How to Keep Friends after Playing Monopoly (Satire)

Monopoly Board

Monopoly is a property game in which the basic objectives are to acquire property, and ultimately, bankrupt opponents. The mechanisms of the game necessarily require a cutthroat, competitive attitude. The history of the game indicates that that is the intent. The game, created at the dawn of the Twentieth Century by Elizabeth Magie Phillips, was designed to be as much a propaganda tool for the anti-trust cause, than as a family game for those that had more leisure time (ie. the emergent middle class of the United States). This point becomes more poignant with the fact that game advantages are formed based on the chance of dice rolls.

In 2012, as a part of a greater behavioural study, the University of California at Berkley, found that a person that has structural advantages in a game of Monopoly (monetary, number of dice rolled per turn, salary, etc.) behaves in a dominant manner (such as ‘smack talk’), and vice versa. Whilst normal game-play does not generally have the lopsided rules described in the study, the general principal (that players that are winning at a game of Monopoly tend to act impetuously, while players that are losing tend to act in a more defeatist manner) still holds. This necessarily would correlate with some degree of resentment on the part of the defeated player. In such circumstances, the best policy would be to moderate both tendencies – that is, be gracious in victory, and accepting in defeat.

But this is not always the reality. If the persons playing Monopoly have no self control, the possibility increases that the winner will bask in his victory as much as Kanye West basks in himself, and that the loser will become hostile to the winner. In the case of the latter, this can be the result of the former, but not necessarily. This is the demographic that will have such issues with Monopoly, and this is the demographic that this article is targeting. As such, if the reader of this article is one with no self-control, the most advisable course of action (if you value your friendships) is to lose intentionally. Ergo, here are five tips to losing a game of Monopoly.

B & O Railroad

1. No Railroads or Utilities

Water Works

Railroads and utilities are moderately priced properties that have a generally reliable cash flow. In a top ten list of most visited properties, three of the four railroads, and Water Works are on that list. The more that are possessed, the more money, per landing, that is made from them – with no need for development in houses and hotels. Because of this these properties would be part of a winning strategy. But since the goal is to lose, avoid purchasing these properties – trade them in the ‘fortunate’ event of a possession.

2. Gain & Develop Monopolies on the Purple & Dark Blue Properties

The purples carry the downsides of being landed upon rarely (in fact, the least likely), and a low reward when someone does land on these ($450 rent with a hotel on Baltic Avenue; $250, on Mediterranean Avenue). These downsides more than outweigh any advantage of being cheap for purchase and development. As such, a Purple Monopoly is a cornerstone of any losing strategy. But there is more than Baltic Avenuejust this.

To aspire the Dark Blue Monopoly may seem counter-intuitive if the aim is to engineer a deliberate defeat. For it is true that the rewards are very great for any who develops this monopoly to the greatest extent (rent on Boardwalk with a hotel is $2000). But the development of these monopolies are expensive – $200 per house in these monopolies – and is less visited as a property group by all other potential monopolies except for the purples. As such, these properties Boardwalkare high-risk (particularly when other monopolies are on the board), and are likely to eat quite a bit of money. If you want to lose, these are the properties deserving of focus.

Lastly, with all these properties, develop these to the point of maximum financial drainage. The only exception to this rule is to limit development of the Purple Monopoly to four houses for each property. That way, if assessed for street repairs or if required to make general property repairs after landing on Community Chest or Chance, financial pain will be maximized – under such scenarios, three and four houses cost more than one hotel (you can apply this same principal to the dark blues, but since it is unlikely that you will develop New York Avenuethis enough to get to that point, it matters little).

3. Avoid Orange & Red Monopolies – At All Costs!

The Orange M200-c1935_1509312a_Deed_Illinois-Frontonopoly is relatively inexpensive to purchase and develop, has a strangely high player landing frequency, and, when fully developed, have a taxing enough rent charge to knock a player out of the game – especially when a game has progressed to a point where resources are stretched thin. The Red Monopoly has a comparative landing frequency, and is more damaging when fully developed. The only downside is that, at $150 per house, it does not share the development affordability of the Orange Monopoly.

Having stated this, if either monopoly (much less both) is acquired, the path to victory is made clear. Too clear. Avoid these monopolies for a defeat, and make certain someone else has these monopolies if possible.

4. Create Monopolies for Other Players by Trading


In the path to defeat, there will generally exist instances where the player holds a property vital to a monopoly for another player. Since the goal is to lose, trade these cards to opponents that have such monopolies (especially orange or red) either for Purple and/or Dark Blue Monopolies (if applicable), or non-Railroad, non-Utility non-monopoly properties. Doing this will maximise the opportunity of others to win and maximse the opportunity for the reader to lose – both by cutting off good trades, and by utilizing points 3 and 4.

5. Maximise Jail Time Early & Minimise Jail Time Late


If hauled to jail (in Monopoly, not in real life – hopefully), what to do depends on how much the game has progressed. If jailed early in the game, attempt to roll a double to get out of jail. This will likely make a jail stay be three turns, with the fifty dollar fine, as opposed to just paying the fifty dollars on the first turn in jail (this excludes the minor possibility of rolling doubles, which is outside of player control). This will eat up turns in jail, which would have been used for attempting property purchases, thus giving opponents an advantage in this regard.

If jailed late in the game, get out of jail as quickly as the game allows – pay the fifty dollars at the first turn after being sent to jail, then roll the dice. This will maximise the opportunity to land on the properties of other players, allowing a greater chance to haemorrhage money.

Get out of Jail Free

This will likely decrease game play time (especially with Orange or Red Monopolies in play). It is also advisable to dispose of the Get out of Jail Free Card through trading it away, but given the likelihood of such an acquisition, and number of times that it can be used whilst in player possession (once), this is not a major concern if unable to dispose of the card.


Doing these five thing will all but guarantee perpetual defeat. If you have no self-control or your friends are hyper-sensitive, this should impress them, as this will allow them a chance to enjoy victory. Of course, by now you have recognized that either of these things are harmful in life, and has raised questions about your own life beyond Monopoly. As such, the advisable course of action is to gain more self-control and/or change your acquaintances – depending on your life.

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  1. Marilou Cho

    The game was actually created to illustrate the inherent problems of capitalism. You know, how at the end one person ends up with everything?

    The fact that it’s made millions (billions?) makes it even funnier to me.

    • scole

      that makes the game even funnier and the fact that people get so upset about it haha oh my gosh that is great now that i know this!

    • Yes, I attempted to allude to this, but I did not want to spend too much time on the premise of the article.

  2. I think I’ve only ever finished 1 game!~.

  3. Some of the gut bustingest funniest moments in my house have occurred while playing Monopoly with my family, most of them starring my father.

  4. Kevin Mohammed

    Me and my friends always consider Monopoly along with Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. as the biggest “friend-ruining” games there is! XD

    I feel like this type of satire is brilliant and can even be made into a series of articles if you wanted going into all the “friend-ruining” games!

  5. We used to (and still do) keep a tally of what the winner and loser(s) had on the inside cover of the game, it is fun to look back!

  6. I am using the Monopoly board to teach my daughter about real estate investing.

  7. Elih Shane

    I love Monopoly but I can not remember the last time I played the game all the way through. It takes forever & my kids lose interest after many hours.

  8. Monopoly is the worst.

  9. I don’t think Ive ever finished a game of this. What does that say? That those who make it to the top habe to play the long game?

  10. I’ve had quite a few epic Monopoly matches in my day.

  11. Monopoly turns me into a horrible person. I steal and cheat my way through every game I play, because it’s such an insufferable game.

  12. Every time I played my brother had to be the car and no one could purchase any of the dark blue or green properties. And if you did then whatever other people were collecting he bought until it just became pointless to carry on and the board and pieces got chucked on the floor and then we would throw all the money around pretending it was grab a grand from Noel’s House Party. I’m 31 and never finished a game

  13. Rosette

    Everyone always ends up hating each other. No one ever finishes Monopoly in a good mood — not even the winner, because everyone else hates him/her.

  14. Marcie Waters

    It’s really interesting that the game is so popular, when I know so many people who hate playing it.


    I always win Monopoly. Always.

  16. Hate playing Monopoly because of how long it takes to play the game. Half the time my sister and I just give up on playing the game because it takes way too long.

  17. Adnan Bey

    When my family plays it, we avoid fights by setting some rules. The game actually does not start until each player has at least one complete set of land. Then, we’re cut throat and try getting a one-up. That way, everyone knows they did their best, we compromised, and the end was simply seeing a winner. This equalizes everyone’s victory too, sometimes one wins another time someone else wins.

  18. Instead of anger we have laughter…never finished a game…ever

  19. Harlan Nolen

    Ultimately, Monopoly is a negotiation game. You do your best to snag Red, Orange, and Big Blue, then someone gets that 2nd or 3rd property… Thankfully, there are now many alternatives to Monopoly.

  20. Definitely saving this for later, as I’m a huge fan of tabletop games, but not of the ones that end in table flipping 🙂

  21. Finally, a way to end the game without tipping tables and shedding blood.
    10/10 IGN

  22. Jacque Venus Tobias

    It is also interesting that the game is global and there are so many different versions of Monopoly available.

  23. I guess I’ve been losing at Monopoly on purpose for years…



  25. I’m so glad this article exists – the number of times I’ve lost to my boyfriend or brothers and hated it is infinite. Definitely need to take on board these tips!!

  26. If you’ve never deeply regretted something you’ve said during a game of Monopoly you aren’t playing the game right!

  27. To be very honest, this game is not my favorite. The reason being is that this game tends to be tricky, you have to look out for your and the other player, so that you get a moment to think for where to start and where to end. You have to be clever enough to play it because you can easily break away from the game. I find it not very good because then there is a lot of cheating involved.

  28. Joseph Cernik

    A good essay. I’m trying to remember if I ever finished a game. I think as we played the game, after a while whoever had more money than the others won. I don’t even remember counting real estate.

  29. Joseph Cernik

    A good essay. The times we played it with family or friends always began with the same assumption: We would never reach the end of the game. Somewhere when at least two of us decided that we had enough, we would count money and whoever had the most won. To this day, I’ve never completed a game. Related to your essay, considering that Monopoly has “morphed” into universities, cities, Star Wars, and everything else creating their own Monopoly version (the university I was at had its version), I wonder it that has changed how people react to the game.

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