20 Tips and Strategies to Win at Monopoly (Increase Your Odds)

close view of Monopoly board game from Parker Brothers
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Want to become a Monopoly champion? Believe it or not, there are some tips and tricks you can use to increase your odds of winning. And you are about to learn 20 of them right now! I have applied many of these general tips and tricks to my game strategy, and I have found that my wins have increased. It’s safe to say that putting a bit of thought into the game can help you to win at Monopoly. After all, it is not just a game of chance or luck.

Winning at Monopoly isn’t difficult; you just have to be strategic. There are tried and tested strategies that have helped professional Monopoly players earn themselves renowned wins. And now you can learn about these tricks and strategies too. Below are 20 general tips for increasing the odds in your favor when you play your next game of Monopoly. 

These are 20 tips and strategies to win at Monopoly:

1. The first phase of the game is the most important.

It’s hard to catch someone who has had a good start in a game of Monopoly. When you first begin, start buying and trading immediately. The faster you establish wealth, the greater your chances of winning. This is why the first phase of the game is important. It is not always the case, but in most cases, if you have a poor start, the rest of the game will be quite poor too.

Mega Edition Monopoly board game (Hasbro games)
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2. Always buy Railroads.

Always, always, always buy railroads if you can. Why, you ask? When you own railroads, you have a much greater chance of winning. Especially if you own all 4 railroads as every time someone lands on one, you can earn the maximum income of $200. When you own them all, there’s a strong possibility that players will land on them at least once each during the game. Even if you cannot own all 4 railroads, owning one is still a great booster for you as it will go a long way to reducing your opponent’s incomes.

3. Avoid buying hotels.

Hotels don’t provide nearly as much revenue potential as owning 3 houses does. If you are focusing on buying hotels, you are leaving it open for your opponents to buy houses – and that could be detrimental to your end game. 

4. Develop properties aggressively.

There’s no point in being slow with property development. The idea is to get the property developed as quickly as possible so that it can start turning a profit. 

Closeup of the famous fast-dealing property trading monopoly board game
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5. Focus on developing 3 properties on each street as quickly as possible.

Once you have reached 3 houses, you will find that the amount of rent you can expect for each house maxes out – which means more money for you. By owning 3 houses on each street, you increase the chances of players landing on your properties and owing you money. 

6. Create a housing shortage.

This is a highly strategic move and works really well! What is it all about? In general, the game of Monopoly only has 32 houses. If you set out to build 3 houses on all three properties, you will own a large portion of the houses. It works even better if you are able to aim for a second Monopoly and build 18 houses. This doesn’t leave many houses for your opponents. 

The trick is that players have to build 4 houses before they can build a hotel. With all the houses in your Monopoly, there’s not much chance of that happening. It also means that their capacity to earn money or collect on rent is minimized.

7. Purchase orange and red properties.

If you want to bankrupt your competitors, you need to snap up spots on the board where they are most likely to land upon often. Statistically, the orange and red properties are landed on the most during a game of Monopoly. When you snap up those properties first, you have the opportunity to collect the most in rental fees.

8. Focus on acquiring complete color groups early on.

In the very first phase of the game, it is a good idea to acquire a complete color group. That means you need to get 2 to 3 properties of the same color in sides 1 and 2. You should do this even if it means that you have to trade side 2 and 3 properties. As soon as you have a complete color group, build 3 houses (no more than that).

Monopoly money around houses and hotels
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9. If you don’t build on single properties, they aren’t a good investment. 

Buying a single property is quite a waste of time and money if you don’t build on the property. Rather avoid buying single properties if you won’t build on them.

10. Don’t waste money on utilities.

You might be surprised to learn that utilities don’t offer a very good return on investment. In fact, the amount of money you can make on utilities in a game of Monopoly is dismal. Then there is also the fact that utilities cannot be upgraded like properties can.

11. Later in the game, jail can be a good thing.

Early on in the game, you want to pay the fine and get out of jail so that you can work on acquiring property, but later on, being in jail can actually be beneficial to you. You can actually save money by staying in jail for your entire 3 turns, especially when the game is at the stage where the board is filled with hotels. The longer you are in jail, the lower your chances of landing on a block that demands rent or some other form of payment from you. 

12. Create sustainable cash flow by thinking small. 

You might think that you need to race out the starting gates and immediately start snapping up expensive, fancy properties. The problem with this is that you might invest in a big and expensive property and then have no money to develop it. Having various smaller properties guarantees you a more stable and steady income, and of course, it’s much healthier for your cash-flow too. 

13. Invest in properties 7 squares away from opponents.

A view of a top hat token on the Go square on a classic Monopoly board game
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If you are playing with two dice, which you should be, then the highest odds are on rolling a 7. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on which properties your opponents have and look into investing in properties that are 7 squares away from them.

14. As soon as you get a set, mortgage everything.

Of course, your main aim is to get as much revenue as possible from your properties. When you have all of the cards that form one set, you should mortgage all of your properties. Use the acquired properties to buy and build houses. 

15. Buy, sell, and rent properties while in jail (check the rules).

You probably didn’t know this, but you can actually sit in jail and still buy, sell, and rent property. If anyone argues this with you, tell them to check the rules! It’s all in there.

16. Form alliances to stop winning players.

It’s not a team sport, but you can decide to work with another player if you want to slow down another player from consistently winning. These alliances are short-lived but can be highly beneficial to your end game. 

17. Refuse to play “house rules”.

When playing Monopoly with the family and friends, you might encounter some house rules that people apply to the game themselves (they are not part of the official rules). If you refuse to play by these rules and only pay attention to the official Monopoly rules, you have more chance of winning. 

18. Borrow as much as you need.

Don’t apply the same amount of caution when borrowing money as you would in real life. The money is there to borrow, and if borrowing some will help you to get ahead, do it!

Borrowing money to buy properties and cars
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19. First, develop the property with a “go-to” card.

When you only have enough money to buy 1 or 7 houses, do yourself a favor and make sure that the spare house goes onto the property with a “Go-To” card. 

20. Avoid the greens.

The green properties may seem tempting. After all, they are prime properties, but the reality is that they are over-priced and difficult to develop. They also aren’t landed on often enough, which means that you could be sitting with a costly property that doesn’t generate revenue for you. By the time you have spent all your money, the game will be over and your property will have done nothing for you.

Last Word

If you would like to increase your chances of winning at Monopoly, use the above tips, tricks, and strategies. I have, and it has made all the difference.