There are 32 houses in Monopoly. That's only enough to cover eight properties with four houses each, or two full (three property) monopolies, plus one two property monopoly, either Boardwalk-Park Place, or Mediterranean-Baltic.
So if I own two full monopolies, and cover them with four houses each, there are only eight houses left, meaning that except for either Boardwalk-Park Place, or Mediterranean-Baltic, no third monopoly can go up to the crtical three house level on all three properties.
Does this mean that I should keep four houses each on my two monopolies and NOT upgrade them to hotels? Or if someone wants houses, maybe I should at least force them to give me another Monopoly (or railroads or cash) in order to agree to free up houses by upgrading to a hotel? (This might come into play if another opponent and I both had four houses each on our respective monopolies.)
I remember playing years ago with two house rules:
- if someone could cover all their properties with hotels outright they were allowed to do so without buying houses (if they could afford to do so)
- if someone had four houses on a property, you could force them to free up houses by paying for their upgrade to a hotel
What I find puzzling is that there are 12 hotels, enough to cover all the properties from four full (three-property) monopolies. And taken together, the hotels and houses can cover six full monopolies, plus a seventh, either Boardwalk-Park Place, or Mediterranean-Baltic, with either a hotel or four houses.
So was it the intent of the game designers that the board be covered this way? Or is a housing shortage just another "monopoly" that creates a further shortage over and above the physical building limits?