Monopoly Opening Moves: Setting the Stage for Victory

Monopoly, the classic board game that has entertained families and friends for generations, is more than just a game of luck and negotiation. It’s a strategic journey where every decision matters. One of the most critical phases of the game is the opening moves. Making the right choices in the early turns can set the stage for a victorious endgame. In this article, we’ll explore key advice on how to make the best opening moves in Monopoly to secure a winning position.

1. Prioritize Property Acquisition

From the first roll of the dice, your primary focus should be property acquisition. Properties are the cornerstone of your Monopoly empire, and the more you own, the better your chances of securing valuable sets and obtaining a strategic advantage. Don’t hesitate to buy properties you land on, especially in the early turns.

2. Focus on Color Sets

Not all property sets are created equal. Some sets have higher rent values and greater development potential. In the opening moves, prioritize acquiring properties that complete color sets. Owning all properties within a color group gives you a monopoly, allowing you to develop them more efficiently and increasing your rent income.

3. Aim for High-Value Sets

While completing any color set is advantageous, it’s particularly beneficial to aim for high-value sets. For instance, the orange properties (St. James Place, Tennessee Avenue, and New York Avenue) have relatively low acquisition costs and offer solid rent income. Similarly, the red properties (Kentucky Avenue, Indiana Avenue, and Illinois Avenue) are excellent choices due to their high rent potential.

4. Balance Your Portfolio

Diversifying your property portfolio is a prudent move. Instead of focusing solely on one set, aim for a balanced collection of properties from different sets. A balanced portfolio reduces your vulnerability to opponents who may target a specific set, making it more challenging for them to complete it.

5. Know the Utility of Railroads

The four railroad spaces (Reading Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, B. & O. Railroad, and Short Line) are often underestimated in the opening moves. These properties provide a steady source of income, especially as the game progresses. Don’t overlook the opportunity to acquire a railroad or two if the opportunity arises.

6. Monitor Your Opponents

Understanding your opponents’ strategies and positions is crucial. Pay attention to their property acquisitions, their financial situation, and their objectives. If you notice an opponent is actively pursuing a particular set, you can adjust your strategy to compete for those properties or attempt to form a strategic alliance to complete the set together.

7. Be Cautious with Property Development

While property development can lead to higher rental income, it’s not always the right move in the opening moves. Houses and hotels are expensive to build, and spreading your resources too thin can leave you vulnerable. Wait for the right moment to develop properties, especially if you own all or most of the properties in a set, as this can significantly increase your rent income.

8. Maintain a Cash Cushion

It’s essential to keep a cash reserve in the opening moves. Unexpected expenses, such as landing on opponents’ high-rent properties or paying taxes, can arise. Having a financial cushion allows you to navigate these challenges without jeopardizing your position in the game.

9. Avoid Mortgage Desperation

Mortgaging properties can provide a short-term cash boost, but it should be used sparingly and strategically. Avoid mortgaging properties recklessly, as this can leave you in a vulnerable position, unable to participate in trades or pay off opponents when necessary. Mortgage properties only when you have a clear plan for how to use the proceeds.

10. Form Temporary Alliances

In Monopoly, forming temporary alliances can be beneficial, especially in the opening moves. Collaborate with other players to complete sets, block opponents from acquiring properties they need, or secure favorable trades. Be prepared to adapt and change alliances as the game progresses.

11. Keep an Eye on the Endgame

While it’s essential to focus on the opening moves, you should also keep an eye on the endgame. Consider the potential development opportunities, the scarcity of certain properties, and the value of specific color sets. Planning ahead will help you make informed decisions that align with your long-term strategy.

12. Don’t Rush Property Development

In the opening moves, there’s no need to rush property development. While it’s tempting to build houses or hotels as soon as possible, it’s often wiser to bide your time. Wait until you have a stable financial position and a clear plan for development. This ensures that your resources are used most efficiently.

13. Analyze Property ROI

Consider the return on investment (ROI) for each property you acquire. Some properties have higher rent income relative to their purchase price, making them more attractive in the opening moves. Analyze the ROI of each potential acquisition to make informed choices.

14. Capitalize on Opponent Mistakes

Watch for opportunities to capitalize on opponent mistakes. If an opponent mortgages valuable properties or fails to secure properties they need to complete a set, use this to your advantage. Be ready to make attractive trade offers that benefit you and exploit their strategic lapses.


The opening moves in Monopoly are the foundation upon which your game is built. By prioritizing property acquisition, focusing on color sets, aiming for high-value sets, and balancing your property portfolio, you can establish a strong initial position. Monitor your opponents, be cautious with property development, maintain a cash cushion, and avoid mortgage desperation.

Form temporary alliances, keep an eye on the endgame, and don’t rush property development. Analyze property ROI to make informed decisions, and be ready to capitalize on opponent mistakes. With these strategies, you can set the stage for victory and work toward becoming the ultimate property tycoon in the world of Monopoly. So, the next time you embark on a Monopoly adventure, remember that the opening moves are your opportunity to establish a strong foundation for a successful journey around the board.

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