There are many possible ways to win a game of Monopoly. The first and simplest involves getting lucky with your dice throws, falling on the right squares and not getting held up as you travel around the board. Another, for the cheaters among us, involves a little technique we like to call 'stealing money from the bank’ (if you're the banker, this technique becomes a lot easier).
But if you want to stay honest and impress your friends at the same time, it turns out there is a foolproof way. Business Insider published a study on foolproof ways to win this game and against all odds, they are based on… a mathematical model. Here’s everything you need to remember.
Optimise your dice throws
The very first thing you have to do is obvious: you need to know how to optimise your dice throws. Obviously, it is by definition random, but the magazine nevertheless managed to put together a list of boxes where players are most likely to land. As it turns out, it is more common to roll a 6, 7 or 8. Therefore, you can anticipate the boxes you are most likely to land on and adapt your strategy accordingly.
For example, it’s worth knowing that at the very start of the game when everyone is rolling for the first time, you are most likely to land on the first ‘Chance' box (16%). Then ‘Oriental Avenue/The Angel Islington’ (14%) and 'Vermont Avenue/Euston Road’ (14%). Similarly, if you roll a double, keep these statistics in mind for your next moves as they will be the same.
The second idea is not to neglect certain spaces. This is particularly important for ‘Chance' and ‘Community chest’ spaces, which require you to pay fees that you could probably do without. But still, for statistical reasons, these spaces mean you are then more likely to land on other advantageous properties such as ‘Pennsylvania Railroad/Marylebone Station’, ‘Illinois Avenue/Trafalgar Square’ or the famous ‘Boardwalk/Mayfair’.
The model reveals that it is probably best to buy these spaces as well since, over the course of the game, they will probably be visited the most often. And remember, eight out of the sixteen Chance cards tell the player who draws it to roll again.
However, and yet again for statistical reasons, don’t neglect the ‘Jail' or ‘Got to Jail’ spaces either. Players are more likely to pass through the ‘Jail' space than the ‘Go’ space, so they are more likely to then land on your properties when they are released. It’s also worth remembering that some people are reluctant to pay to get out of jail so once again, the statistics will be on your side. The longer they hold out, the more likely they are to roll a double, and therefore, the more likely they are to land on one of your properties. A really wise investment.
Build at the right time, in the right place
The study carried out by the American magazine also reveals that there are buying strategies you can incorporate to optimise the profitability of your investments. That means that buying the four train stations at the beginning of the game is a very good move. This is also true for buying all the orange or red properties for example, which are the most profitable due to their purchase value and their investment returns calculated according to the probability of how often other players will land on them.
You should build three houses in order to optimise your returns. Contrary to popular belief, building only one house makes investments uncertain and reduces their profitability.
While the location and the number of houses you build are very important, so is the time you buy them and so the magazine’s model also revealed when the best time to build would be. If an opponent is around 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 squares away, statistically speaking, it’s time to invest.
The ultimate tip
Thanks to the probability calculation named the Markov chain (which is quite complex, but we trust them), the model can even tell you the odds for how likely it is for your opponent to land on each Monopoly square. Yes, yes, you read that right, each square. This is a good way to make sure you are investing in the right places. Among the most surprising squares to invest in, the study recommends ‘St. Charles Place/Pall Mall’ and the 'Water and Electric Companies' as well which people often wrongly ignore or brush aside.
If, following this model and advice, you still can’t win, don’t keep going, this game is just not for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of other solutions and games you can play at home when the weather is bad, you’re bored or you’re in lockdown. Have fun!