Monopoly Game Setup: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Monopoly, the iconic board game known for its wheeling and dealing, property acquisitions, and financial strategy, has been a beloved classic for generations. If you’re new to the world of Monopoly or need a refresher on how to set up the game, this step-by-step guide is here to help you get started. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to kick off a Monopoly game night with friends and family. Let’s dive into the world of property, cash, and strategy!

Understanding the Basics of Monopoly

Before we jump into the setup process, let’s quickly go over the fundamental aspects of Monopoly:

  • Game Board: The Monopoly game board consists of 40 spaces, including properties, Chance and Community Chest cards, and other key locations.
  • Tokens: Each player selects a token to represent themselves on the board. Tokens come in various shapes and sizes, such as the classic dog, thimble, or racecar.
  • Money: Players use Monopoly bills in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 to buy properties, pay rent, and make various transactions.
  • Property Cards: Properties are divided into color groups, each with its own set of deeds. Players can buy, trade, and develop these properties with houses and hotels to increase their rent value.
  • Houses and Hotels: As you accumulate properties within a color group, you can invest in houses and later upgrade to hotels, increasing your rent income.
  • Community Chest and Chance Cards: Landing on these spaces involves drawing cards that can have both positive and negative effects, adding an element of chance to the game.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Monopoly, let’s proceed with the step-by-step setup.

Step 1: Unfold the Game Board

Begin by unfolding the Monopoly game board and placing it in the center of your playing area. Ensure that all players have a clear view of the board.

Step 2: Assign Tokens

Each player selects their preferred token to represent them on the board. Tokens range from classic to more modern options, including everything from a top hat to a penguin. Choose the one that resonates with you or let each player pick their favorite.

Step 3: Distribute Starting Money

In Monopoly, each player begins with an initial amount of money. This starting amount is $1,500, and you can distribute it as follows:

  • Two $500 bills
  • Four $100 bills
  • One $50 bill
  • One $20 bill
  • Two $10 bills
  • One $5 bill
  • Five $1 bills

Make sure each player has their starting money organized and easily accessible.

Step 4: Place Tokens and Property Cards

Now, position your selected tokens on the “Go” space, which is at the bottom left corner of the board. As you set up the board, ensure that each player’s chosen token is in its designated spot.

Shuffle the Chance and Community Chest cards separately and place them face down on their respective spaces on the board.

Step 5: Randomly Determine the First Player

To decide who goes first, you can use various methods. Some players roll the dice, and the highest roll gets the first turn, while others may opt for a coin toss or a simple agreement among players. The player going first will roll the dice and move according to the outcome, beginning the game.

Understanding Property Ownership and Gameplay

As the game progresses, players take turns rolling the dice, moving around the board, and purchasing properties they land on. The objective is to accumulate property sets, develop them with houses and hotels, and ultimately bankrupt opponents.

Players can also engage in trading with one another, negotiate deals, and aim to create a monopoly within color groups to maximize their rent income.


Monopoly is a fantastic board game that combines elements of strategy, negotiation, and luck. As you become more experienced, you’ll discover various strategies and tactics to enhance your gameplay. With this step-by-step guide, you’re ready to embark on your Monopoly journey. Gather your friends and family, set up the game, and let the property dealings and financial wheeling and dealing begin. Have fun, and may the best tycoon win!

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