Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monopoly: A new appreciation for an old game

I played a good amount of Monopoly when I was young. And I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining game. But playing it on my iPhone again, I realized we played the game entirely wrong when we were young. I don't remember anyone playing any differently than, maybe buying a piece of property that they land on (people usually didn't buy it). And after a long session, if you were lucky enough to buy all the same colors because no one else bought those colors, the houses and hotels just never seemed like a good investment, so no one would buy them. And the game ended when you accidentally landed on park place (the space that everyone wanted) that someone else owned and it pretty much made you broke.

Being older now, this game immediately made sense. You buy every empty space you land on. It doesn't matter if someone owns 1 out of 3 colors already. it doesn't matter if you own one color of every other color. You buy so that you can negotiate and trade for all the same colors and some money. If someone owns 2 out of the 3 colors, that property is a much better buy because you can probably instantly sell for a big profit, or make some powerful trades. And you should have them throw in a property they don't really care about (because they only have 1 of the 3), but it will be worth it later because you'll be able to make another trade with it in the same scenario.

The game is all about trading, negotiations, and putting up houses and hotels so that you have enough properties that someone can land on and so you can do a lot of damage to their finances. When we were young, no one traded, and rarely hotels got erected. All wrong. Haha.

There are some strategies too. I always thought that the board game didn't come with enough houses. But I realized they did this for a reason. If all the houses are taken, then no one else can build houses, which means they can't do anything with hotels either. You also gotta keep in mind that there are expected outcomes with dice. For example 7 is the most common outcome for a pair of di. And since people tend to end up in jail, 7 steps from jail, and the properties that surround it is the best property to own. I'm guessing the next one would be 7 steps from Go.

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