The Monopoly Logo
Louis & Fred Thun
|Setup time||5–15 minutes|
|Playing time||Approximately 2–3 hours|
|Random chance||High (dice rolling, card drawing)|
|Skills required||Negotiation, Resource management|
Monopoly is the most commercially-successful board game in United States history, with 485 million players worldwide.. According to the BBC, Monopoly is a redesign of an earlier game "The Landlord's Game" first published by the Quaker and political activist Elizabeth Magie. The purpose of that game was to teach people how monopolies end up bankrupting the many whilst giving extraordinary wealth to one or few individuals.
According to Hasbro, since Charles Darrow patented the game in 1935, approximately 750 million people have played the game, making it "the most played (commercial) board game in the world." The 1999 Guinness Book of Records cited Hasbro's previous statistic of 500 million people having played Monopoly. Games Magazine has inducted Monopoly into its Hall of Fame. The mascot for the game, known as Mr. Monopoly or Rich Uncle Pennybags, is a mustached man wearing a monocle and morning dress.
The pawns/pieces are: dog, top hat, wheel barrow, race car, boot, iron, ship, thimble, and money bag (introduced in 1999). Three pieces: the cannon, the horse and rider, and the train, appear in Deluxe versions only. The original version was sold by Charles Darrow, and later by Parker Brothers. The board consists of forty spaces containing twenty-eight properties (twenty-two colored Streets, four railroads and two utilities), three Chance spaces, three Community Chest spaces, a Luxury Tax space, an Income Tax space, and the four corner squares: GO, Jail, Free Parking, and Go to Jail. In the U.S. versions shown below, the properties are named after locations in (or near) Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In September 2008, the layout of the board was modified to more closely match the foreign-released versions, as shown in the board layout below. The notable changes are the colors of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues (which changed from purple to brown), the adaptation of the flat $200 Income Tax (formerly the player's choice of 10% of their total holdings or $200) and increased $100 Luxury Tax amount (upped from $75). Similar color/amount changes are used in the U.S. Edition of the "Here and Now: World Edition" game, and are also used in the most recent version of the McDonald's Monopoly promotion.
A player who reaches the Jail space by a direct roll of the dice is said to be "Just Visiting", and continues normal play on the next turn.
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. Marven Gardens is not a street, but a housing area outside Atlantic City. The housing area is said to be derived from Margate City and Ventnor City in New Jersey.
The misspelling was [said to be] introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker Brothers. Actually, the home-made Todd board contained only references to streets in Philadelphia (like Market, Chestnut, and Walnut) or streets named after oneself (like Charles and Olive Streets, after the Todds) as was the custom in passing on "The Landlord's Game." The Todd board is in a private collection. All references from Philadelphia to Atlantic City were devices from Darrow.
It was not until 1995 that Parker Brothers acknowledged this mistake and formally apologized to the residents of Marven Gardens for the misspelling. Another change made by Todd and duplicated by Darrow, and later Parker Brothers, was the use of South Carolina Avenue. North Carolina Avenue was substituted for this street on the board.
Atlantic City's Illinois Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the 1980s. St. Charles Place no longer exists, as the Showboat Casino Hotel was developed where it once ran.
Short Line is believed to refer to the Shore Fast Line, a streetcar line that served Atlantic City. The B&O Railroad did not serve Atlantic City. A booklet included with the reprinted 1935 edition states that the four railroads that served Atlantic City in the mid 1930s were the Jersey Central, the Seashore Lines, the Reading Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. The actual "Electric Company" and "Water Works" serving the city are respectively Atlantic City Electric Company (a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings) and the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority.
The other versions of the game have different property names, and the prices may be denominated in another currency, but the game mechanics are almost identical.
The original income tax choice from the U.S. version is replaced by a flat rate in the UK version, and the $75 Luxury Tax space is replaced with the £100 Super Tax space. The same is true of current German boards, with a €200 for the Income Tax space on the board, and a €100 Add-on tax in place of the Luxury Tax. An Australian version, released by Parker Brothers/Hasbro in 2001, does allow for the 10% or $200 for Income Tax and has a $100 Luxury Tax. The choice of London main line stations is that of the four stations within the London and North Eastern Railway group. Starting with the September 2008 release, the U.S. Edition now also uses the flat $200 Income Tax value and the upped $100 Luxury Tax amount.
In the 1930s, John Waddington Ltd. (Waddingtons) was a firm of printers from Leeds that had begun to branch out into packaging and the production of playing cards. Waddingtons had sent the card game Lexicon to Parker Brothers hoping to interest them in publishing the game in the United States. In a similar fashion, Parker Brothers sent over a copy of Monopoly to Waddingtons early in 1935 before the game had been put into production in the United States.
The managing director of Waddingtons, Victor Watson, gave the game to his son Norman (who was head of the card games division) to test over the weekend. Norman was impressed by the game and persuaded his father to call Parker Brothers on Monday morning - transatlantic calls then being almost unheard of. This call resulted in Waddingtons obtaining a license to produce and market the game outside of the United States. Watson felt that in order for the game to be a success in the United Kingdom the American locations would have to be replaced, so Victor and his secretary, Marjory Phillips, went to London to scout out locations. The Angel, Islington is not a street in London but an area of North London named after a coaching inn that stood on the Great North Road. By the 1930s the inn had become a Lyons Corner House (it is now a Co-operative Bank). Some accounts say that Marjory and Victor met at the Angel to discuss the selection and celebrated the fact by including it on the Monopoly board. In 2003, a plaque commemorating the naming was unveiled at the site by Victor Watson's grandson who is also named Victor.
The standard British board, produced by Waddingtons, was for many years the version most familiar to people in countries in the Commonwealth (except Canada, where the U.S. edition with Atlantic City-area names was reprinted), although local variants of the board are now also found in several of these countries (see Licensed and localized versions of the Monopoly game).
In the cases where the game was produced under license by a national company, the £ (pound) was replaced by a $ (dollar) sign, but the place names were unchanged.
For a list of some of the localized versions, including the UK "Here and Now" edition, and the names of their properties, see Licensed and localized editions of Monopoly.
Starting in the UK in 2005, an updated version of the game entitled Monopoly Here and Now was produced, replacing game scenarios, properties, and tokens with modern equivalents. This also included the ever increasing popularity of the Southampton Edition, famous to the home of the Titanic. Similar boards were produced for Germany and France. Variants of these first editions appeared with Visa-branded debit cards taking the place of cash - the later US "Electronic Banking" edition has unbranded debit cards.
The success of the first Here and Now editions caused Hasbro US to allow online voting for 26 landmark properties across the United States to take their places along the game board. The popularity of this voting, in turn, caused the creation of similar websites, and secondary game boards per popular vote to be created in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other nations.
Hasbro opened a new website in January 2008, for online voting of the Monopoly Here and Now: World Edition. The colored property spaces are worldwide cities, as determined by the same vote/popularity formula as established for national editions.
In 2006, Winning Moves Games released another edition, the Mega Edition, with a larger game board (50% bigger) and revised game play. Other streets from Atlantic City (eight, one per a color group) were included, along with a third "utility", the Gas Company. In addition, $1,000 denomination notes (first seen in Winning Moves' "Monopoly: The Card Game") are included. Game play is further changed with bus tickets (allowing non-dice-roll movement along one side of the board), a speed die (itself adopted into variants of the Atlantic City Standard Edition; see below), skyscrapers (after houses and hotels), and train depots that can be placed on the Railroad spaces.
This edition was adapted for the UK market in 2007, and is sold by Winning Moves UK. After the initial US release, critiques of some of the rules caused the company to issue revisions and clarifications on their website.
In September 2006, the US edition of Monopoly Here and Now was released. This edition features top landmarks across the US. The properties were decided by votes over the Internet in the spring of 2006.
Monetary values are multiplied by 10,000 (eg, one collects $2,000,000 instead of $200 for passing Go). Also, the Chance and Community Chest cards are updated. The houses and hotels are blue and silver, not green and red like in most editions of Monopoly. The board uses the traditional US layout; the cheapest properties are purple, not brown, and the "luxury tax" (replaced with "interest on credit card debt") is $750,000, not $1,000,000. Despite the updated luxury tax space, this edition uses paper Monopoly money, and not an electronic banking unit like the Here and Now World Edition. However, a similar edition of Monopoly, the "Electronic Banking" edition, does feature an electronic banking unit, as well as a different set of tokens. Both Here and Now and Electronic Banking feature an updated set of tokens from the Atlantic City edition.
It is also notable that three states (California, Florida and Texas) are represented by two cities each (Los Angeles and San Francisco, Miami and Orlando, and Dallas and Houston respectively). No other state is represented by more than one city (not including the airports).
Winning Moves struggled to raise the sponsorship deals for the game boards, but did so eventually. A Nottingham Graphic Design agency, TMA, produced the visual design of the Monopoly packaging. Initially, in December 1998, the game was sold in just a few WHSmith stores, but demand was high, with almost fifty thousand games shipped in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. Winning Moves still produce new city and regional editions annually. Nottingham based designers Guppi have been responsible for the games' visual design since 2001.
|Setup time||5–15 minutes|
|Playing time||About 1.5 hours|
|Random chance||High (dice rolling, card drawing)|
|Skills required||Negotiation, Resource management|
In 2008, Hasbro released Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition. This world edition features top locations of the world. The locations were decided by votes over the Internet. The result of the voting was announced on August 20, 2008.
Out of these, Gdynia is especially notable, as it is by far the smallest city of those featured and won the vote thanks to a spontaneous, large-scale mobilization of support started by its citizens. The new game uses its own currency unit, the Mono (a game-based take on the Euro; designated by
M). The game uses said unit in millions and thousands. As seen above, there is no Dark Purple color-group, as that is replaced by Brown, as in the European version of the game.
It is also notable that three cities (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver) are from Canada and three other cities (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) are from People's Republic of China. No other countries are represented by more than one city.
Of the 68 cities listed on Hasbro Inc.’s website for the vote, Jerusalem, was chosen as one of the 20 cities to be featured in the newest Monopoly World Edition. Before the vote took place, a Hasbro employee in the London office eliminated the country signifier “Israel” after the city, in response to pressure from pro-Palestinian advocacy groups. After the Israeli government protested, Hasbro Inc. issued a statement that read: “It was a bad decision, one that we rectified relatively quickly. This is a game. We never wanted to enter into any political debate. We apologize to our Monopoly fans.”
Hasbro conducts a worldwide Monopoly tournament. The first Monopoly World Championships took place in Grossinger's Resort in New York, in November 1973. It is has been aired in the United States by ESPN. The current world champion is Bjørn Halvard Knappskog who won the title in Las Vegas, Nevada on 22 October 2009. 41 players competed for the title of Monopoly World Champion and a cash prize of $20,580 USD.
Although in the past, U.S. entrants had to successfully compete in regional competitions before the national championship, qualifying for the National Championship has been online since 2003. For the 2003 Championship, qualification was limited to the first fifty people who correctly completed an online quiz. Out of concerns that such methods of qualifying might not always ensure a competition of the best players, the 2009 Championship qualifying was expanded to include an online multiple-choice quiz (a score of 80% or better was required to advance); followed by an online five-question essay test; followed by a two-game online tournament at Pogo.com. The process was to have produced a field of 23 plus one: Matt McNally, the 2003 national champion, who received a bye and was not required to qualify. However, at the end of the online tournament, there was an eleven-way tie for the last six spots. The decision was made to invite all of those who had tied for said spots. In fact, two of those who had tied and would have otherwise been eliminated, Dale Crabtree of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Brandon Baker, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, played in the final game and finished third and fourth respectively.
The 2009 Monopoly U.S. National Championship was held on April 14–15 in Washington, D.C. In his first tournament ever, Richard Marinaccio, an attorney from Sloan, New York (a suburb of Buffalo), prevailed over a field that included two previous champions to be crowned the 2009 U.S. National Champion. In addition to the title, Mr. Marinaccio took home $20,580 — the amount of money in the bank of the board game — and competed in the 2009 World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 21–22.
In addition, a version of the Monopoly game called Monopoly Family Game Night: The Championship Edition, was released in Fall 2009 to coincide with the 2009 Monopoly World Championships.
Each player is represented by a small metal token that is moved around the edge of the board according to the roll of two dice. The twelve playing pieces currently used are pictured at left (from left to right): a wheelbarrow (1937b edition), a battleship, a sack of money (1999–2007 editions), a horse and rider, a car (racecar), a train (Deluxe Edition only), a thimble, a howitzer (sometimes called a cannon), an old style shoe (sometimes called a boot), a Scottie dog, an iron, and a top hat.
Many of the tokens were created by companies such as Dowst Miniature Toy Company, which made metal charms and tokens designed to be used on charm bracelets. The battleship and cannon were also used briefly in the Parker Brothers war game Conflict (released in 1940), but after the game failed on the market, the premade pieces were recycled into Monopoly usage. Hasbro recently adopted the battleship and cannon for Diplomacy.
Early localized editions of the standard edition (including some Canadian editions, which used the U.S. board layout) did not include pewter tokens but instead had generic wooden pawns identical to those in Sorry!. Parker Brothers also acquired Sorry! in the 1930s.
Other items included in the standard edition are:
Hasbro also sells a Deluxe Edition, which is mostly identical to the classic edition but has wooden houses and hotels and gold-toned tokens, including one token in addition to the standard eleven, a railroad locomotive. Other additions to the Deluxe Edition include a card carousel, which holds the title deed cards, and money printed with two colors of ink.
In 1978, retailer Neiman Marcus manufactured and sold an all-Chocolate edition of Monopoly through its "Christmas Wish Book" for that year. The entire set was edible, including the money, dice, hotels, properties, tokens and playing board. The set retailed for $600.
In 2000, the FAO Schwarz store in New York City sold a custom version called One-Of-A-Kind Monopoly for $100,000. This special edition comes in a locking attaché case made with Napolino leather and lined in suede, and features include:
The Guinness Book of World Records states that a set worth $2,000,000 and made of 23-carat gold, with rubies and sapphires atop the chimneys of the houses and hotels, is the most expensive Monopoly set ever produced.
The distribution of cash in the U.S. version has changed with the newer release versions. Older versions had a total of $15,140 in the following amounts/colors:
The newer (September 2008) editions have a total of $20,580, with 30 of each bill denomination. In addition, the colors of some of the bills have been changed; $10's are now blue instead of yellow, $20's are a brighter color green than before, and $50's are now purple instead of blue.
Each player begins the game with his or her token on the Go square, and $1,500 (or 1,500 of a localized currency) in play money. Prior to September 2008, the money was divided as follows in the U.S. standard rules:
Since then, the US version has taken on the British version's initial cash distributions of:
Pre-Euro German editions of the game started with 30,000 "Spielmark" in eight denominations (abbreviated as "M."), and later used seven denominations of the "Deutsche Mark" ("DM."). In the classic Italian game, each player receives ₤350,000 ($3500) in a two-player game, but ₤50,000 ($500) less for each player more than two. Only in a six-player game does a player receive the equivalent of $1,500. The classic Italian games were played with only four denominations of currency. Both Spanish editions (the Barcelona and Madrid editions) started the game with 150,000 in play money, with a breakdown identical to that of the American version.
All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the bank until bought by the players.
The history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1904, when a Quaker woman named Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George (it was intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies). Her game, The Landlord's Game, was commercially published a few years later. Other interested game players redeveloped the game and some made their own sets. Phillips herself patented a revised edition of the game in 1923, and similar games of this nature were published commercially. By 1933 a board game named Monopoly was created much like the version of Monopoly sold by Parker Brothers and its parent companies throughout the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st. Charles Darrow, widely proclaimed by Parker Brothers as the "inventor" of the game, was introduced to the game by his friends, the Todds, who lived in Atlantic City. The spaces were named after streets in Atlantic City. In most cases, it is still true today that the value of the spaces on the board reflect the actual condition of the real streets in Atlantic City with Boardwalk and Park Place being the nicest and Meditteranean and Baltic not very nice. Darrow made some graphical changes to the game and sold his version to Parker Brothers in 1935. Several people, mostly in the U.S. Midwest and near the U.S. East Coast, contributed to the game's design and evolution.
In 1941 the British Secret Service had John Waddington Ltd., the licensed manufacturer of the game outside the U.S., create a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by the Nazis. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by secret service created fake charity groups.
By the 1970s, the game's early history had been lost (at least one historian has argued that it was purposely suppressed), and the idea that it had been created solely by Charles Darrow had become popular folklore. This was stated in the 1974 book The Monopoly Book: Strategy and Tactics of the World's Most Popular Game, by Maxine Brady, and even in the instructions of the game itself. As Professor Ralph Anspach fought Parker Brothers and its then parent company, General Mills, over the trademarks of the Monopoly board game, much of the early history of the game was "rediscovered".
Because of the lengthy court process, and appeals, the legal status of Parker Brothers' trademarks on the game was not settled until the late 1970s. Anspach won the case on appeals in 1979, as the 9th District Court determined that the trademark "Monopoly" was generic, and therefore unenforceable. However, on Hasbro's pressure, the US Congress immediately passed a statute amending the Trademark Act to protect longstanding marks against 'generic' claims. Thus the game's name remains a registered trademark of Parker Brothers, as do its specific design elements. Parker Brothers' current corporate parent, Hasbro, again acknowledges only the role of Charles Darrow in the creation of the game. Anspach published a book about his research, called The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle (and republished as Monopolygate), in which he makes his case about the purposeful suppression of the game's early history and development.
Players take turns in order, with the initial player determined by chance before the game. A typical turn begins with the rolling of the dice and advancing clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares. Landing on Chance or Community Chest, a player draws the top card from the respective pile. If the player lands on an unowned property, whether street, railroad, or utility, he can buy the property for its listed purchase price. If he declines this purchase, the property is auctioned off by the bank to the highest bidder. If the property landed on is already owned and unmortgaged, he must pay the owner a given rent, the price dependent on whether the property is part of a monopoly or its level of development. If a player rolls doubles, he rolls again after completing his turn. If any dice are rolled outside the play area or are leaning against an object the player must re-roll both dice. Three sets of doubles in a row, however, land the player in jail. During a turn, players may also choose to develop or mortgage properties. Development involves the construction, for given amounts of money paid to the bank, of houses or hotels. To build a house or a hotel, the player must own all properties in a color group. Development must be uniform across a monopoly, such that a second house cannot be built on one property in a monopoly until the others have one house. No merges between players are allowed. All developments on a monopoly must be sold before any property of that color can be mortgaged or traded. The player receives money from the bank for each mortgaged property, which must be repaid with interest to unmortgage. Houses are returned to the bank for half their purchase price.
Parker Brothers' official instructions have long encouraged the use of house rules, specific additions to or subtractions from the official rule sets. Many casual Monopoly players are surprised to discover that some of the rules that they are used to are not part of the official rules. Many of these house rules tend to make the game longer by randomly giving players more money. Some common house rules are listed below:
House rules, while unofficial, are not wholly unrecognized by Parker Brothers. George S. Parker himself created two variants, to shorten the length of game play. Video game and computer game versions of Monopoly have options where popular house rules can be used. House rules that have the effect of randomly introducing more money into the game have a side-effect of increasing the time it takes for players to become bankrupt, lengthening the game considerably, as well as decreasing the effects of strategy and prudent investment. House rules which increase the amount of money in the game may change the strategies of the players, such as changing the relative value of different properties- the more money in the game, the more one may wish to invest in the higher value properties.
Monopoly involves a portion of luck, with the roll of the dice determining whether a player gets to own key properties or lands on squares with high rents. Even the initial misfortune of going last is a significant disadvantage because one is more likely to land on property which has already been bought and therefore be forced to pay rent instead of having an opportunity to buy unowned property. There are, however, many strategic decisions which allow skilled players to win more often than the unskilled. Hasbro also offers a helpful strategy guide and different insights on their site. According to the laws of probability, seven is the most probable roll of two dice, with a probability of 1 in 6, whereas 2 and 12 are the least probable rolls, each with a probability of one in 36. For this reason, Park Place (Park Lane) is one of the least landed-on squares as the square is seven places beyond Go to Jail.
In consequence, some properties are landed upon more than others and the owners of those properties get more income from rent. The board layout factors include the following:
According to Jim Slater in The Mayfair Set, there is an overwhelming case for having the orange sites, because players land on them more often, as a result of the Chance cards Go to Jail, Advance to St. Charles Place (Pall Mall), Advance to Reading Railroad (King's Cross Station) and Go Back Three Spaces.
In all, during game play, Illinois Avenue (Trafalgar Square), New York Avenue (Vine Street), B&O Railroad (Fenchurch Street Station), and Reading Railroad (King's Cross Station) are the most frequently landed-upon properties. Mediterranean Avenue (Old Kent Road) and Baltic Avenue (Whitechapel Road) are the least-landed-upon properties.
In order to put a cap on total development of property sets in the game, there are only 12 hotels and 32 houses. This limitation is in place to ensure that property sets cannot be developed unless there are houses or hotels available to purchase from the bank. This cap allows a certain amount of dominance to be developed by some players, because if every set of property were fully developed there would be enough rent collected between different players to allow the game to drag on for an extended period. This limitation on numbers of houses and hotels leads to an advantage for one player. Simply building each lot out to a maximum of 4 houses and then refusing to upgrade to hotels ensures that nearly the maximum amount of rent is collected for each property, and the monopolization of the houses from the game prevents opponents from developing their property. It is conceivable that a single player could end up owning all 32 houses near the end of the game, and the refusal to upgrade to hotels makes these houses unavailable for opponents to purchase for any property they may own.
Much of the skill comes from knowing how to make the best use of a player's resources and above all knowing how to strike a good bargain. Monopoly is a social game where players often interact and must deal with each other in ways similar to real world real estate bargaining. Note that the best deal is not always for the most expensive property; it is often situational, dependent on money resources available to each player and even where players happen to be situated on the board. When looking to deal, a player should attempt to bargain with another player who not only possesses properties he or she needs but also properties the other player needs. In fact, offering relatively fair deals to other players can end up helping the player making the offer by giving him or her a reputation as an honest trader, which can make players less wary of dealings in the future. What is more, most people play Monopoly with the same group repeatedly. For this reason, such a reputation can have effects far beyond the game being played.
One common criticism of Monopoly is that it has carefully defined yet almost unreachable termination conditions. Edward P. Parker, a former president of Parker Brothers, is quoted as saying, "We always felt that forty-five minutes was about the right length for a game, but Monopoly could go on for hours. Also, a game was supposed to have a definite end somewhere. In Monopoly you kept going around and around." However, the problem of time can be resolved by playing with a time limit and counting each player's net worth when the time is up. In fact, tournament play calls for a 90-minute time limit. Two hour time limits are used for international play. The Lord of the Rings edition gives players the option of creating a random time limit using the included One Ring token and specialized dice. The SpongeBob SquarePants game board includes a Plankton piece that moves every time someone rolls a 1 with the dice (if a player rolls two 1s, the Plankton piece moves two spaces,) and the game is over when it reaches the end of the board.
Played strictly to the rules, many games will be effectively decided when one player succeeds in bankrupting another because the bankrupt player gives all his property to the one to whom he could not pay his debt. A player who thus gains a fistful of properties will virtually control the game from that point onwards since other players will be constantly at risk. On the other hand, if a player is bankrupted by being unable to meet his debt to the bank (e.g., a fine or tax or other debt that is not rent), then his property is auctioned off; this can open up new possibilities in a game which was evenly set or in which a lot of property sets were divided among the players.
The Monopoly Mega Edition is geared towards faster play by incorporating more squares and enabling players to build without the full color-group.
Hasbro states that the longest game of Monopoly ever played lasted 1,680 hours (70 days or 10 weeks or 2 1/3 months).
Numerous add-ons have been made for Monopoly, both before its commercialization and after. Three such official add-ons are discussed below.
The Stock Exchange add-on was originally published by Parker Brothers in 1936 . The Free Parking square is covered over by a new Stock Exchange space and the add-on included three Chance and three Community Chest cards directing the player to "Advance to Stock Exchange".
The add-on also included thirty stock certificates, five for each of the six different stocks, differing only in the purchase price (or Par Value), ranging from $100 to $150. Shares, like properties, are tradeable material, and could also be mortgaged for half their purchase price. Shareholders could increase the value of their shares by buying up more of the same company's shares.
When a player moves onto Free Parking/Stock Exchange, stock dividends are paid out to all players on their non-mortgaged shares. The amount to be paid out to each player is determined based on the number and kind of shares owned. Specifically, a player receives dividends from each stock based on the following formula:
Example: Owning one share of "Motion Pictures" (par value $100) pays dividends of $10. Owning two shares pays $40 ($10 x 2 x 2), owning three pays $90 ($10 x 3 x 3) and owning four pays $160 ($10 x 4 x 4). A player owning all five receives $250 ($10 x 5 x 5).
The player who lands on Free Parking/Stock Exchange can also choose to buy a share if any remain. Should the player decline, the share is auctioned to the highest bidder by the Bank.
The Stock Exchange add-on serves to inject more money into the game, in a similar manner to railroad properties, as well as changing the relative values of properties. In particular, the Red and Yellow properties are more valuable due to the increased chance of landing on Free Parking.
The Stock Exchange add-on was later redesigned and rereleased in 1992 under license by Chessex, this time including a larger number of new Chance and Community Chest cards. This version included ten new Chance cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and five other related cards) and eleven new Community Chest cards (five "Advance to Stock Exchange" and six other related cards; the regular Community Chest card "From sale of stock you get $45" is removed from play when using these cards). Many of the original rules applied to this new version (in fact, one optional play choice allows for playing in the original form by only adding the "Advance to Stock Exchange" cards to each deck).
A Monopoly Stock Exchange Edition was released in 2001 (although not in the US), this time adding an electronic calculator-like device to keep track of the complex stock figures. This was a full edition, not just an add-on, that came with its own board, money and playing pieces. Properties on the board were replaced by companies on which shares could be floated, and offices and home offices (instead of houses and hotels) could be built.
Playmaster, another official add-on, released in 1982, was an electronic device that kept track of all player movement and dice rolls as well as what properties are still available. It then uses this information to call random auctions and mortgages that will be advantageous for some players and a punishment for others, making it easier to free up cards of a color group. It also plays eight short tunes when key game functions occur; for example when a player lands on a railroad it will play I've Been Working on the Railroad.
In 2007, Parker Brothers began releasing its standard version of Monopoly with a new addition to gameplay—the Speed Die. First included in Winning Moves' Monopoly: The Mega Edition variant, this third die alters gameplay by allowing players to increase their move up to 3 spaces (rolling one of the 3 numbered sides); move immediately to the next unowned property OR to the next property on which they would owe money (rolling one of 2 "Mr. Monopoly" sides); "Get Off The Bus Early" (rolling the "Bus" side), allowing the player the option to use the total of just one die to move (i.e. A roll of 1-5-BUS would let the player choose from moving 1, 5 or 6 spaces); or even move directly to any space on the board (rolling a triple—all three dice showing the same 1, 2, or 3). Usage of the die in the regular game differs slightly from use in the Mega Edition (i.e. Players use the Speed Die from the beginning in Mega; players can only use the Speed Die in the regular game AFTER their first time going past GO).
Besides the many variants of the actual game (and the Monopoly Junior spin-off) released in either video game or computer game formats (e.g. Windows-based PC, Macintosh, Game Boy, Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance, Satellaview, Sega Genesis, Commodore 64, etc.), two spin-off computer games have been created.
Monopoly Tycoon is a PC game in the Tycoon series that makes strategy and speed into determining factors for winning the game, eliminating completely the element of luck inherent in the dice rolls of the original. The game uses the U.S. standard Atlantic City properties as its basis, but the game play is unique to this version. The game also allows for solo and multiplayer online games.
Monopoly Casino is also a PC game, simulating a casino full of Monopoly-based adaptations of various casino games (most notably, slot machines). This program was released in both standard and "Vegas" editions, each featuring unique games.
On April 23, 2008, Electronic Arts announced that they would be releasing in Q3 2008 a new version of Monopoly for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii video game consoles. In September 2008, Electronic Arts' Pogo division released an online version of Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition.
On November 20, 2009, the standard game version was also released by Electronic Arts for play on iPhone and iPod touch. It includes boards and gameplay in six languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
Parker Brothers and its licensees have also sold several games which are spinoffs of Monopoly. These are not add-ons, as they do not function as an addition to the Monopoly game, but are simply additional games in the flavor of Monopoly.
A short-lived Monopoly game show aired on Saturday evenings from June 16 to September 1, 1990 on ABC. The show was produced by Merv Griffin and hosted by Mike Reilly. The show was paired with a summer-long Super Jeopardy! tournament which also aired during this period on ABC.
Three contestants competed by answering crossword puzzle-style clues to acquire properties and earn money in attempt to build monopolies. After the properties were acquired, players used the money earned to improve them with houses and hotels which would then further increase the value of questions when those properties were landed upon. The player with the most money at the end of the game won and played the bonus round for a chance to win $25,000 or $50,000.
In North America, a variety of slot machines and lotteries have been produced with a Monopoly theme. In Europe, there were also Monopoly "fruit machines", some of which remain popular through emulation. The British quiz machine brand itbox also supports a Monopoly trivia and chance game, which, like most other itbox games, costs 50p (£0.50) to play and has a £20 jackpot, although this is very rarely won. There is also an online slot machine version of the game made by WMS which is a 19 reel traditional style casino game.
There was also a live, online version of Monopoly. Six painted taxis drive around London picking up passengers. When the taxis reach their final destination, the region of London that they are in is displayed on the online board. This version takes far longer to play than board-game monopoly, with one game lasting 24 hours. Results and position are sent to players via e-mail at the conclusion of the game.
London’s Gamesys Group have also developed an exclusive online version of Monopoly called Monopoly Snap where members of Jackpotjoy, the company’s flagship site, can play a game based on the franchise for real cash. During the game, players are dealt hands of 5 Monopoly trading cards. If they turn over a set of cards, they win a cash prize. The dealer then reads out the properties one by one, with players hoping to match their hands with the dealer’s calls. When a player has matched their five cards they win a jackpot. If they match it in the minimum 5 calls they open the community chest jackpot which is shared with everyone playing. After the game the dealer will call out the name of one of the game tokens, and everyone who holds that token will win again. It’s notable as a gambling game with a high chance of experiencing a win of some kind.
The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sweepstakes advertising promotion of McDonald's and Hasbro that has been offered in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Romania, Australia and Singapore. The game mimics the game of Monopoly. Originally, customers received a set of two tokens with every purchase, but now tokens only come with certain menu items. Tokens correspond to a property space on the Monopoly board. When combined into color-matched properties, the tokens may be redeemed for money or prizes. There are also "instant win" tokens the recipient can redeem for McDonald's food, money, or other prizes.
In November 2008, Ridley Scott was announced to direct Universal Pictures' film version of the game, based on a script written by Pamela Pettler. The film will be co-produced by Hasbro's Brian Goldner, as part of a deal with Hasbro to develop movies based on the company's line of toys. The story is being developed by author Frank Beddor.
Additionally, a documentary called Under the Boardwalk about the history of the game, the people who play it, and how it has become a worldwide phenomenon over the last 75 years is coming to theaters in Fall 2010.
Because Monopoly evolved in the public domain before its commercialization, Monopoly has seen many variant games. Most of these are exact copies of the Monopoly games with the street names replaced with locales from a particular town, university, or fictional place. National boards have been released as well. Over the years, many specialty Monopoly editions, licensed by Parker Brothers/Hasbro, and produced by them, or their licensees (including USAopoly and Winning Moves Games) have been sold to local and national markets worldwide. Two well known "families" of -opoly like games, without licenses from Parker Brothers/Hasbro, have also been produced.
Several published games are similar to Monopoly. These include:
Wired magazine believes Monopoly is a poorly designed game. Former Wall Streeter Derk Solko explains, "Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It's a very negative experience. It's all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money." Most of the 3 to 4 hour average playing time is spent waiting for other players to play their turn. Board game enthusiasts disparagingly call this a "roll your dice, move your mice" format.
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Monopoly is a board game played by two to eight players. It is played on a board with spaces named after streets. These streets are actual streets in Atlantic City in New Jersey in the United States. In the British version, they are named after streets in London. Like many board games, each person has his own game token that he moves on the board. If he/she passes the go space, he/she collects $200. There is also a pair of dice, and play money. A person wins by having the most money at the end of the game. There are many versions of Monopoly such as Star Wars Monopoly and Create-your-own-opoly (where you name the streets yourself).
On the Monopoly board are 40 spaces. In the four corners of the board are the space where each player begins, called GO; Free Parking, JAIL, and Go to Jail. Along the sides of the board are properties and businesses for sale. There are 22 properties, 4 railroads, the Electric Company and the Water Works. There are also Income Tax and Luxury Tax, and Community Chests and Chances.
In India, a similar game is called Business.
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