go” place marker, and by earning money through Community Chest cards drawn. Though Monopoly can involve some luck, generally, players need to use good strategy and wise-investments in order to win. In the next section, we’ll take a look at how to get started and actual gameplay.

Getting Started

Now that we know a bit more about the game itself, let’s learn how to get started playingMonopoly.

  • Decide on how many players: The gameplay, including how long it takes to complete Monopoly, is affected by how many players you have. As we mentioned, this game works best with 3-5 players. Too few players, and it will take longer to acquire, sell, and rent property. Too many players, and you may find the game is completed too quickly. We recommend playing in the 3-5 player sweet spot for the best experience, when possible.
  • Prepare the game board: Before starting, be sure to place the game board on a table or flat surface. Shuffle all Chance and Community Chest cards and place them on their designated spots on the game board.
  • Choose your token: Every player chooses a token to represent themselves on the game board.
  • Everyone gets money: Each player gets $1500 to begin the game in divided by $500, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, and $1 increments.
  • Select a banker: Now, it’s time to select a banker. One player will serve as a banker, as well as an auctioneer when property is sold. Bankers need to be good at keeping their game play money separate from the money stored in the bank. If the game has more than 5 players, 2 players can take the responsibility of either the banker or auctioneer.


With our game board set up, banker/auctioneer chosen, and players ready, now it’s time to start the gameplay. Let’s break down how to get started playing Monopoly and learn some of the general rules. Remember, the goal is to earn as much money as possible to win the game.

General Gameplay: Getting Started

  1. Each player must roll the dice to see who goes first. Starting with the banker, each player will roll the dice. The player with the highest number rolled will begin the actual gameplay. And, the player to the left of the first player will take their turn next.
  2. When taking a turn, the player starts their first dice roll on the “Go” place marker. Each player puts their token on the “Go” place marker. Then, the player will move their token following the arrows as many spaces as the dice number indicates. Landing on certain place markers may give players the chance to buy property or collect cards. Or, if you are unlucky, you might have to pay rent to another player.
  3. Buy property, hotels, and win: Throughout the game play, every time a player lands on property, they have the chance to buy it, if it’s not already owned. Owning property and charging rent is the key to becoming the wealthiest Monopoly player and winning the game.
  4. Read the rules: Monopoly is a game that has a reputation for being played differently depending on how you originally learned how to play. That’s because many players create “house rules.” If you’re playing with a group of people who may have learned how to play using different rules, be sure to make sure everyone agrees to the gameplay before starting.

General Gameplay: General Rules

  1. Rolling double numbers means you get to take another turn: If you roll dice with double numbers, you’ll get a second chance to move your token. First, move the token to the spot indicated by the first roll. Take any action needed, like buying property. Then, re-roll the dice for a second turn. But, don’t let your luck run out. If you get double dice three times in a row, you’ll end up in “Jail.”
  2. Pass “Go” and collect $200: Each time you move through the game board and pass “Go,” you’ll get money.
  3. Try to buy property in the same color scheme and add hotels or houses to them: Properties for purchase in Monopoly are grouped by color. If you buy all properties of one color scheme, you can charge double rent to anyone who lands on them.
  4. If you run out of money, you can mortgage property: In the unfortunate event that you run out of money, you can actually mortgage your property. But, be careful as you can quickly become bankrupt if you mortgage too much.
  5. If you land in jail, you’ll need to work to get yourself out or pay the price: Landing in jail can happen when you throw double dice too many times, land on the “Go to Jail” place marker, or draw a card that sends you there. Getting out jail requires some effort. You can get out if you have a “Get out of Jail Free” card, throw doubles on your next turn, purchasing a “Get out of Jail Free” card from another player, or pay a $50 fine. If you choose not to pay the fine and take your luck rolling the dice, you may still have to pay the $50 fine if you don’t roll doubles after 3 tries.

Let the Good Times Roll with a Game Night Playing Monopoly

Monopoly continues to be a classic game because it’s easy to learn and fun to play. Plus, it’s perfect for all ages, families, and groups of friends. With just a bit of set-up and reading over the gameplay rules, soon you’ll be on your way to collecting property and becoming a real estate mogul.

Planning a game night party for friends and family and not sure where to get started? Check out our article on the topic for ideas and even more gaming inspiration. And, if you want ideas geared towards a family game night, check out our article on the topic too.

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