My friends and I have tried playing with a house rule where every property, no matter who lands on it, immediately goes to auction for all players.

We have been using a Vickrey auction so that the turns don't take forever (we all just write down a number, and the highest bid pays the second highest bid's price for the property).

Obviously, without this rule in place, it is advantageous to simply buy every property you land on. But, with the auctions, each property is going for more than listed value and we quickly run out of cash. What sort of strategies should I employ with this house rule?


This kind of bidding brings elements of poker into the game.

  • Bids are blind.
  • Bidder with highest bid takes the property, pays second highest price.
  • I assume, bidders must be able to pay their bid.

There are several aspects:

  1. Watch carefully what the other players do and adapt your strategy.
  2. Try to estimate the relative value of a property for other players.
  3. Try to read the faces of other players.
  4. Try to keep track of the money of other players. If one player has a lot more money than the other players, it is often wise to bid high. But beware, the player with the most money can use this to his or her advantage.

The most important strategy is willing to change. With a fixed strategy, you will be predictable and that is a bad thing.


If, as you say "each property is going for more than listed value and we quickly run out of cash", then be the player who doesn't bid more than face value.

If all your opponents have run out of cash, and half the properties are still available, you can buy them at half price because no-one can outbid you.

Another consideration is that no-one really starts making money until they have a set. A good tactic might be to save your money by only bidding high on one particular set, and bidding low to snap up bargains elsewhere. You also need to bid high on any property that would complete someone else's set, to stop them getting a set. If you are the only person with a set, you should be able to win.

  • A player who doesn't bid above face value will wind up with very few properties, especially if there are many players. 4 players have enough starting cash to buy the entire board with money to spare, so if you're the frugal 5th player, you will never win even a single bid. – Nuclear Wang Aug 13 at 19:37
  • 1
    @NuclearWang - Did you read the question? "each property is going for more than listed value and we quickly run out of cash" I even quoted it in my answer... If they're all running out of cash "quickly" then that sounds to me like "before all the properties are bought". Possibly the OP only has 3 players rather then 5? – AndyT Aug 15 at 9:48

Until the end of the game, cash is practically worthless in Monopoly, only properties are valuable. Therefore, I suggest that you spend almost every last dollar you have to get an auctioned property, keeping only enough to ensure you'll get to Go and collect 200 $ afterward.

If you then need money because you happen to fall on someone else's property and have to pay rent, or want to bid on another property, just mortgage the property you just bought in order to raise some cash.

Of course, other considerations, such as the probability of soon landing on a property that will complete your set, must be considered, but overall, you have to ensure that you get as many properties as possible, trading them later on if necessary.

Only make sure you evaluate the amount of money you might need to reach your next Go payoff.

Finally, the rules do not explicitly exclude partnerships. For example, offer another player your promise not to bid on certain property groups if that player will do the same for you.

  • At the start of the game no-one has any properties. If you bid "almost every last dollar" on the first auction, i.e. pay 1500 for something with a face vale of 100, you're a) overpaying and b) stopping yourself from bidding on other properties, thus making them cheaper for other players. A person employing your tactic might only have 1 property by the time everyone else has 10 properties - the person playing your tactic is therefore almost guaranteed to lose. – AndyT Aug 13 at 15:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.