Who would not know of Monopoly, the world-famous board game created by the Parker Brothers? This board game originated in 1903 in the United States and was published in 1935.

Monopoly has a subtitle- The Fast-Dealing Property Game, and it is named as such after an economic concept of monopolizing, or the total domination of a trade or market by one entity. Players take turns moving around a game board purchasing properties or trading them.

They can develop the properties that they own by buying houses and hotels, and collect rent when other players land on their property. The goal of the game is to “monopolise” the board by driving the other players into bankruptcy and being the sole owner of the economy.

1935 Edition of Monopoly – Available For Sale on


The History of Monopoly

As mentioned, the early history of Monopoly traces back to 1903, when Lizzie J. Phillips wanted to create a game to explain Henry George’s single tax theory. It was to be used as an educational tool and would highlight the negative aspects of land concentration in private monopolies. It was patented in 1904 and was titled as The Landlord’s Game.

Since then, a lot of variations were born, and one of them was Monopoly, by the Parker Brothers. The rest, as they say, is glorious history.

The Equipment

The Monopoly board is made up of 40 spaces that contain 28 properties (there are four railway stations, two utility spaces, and 22 different-coloured streets), one Luxury and Income Tax space, three Community and three Chance spaces, and the four corner spaces are Jail/Just visiting, Free Parking, Go to Jail, and the starting point GO.

Community Chest and Chance cards, Deeds for the coloured properties, a pair of six-sided dice, houses and hotels, player tokens and Monopoly Money in different denominations are all included in the board game.

Starting the Game

Each players begins with a token of their choosing and a set amount of play money. Each player is given two $500 bills, two $100 bills, two $50 bills, six $20 bills, five $10 bills, five $5 bills, and five $1 bills, making it a total of $1500. The dice is rolled in order to determine the first player. The dice is also used to move the player in spaces based on the dice roll.

When players move on a property space, they can buy it or develop it further by adding houses or a hotel. When the property that they land on is already bought by another player, he or she is required to pay the rent based on the deed card.

Other spaces in the board add twists and turns in the Monopoly world. Chance and Community spaces may provide bonuses or penalties, luxury and income taxes may have to be paid, and there are also options to purchase railroads and utilities in given spaces. One of the players is assigned the banker, and he or she holds all the bank money, properties, and any such transactions that needs a bookkeeper.

Rent is listed on the deed for that coloured property, and players have the option to upgrade by building houses and hotels, but only if they own all the same-coloured property in that street. The cost of upgrading houses and hotels are also listed in the deed.

The cost of rent depends on how much the property has been built up with houses and hotels. Railroad rent is determined by the amount of railroads that player has. Utilities charge randomly with the roll of the dice, from a 4x up to 10x multiplier depending on how many total utilities that player has.

Players have the option to settle for mortgaging their properties in exchange for half the cash amount, but mortgaged properties do not charge rent if visited by another player. When a player has no more properties to mortgage or has run out of monopoly money, he or she is bankrupt and removed from the game.

The player that made someone bankrupt then gains all of that player’s assets. Movement bonuses are granted if a player rolls doubles on the dice, but if they roll 3 doubles in a row, speeding is called and that player goes to jail. Players may get out of jail by paying the fine or rolling doubles. They do not move for 3 turns while in jail.

Play continues until all but one player is left with all the properties and assets still intact, while everyone else is bankrupt and out of the game.

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