The ACTUAL Shortest Possible Game of Monopoly


Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

There’s a new meme going around that the fastest game of Monopoly would involve buying Park Place and Boardwalk and bankrupting your opponent in four turns. There is at least one major problem with their methodology.

Their game plot would involve not purchasing a number of properties. This is a big no-no under the actual rules. In a real game of Monopoly every property must be sold after it has been landed upon the first time. If the player landing on it refuses to buy it, it must go to auction and one player must buy it…even if for just $1.00.

(By the way: this is why people think Monopoly takes forever to play; they aren’t getting all the properties sold quickly and depleting people’s money fast enough.)

Knowing a thing or two about Monopoly and theoretical games (as anyone who has read Go To Hell will tell you), I decided to see if I could do better under tournament rules.

Any serious Monopoly player will tell you that Park Place and Boardwalk are not the key to victory; the orange group (St. James Place, Tennessee Avenue, and New York Avenue) are. These are the properties that are within the most common dice rolls upon getting out of Jail, including two of the six sets of doubles (two 3′s and two 4′s) that will get you out of Jail for free. This makes them some of the most often landed upon spaces. (The 7th, 5th, and 3rd most often, if you’re curious.) Boardwalk isn’t even in the top 10.

So here is the fastest theoretical game of Monopoly I can come up with, ending after only two turns, using tournament rules.

(Note: I use the classic version of the game, which was published from 1935-2008. The only difference with today’s bastardization of the game would be that Player 2 would pay $200.00 instead of $150.00 for Income Tax on turn 1. This doesn’t affect anything else in the gameplay.)

Both players start with the standard $1,500.00 in cash.

Player 1, Turn 1.

Player 1 rolls double 5′s, and lands on “Jail/Just Visiting.” Since he rolled doubles, he rolls again.

The second roll gives him 6 with no doubles. He lands on St. James Place and buys it for $180.00.

Player 1 now has $1,320.00, and Player 2 has $1,500.00

Player 2, Turn 1.

Player 2 rolls double 2′s and lands on “Income Tax.” Since he only has $1,500.00, he pays the 10%, or $150.00. Since he rolled doubles, he rolls again.

The second roll gives him 6 with no doubles. He lands on “Jail/Just Visiting.”

Player 1 now has $1,320.00, and Player 2 has $1,350.00

Player 1, Turn 2.

Player 1 rolls double 1′s and lands on Tennessee Avenue, buying it for $180.00. Since he rolled doubles, he rolls again.

The second roll is a 4. He lands on “Chance.”

The Chance card is “Go Back Three Spaces.” This lands him on New York Avenue, which he buys for $200.00. This leaves him with $940.00 in cash.

He then spends $900.00 to build 9 houses on his Orange Color Group, three on each. His turn then ends.

Player 1 now has $40.00, and Player 2 has $1,350.00

Player 2, Turn 2.

Player 2 rolls double 3′s, landing on St. James Place. Rent with three houses is $550.00, leaving him with $800.00.

Since the rules allow you to buy houses at any time between rolls, even during another player’s turn, Player 1 goes ahead and builds a fourth house on New York Avenue with some of the rent he just received.

Player 2 now rolls again. He rolls double 1′s, landing on New York Avenue. Rent with four houses is $800.00.

Player 2 is bankrupt, and eliminated from the game.

Player 1 wins.

Short, simple, and conforming to tournament rules. You are welcome.

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