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May 13, 2009


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I love the negotiations in monopoly. I was cash rich in the last game I played but had no properties. There was only 2 properties left on the board with the same color, I had the third. My wife somehow picked both properties up and I had to cut a deal with her. I bought the properties from her for 20% less than she paid, with a promise that if she landed on them she could go rent free, and get 10% of all rent paid to me by the other players for those two properties.

while everyone was busy buying up all their properties and had no cash I was busy hoarding it. Once my wife made the deal on the properties I purchased 4 houses on each. By the end of the game I owned almost the entire board, forced all of the players into bankrupcy and purchased all of their properties for 50 cents on the dollar because they were in a bad position... I love that game!

Eric --

Oooooooo, I like that deal you struck with your wife. I'll use it in the next game if need be.

At first, I thought you were going to say you negotiated some off-the-board deals with her. :-)

Monopoly is one of those games that is fun to play for about an hour. Then it gets boring -- at least I think so. Mainly because by that time everyone has what they have, and it's just about landing somewhere and paying what you owe. Maybe I need to play with people who are more willing to negotiate...

Wow the whole negotiating thing just takes the game to another level doesn't it? I guess I know why my Monopoly games have been boring...

Here's another tip: It Pays to Think Ahead.

Say that you land on one of the three light blue properties and another player lands on the second and that the third has not yet been purchased. You can try to swing a deal for the second light blue property. The other player will demand much less in a trade than he would if giving it to you were giving you a monopoly. But you greatly increase you odds of getting a monopoly by swinging this trade. Also, if you get the third light blue, you will not need to worry about buying other properties because you will already have a monopoly and building that one up quickly could bring the hammer down on your competitors. So you could end up saving a lot of money.

Re the Luck matter. It certainly is so that it is annoying that luck largely determines who wins a single game. But that's not so in the long run. The player with the better strategy will win more often. I think it works out that way in real life too. Smart strategies can play out awful on one or two or three tries. But they prevail in the end. The trick is to live long enough to see your good ideas come to fruition.


Good stuff, I am with you though. I don't like the huge luck element involved with Monopoly, but it's still one of my favorites, because it teaches kids how to negotiate, manage cash, and make entrepreneurial decisions.

1) I love Monopoly in large part because I share my name with its (credited) creator.

2) Some specific lessons Monopoly teaches:

- sometimes you're at an advantage or disadvantage for personal reasons. As a kid, my brothers or friends would sometimes give certain people better deals than others for personal reasons; as an adult I tend to see it with couples. One big advantage is having people underestimate you -- I've won a lot of games simply because someone was more worried about another player, and therefore gave me a sweet deal to improve their position relative to the other guy.

- having multiple bidders drives up the price. I love telling competing players "if you don't want him to get this, make me a better offer", sometimes it results in me filling out a better monopoly or getting extra cash.

- little things can add up. The steady income stream from having 3 railroads, for example, can give you a solid edge in building and being able to pay off debts.

- the difference between a "good deal" and a "bad deal" is sometimes very subtle. If you can get the greens and have enough cash or cash flow to get them to 3 houses each, they're one of the best sets in the game, but if you don't quite have that much cash they're fairly weak.

- people who mostly consume (that is, land other people's property) get poor, while people who spend their money creating money-making investments (property owners building hotels) get rich. If you have $2000 in cash and little property, you're way behind someone with $200 in cash and some moderately developed monopolies.

It's a classic. It taught me a bit about probability & statistics... the oranges are some of the best properties to land! Go NY Ave!

When I played with family there was not too many trades.

One memory is finally getting all the reds and yellows full of hotels and my sister was hanging out on community chest before jail and wouldn't roll the dice for about 30 minutes. Finally we all got frusterated and someone else ended up kicking the game (we were under 12). So I never got the nice payout after building all the hotels. Still remember this even now!


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