Monopoly for Absolute Beginners: First Steps in the Game


Monopoly, the classic board game loved by people of all ages, offers an exciting world of strategy, negotiation, and property management. If you’re an absolute beginner with no prior knowledge of the game, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the very basics of Monopoly, ensuring you have a strong foundation to start your journey into the world of this beloved game.

1. Setting Up the Game

Before you start playing Monopoly, it’s essential to set up the game board and understand its components. Here are the first steps to getting started:

  • Unbox the game board and unfold it on a flat surface.
  • Place the Chance and Community Chest cards in their respective spaces on the board.
  • Shuffle the Chance and Community Chest cards separately and place them face down.
  • Put the houses and hotels next to the board, ready for purchase and use.
  • Each player chooses a token (e.g., a dog, car, or ship) and places it on the “Go” space.
  • The youngest player typically goes first, but you can choose another method to determine the starting player.

2. Basic Game Components

Understanding the basic components of Monopoly is crucial for beginners. Let’s take a look at the key elements of the game:

  • The Game Board: The Monopoly board consists of 40 spaces, including 28 properties, 2 utilities, 4 railroads, and various special spaces like “Go,” “Jail,” “Free Parking,” and “Go to Jail.”
  • Property Cards: Each property on the board has a corresponding property card. Property cards display the property’s name, purchase price, rent values, and mortgage value.
  • Money: Monopoly is all about managing money. The game includes play money in various denominations, including $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, and $500 bills.
  • Houses and Hotels: These represent property development. Houses are used to upgrade properties and increase rent. When you have four houses on a property, you can exchange them for a hotel.
  • Dice: Monopoly is played with two six-sided dice. Roll them to determine your moves around the board.

3. The Objective

The objective of Monopoly is simple: be the last player standing with money and properties while bankrupting your opponents. To achieve this, you’ll need to acquire properties, build houses and hotels on them, and collect rent from other players when they land on your properties.

4. Starting Your Turn

Your turn begins by rolling the dice. To roll the dice, take both and give them a good shake. Move your token clockwise around the board by the number of spaces indicated by the dice.

5. Property Ownership

When you land on an unowned property, you have the option to purchase it. If you choose to buy the property, pay the purchase price to the bank, and the property card becomes your ownership.

6. Paying Rent

If you land on a property owned by another player, you must pay rent. The rent amount is determined by the property card. Pay the rent to the property’s owner, and they should acknowledge the payment by taking the money.

7. Community Chest and Chance Cards

There are two special spaces on the board: “Community Chest” and “Chance.” When you land on these spaces, draw the top card from the respective deck. These cards can have various effects, including receiving or paying money, advancing to a specific space, or even going directly to jail.

8. Jail

The “Jail” space is located in one corner of the board. You can land on it, or you might get there through a card effect. While in jail, you can’t move around the board or collect rent. You have three options:

  • Pay $50 to get out immediately.
  • Attempt to roll doubles with the dice during your next turn. If you succeed, you’re released.
  • Stay in jail until your third turn, at which point you must pay $50 and then roll the dice.

9. Property Development

One of the core strategies in Monopoly is property development. When you own all properties within a color group, you can start building houses on them. The first house costs the least, and the price increases with each subsequent house. After adding four houses to a property, you can upgrade to a hotel. Property development significantly increases the rent other players must pay when landing on your properties.

10. Trading and Negotiation

Monopoly is not just about buying and upgrading properties; it’s also about negotiation and trade. You can make deals with other players to acquire properties, form sets, and obtain properties that complete color groups. Negotiation is a key element of the game and can greatly impact your success.

11. Bankruptcy and Elimination

If you’re unable to pay your debts or mortgage your properties to cover your debts, you are considered bankrupt. When a player goes bankrupt, they must relinquish their assets, including properties and money, to the players they owe. The game continues without the eliminated player, and the last player remaining wins.

12. Winning the Game

To win Monopoly, you must be the last player standing with properties and money. When all other players are bankrupt and have relinquished their assets, you are declared the winner.


Monopoly is a timeless board game that provides hours of entertainment and challenges for players of all levels. As an absolute beginner, understanding the basics of the game, such as property ownership, rent, development, and negotiation, is key to enjoying your Monopoly experience. With these fundamental steps, you’re well on your way to mastering the world of Monopoly and competing with friends and family for supremacy in the world of property and finance. So, gather your loved ones, set up the board, and embark on your Monopoly adventure today!

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