Improving Monopoly

Monopoly is one of the most popular board games in the world, known and played by millions. It also has a reputation as the most frustrating board game in the world. While a good game of Monopoly can be great fun, there are many games that drag on for far too long, especially when some players are so far behind they know they’re going to lose, but still have to keep rolling turn after turn until it happens.

Many people have introduced their own house rules, designed to make the game quicker or less frustrating, such as giving everyone three properties at random when the game starts, or ending the game after the first bankruptcy, rather than waiting till all but one person is bankrupt. Parker Brothers even got in on the act, creating a special version of Monopoly that has a “Speed Die”.

Well, I recently had my own idea for how the game of Monopoly could be juiced up a little. It’s a very simple tweak of the rules, but one that would cause the game to play very differently, and hopefully make it more fun.

In a standard game of Monopoly, you roll two dice each turn, and the sum of the dice is how many spaces you move your piece around the board. If you roll a 1 and a 3, you move four spaces; if you roll a 5 and a 6, you move eleven spaces. My idea is that, you roll two dice, but instead choose one die, and move the number of spaces it shows. So if you roll a 1 and a 6, you can choose to move either one space or six spaces.

The exception is if you roll doubles; then you can choose either to move the number of spaces shown on each die, or add the two numbers together and move that many spaces. So, if you rolled two 5s, you could choose to move either five spaces or ten spaces.

This would have two major impacts on the game. First is that it’d give the players more to do. Often in Monopoly, if there aren’t any trades you can make or houses you can buy, you’re left rolling the dice and moving your piece mechanically, with no control over what happens. But this rule change would mean that, every turn, there’s always a choice to make, and different strategies and playstyles you could follow. Having something besides random chance control how you move your piece, I feel like it’d make the game more engaging.

The other big impact I foresee? Like many proposed Monopoly revisions, it could make the game take less time. Since you will, on average, be moving fewer spaces each turn, it’ll take you a lot longer to make your way around the board. That may seem counterintuitive to quick play, except it means you’ll be passing Go and collecting $200 a lot less often. Without those infusions of cash, people could go bankrupt a lot more easily. That’s the theory, anyway.

I haven’t had the chance to play Monopoly this way with anyone yet, but I thought I’d share it with people here. Do you think this would be a fun twist on the game? Is there some glaring problem with this idea that I’ve missed? Do you have your own ideas for how Monopoly’s rules could be shaken up a little? I’d love to hear from you all!