When it comes to Monopoly I know there are ways the gameplay can be altered and I was wondering if this is one of them. Basically everytime I play I'm told you have to go around the board once before you can purchase properties but then I read somewhere else that you can purchase them immediately. Is this true or is this rule just made up?

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    Before you can purchase? So are they still put up for auction? Never played like this before but I have played with people that randomly distribute all the properties at the start. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 20:14

5 Answers 5


Sounds like a house rule to me.

http://richard_wilding.tripod.com/monorules.htm claims to be a copy of the rules from the official rulebook. The section on Buying Property reads only:

Whenever you land on an unowned property you may buy that property from the Bank at its printed price. You receive the Title Deed card showing ownership. Place the title deed card face up in front of you. If you do not wish to buy the property, the Bank sells it at through an auction to the highest bidder. The high bidder pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property.

Nothing about having to go round once, and certainly I've never played a game of Monopoly in that way. What would it even achieve, apart from slow what is already a potentially long-winded game down to an even more glacial pace?

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    That is confirmed by the PDF copy of the rules available from Hasbro's site. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 13:54
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    As an aside, the game is much less "long-winded" if you remove another pervasive house rule: you're not supposed to be awarded anything for landing on Free Parking. That infusion of cash prolongs the game unnecessarily.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 15:26
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    @Iceman - I've never played with that rule either, but Monopoly does seem to be plagued by many such house rules... seemingly designed to make the game more palatable for children? I do remember that, when I was young, we never auctioned properties off - either you could afford the face value or you couldn't, and if you couldn't, no one else got a chance to bid... Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 15:29
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    What it achieves, theoretically, is more-or-less randomly rebalancing the purchasing ability of players who roll last to not be as likely to have nothing to buy (seems especially common when playing with more than three people, in my experience). The theory is that by waiting until at least one person has made it all the way around the board (which can happen on the first roll if you hit Chance and draw "Advance to Go"), players are distributed evenlyish and property purchases can be more "fair". Personally, I dislike the rule, since the whole point of the game is to own everything.
    – warren
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 18:07

No, you don't need to go around the board before you buy. This is a house rule.


This may be a house rule but it is certainly a widespread house rule. I've always played using the once around the board rule. With all the various groups of people I've ever played with the issue never arose as to some other possibility. I didn't know it was optional. Is it possible that it was once a rule but is no longer? Anyways, the point of going around once before allowing purchases is to help negate the advantage that going first provides.

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    How does that negate the advantage of going first though? You're still more likely to get round the board first, unless I'm missing something. And if you roll badly and someone else rolls well, doesn't that just that the advantage has randomly been passed on to a different player, and possibly amplified? It's been a while since I played Monopoly, though, so I'm genuinely curious to know if I am missing something... Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 15:32
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    It may be meant to disperse the player tokens a bit so that they aren't all landing on the same properties. Since it uses two dice, there's a high probability of 6, 7 or 8 being rolled. With everyone starting from the same spot, there's a reasonable chance players 3 and 4 will kind of follow players 1 and 2 around the board landing on many of the same properties (which players 1 and 2 have probably already purchased). I guess going around the board once would mitigate that a little.
    – Todd
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 23:16
  • @Todd There's also a "reasonable" chance that players 3 and 4 will pass players 1 and 2. I don't buy this analysis.
    – ghoppe
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 19:39
  • @ghoppe I'm not sure which part you don't buy. I was just pointing out that on the first trip around, there's a higher probability of players landing on the same squares (because they start from the same spot). Once they've made it around the board once, they will be a little spread out and less likely to do so. Passing isn't really relevant. I only referred to 3 and 4 following 1 and 2 to try to illustrate the point.
    – Todd
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 1:10
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    @ghoppe In a 6-player game, on player-6's first turn, there's a high probability they will land on a property someone else already purchased. Given the likely clustering of pieces, this is also pretty likely on the 2nd turn as well. This can cause a negative play experience for some. Some people like this house rule because they feel the luck that occurs during the several rolls needed to get around the board is "better" than the luck used to determine starting position. Is it statistically valid? Probably not. I'm not advocating the rule; I don't use it myself. Some people like it.
    – Todd
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 22:14

We use this rule, a good example of when we didn't:

4 players

First 3 players roll and each end up with a light blue, player 4 lands on an owned light blue pays rent, first 3 players go again and a purple, train station and orange gone and player 4 lands on train station and pays rent, by the time all the players had got round the board players 1 to 3 owned most of the board and hadn't paid any rent to anyone, player 4 owned nothing and had a lot less money than the others.

So going round once first may not effect 2 (possibly 3 players) too much, but for 4 to 6 players it is a very good way of spacing people out and making sure you don't have a frustrated player(s)

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    I'd love to see rigorous probability testing of this. My intuition is that the silly "go around first" rule is more of a placebo for those looking for patterns (I always pay rent when I go last!) than making any appreciable difference. What's the difference in being unlucky and moving last and being unlucky and not being the guy that rolls doubles and zips around the board?
    – ghoppe
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 19:35
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    Starting in Monopoly is certainly an advantage. One possible way to mitigate this is to reverse the order in rounds with even numbers. Say you have four players; A, B, C and D. In the first round they go in the ABCD order, in the second DCBA, in the third ABCD and so on. You can stop after say the third reversal or when everyone has passed Start once so that you do not always have to remember this. Or even better; you could bid money for starting first, second and so on, paying into the bank some of the starting money for the right to go first.
    – Halvard
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 11:23

enter image description here

Here is the 2 dice probability chart. Everyone has the same amount of chance rolling the dice and starting to buy property before going around the board seems more fair and equal for all players. Going around the board first, doesn't account for those who get stuck going to jail before passing go. I feel this "house rule" makes it unfair to the players who don't pass go first and allows the player that does able to win easier and quicker. Our house is divided by this rule. :'(

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    Welcome to the site, and thanks for your input! I'd recommend deleting the 2 dice probability chart from your answer - it's an enormous image that doesn't really add anything to your argument. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 5:29

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