7

The rules say that the game is for 2 to 8 players. But there are only eight monopolies on the board, meaning that in a game of eight players, there would only be an average of one monopoly for each player. Meaning that some players probably would have no monopolies. And it might be hard for any player to get a monopoly (except, possibly, by trading). Then you would have a great divide between the propertied, and non-propertied players.

But as a commenter pointed out, six players is mandated in some versions of Tournament Monopoly.

My own experience has been that the best games are between two or three people and that it can probably accommodate four or five. Are there accounts of interesting, enjoyable, challenging games with six to eight players? Or have most tallies gone the other way with "too many cooks spoiling the broth?"

In the interest of keeping answers relatively objective, the best answers would address tournament experiences and results, or cite a book or study using an expert author's experiences (either first hand or computer simulated). If you want to answer this question based on personal experiences, please limit it to games that you have actually played, or at least observed, and demonstrate some level of expertise.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Joe W, CrystalBlue, np8, Toon Krijthe, doppelgreener Jun 1 '15 at 10:13

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I have found more than 0 to be "too many players" for Monopoly. – GendoIkari Jan 31 '14 at 14:35
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    @GendoIkari: Based on what experiences you've had with the game? The question asked you to relate your relevant experiences. – Tom Au Jan 31 '14 at 14:36
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    It's just personal opinion; based on the types of games I like. It wasn't meant as an answer to the question, just a quip. – GendoIkari Jan 31 '14 at 14:49
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    According to the Official Tournament Rules for Monopoly, the final round (of at least 2) must have 6 players (Page 2, about half way down). Clearly tournament players do not deem 6 players as too many. – Forget I was ever here Jan 8 '18 at 18:02
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    Even the committee that wrote the tournament rules came here and posted their answers explaining why 6 players truly is the best way to play Monopoly, I'd still consider the question primarily opinion based. (Although I would still be interested in reading their opinions.) – Rainbolt Jan 10 '18 at 21:47
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Board Game Geek has some session reports for Monopoly.

The main problem with having more players is that starting order becomes increasingly important as you add more players. If you're going 6th, 7th or 8th then your chances of landing on an unowned property are very low. You're pretty much screwed from the start.

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    Which basically depends on the first dice roll, prior to the game. – Tom Au Feb 1 '14 at 22:18
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    This is exactly right. I've played in a game with 7 players and three of the first four players were clearly in the lead the whole way through. Players 6 and 7 struggled to buy anything – dsas Feb 2 '14 at 0:22
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    One solution is that people cannot purchase property until they go around the board once. That further randomizes the effect of who has the first go at buying property. – Jason Feb 4 '14 at 10:06
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    @Jason, does that really fix the problem? You're just swapping out a single dice roll for multiple dice rolls to find out who gets first shot at unowned properties. I don't get the idea of of "further randomization" - it either is random, or it's not. That method might even make things worse, since the last one to cross GO might be lagging by quite a few spaces. At least if I go last with an even start, I could possibly roll high and pull ahead. If I'm behind by a dozen spaces, there's no way I can possibly be the first one to enter unspoiled territory. – Nuclear Wang Aug 12 '15 at 9:49
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    @NuclearWang The most balanced rule is that buying can start the moment the FIRST person has gone around the board once. That actually usually puts most people in a position where they can buy, with the lagging player actually getting an early shot at the high-end properties. – Weckar E. Sep 4 '17 at 10:47
9

There are two ways of playing Monopoly: I find them considerably more different than, say, Chess and Draughts.

The first is the commoner, a family game played to fill in the hours till bedtime. Everybody knows that Emily will cry if she loses, so the Bank provides regular subsidies. If there are no losers, there can be no winners, so the aim becomes 'to build up a pretty-looking property portfolio': if the supply of houses and hotels runs out, something else is used instead. This is pretty much a game for the feebleminded, and with more than five players there are not enough properties for everybody.

The second is played among adults, with no house rules. Being a simulation of unbridled capitalism, the aim is to bankrupt your competition. So you don't trade another player the card to make up a monopoly unless a) you get a monopoly, or something equally valuable, in return or b) you think the other player is overstretched: for example, if he has to pay rent before somebody pays him, he will have to mortgage the newly acquired monopoly, losing the right to build houses, and starting on a downward spiral. This can certainly be played with eight players, though the tactics change drastically as the number of players goes up, and you will probably lose the first time you play an x-player game.

Forgoing any political comparisons, I remark only that it is strange that the players who object to Monopoly as a children's game that never finishes are usually the ones who insist on altering the rules to make it less painful, which means it lasts longer and your decisions are less important.

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    I'd say that with more than 4, there is no tactic, just luck. Much more than with less players. – PatomaS Feb 2 '14 at 11:29
  • @PatomaS: Good point. – Tom Au Feb 2 '14 at 14:42
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    Well said. Playing with kids between 8 and 12 or so I make one concession - such kids get $200 for landing on Free Parking. Playing with adults and older kids I make no concessions. Games are always fun and fast, rarely exceeding 90 minutes. Pictures of my youngest daughter's first Monopoly victory over Dad and older brother, straight-up Classic Rules, are priceless. The empty table in front of older brother; the bankrupt mortgaged board in front of Dad; I'll post them at her wedding and be proud of her accomplishment at only 12. – Forget I was ever here May 31 '15 at 6:30
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    By that game she wouldn't even accept the $200 for Free Parking - if Dad and older brother didn't need it neither did she. – Forget I was ever here May 31 '15 at 6:35
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I recommend the following starting rule to make the start up more fair with more players: Each player (in turn order, before the first player moves) chooses one of the corners of the board as their starting location. The first time you pass go, the amount to collect is prorated based on how far you traveled, e.g. collect $50 if you started at Goto Jail, $100 if you started at Free Parking, ... This allows later players to start from locations with fewer opponents. This is a quicker way to address the first roller advantage than the no buying on the first lap rule mentioned by @Joe Mc

Addressing the main question, more players generally makes the game longer. Monopoly is already considered by many too long, even with the correct rules. If players are reluctant to trade (and the above rule is used to even out property ownership), it is quite likely that no player gets a Monopoly. In this case, the game could go on forever.

With more than four players, I would really recommend playing Mega Monopoly instead of the standard game. Mega Monopoly is also listed as a game for 2 - 8 players, but has several rules that make it a better game for more players.

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With less players, everyone gets a few monopolies, and then it's just the luck of who lands on the other's monopoly first. With more players, it's about who can strike a deal, take risks, and strategize the best. A good way to break the first rollers advantage is implementing the house rule that one must go around the board once before buying a property

  • If you say players have to go round once first doesn't that just give an advantage to the first players to get round or indeed a player lucky enough to get an "advance to...." card? – StartPlayer Jan 8 '18 at 20:55

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