Hasbro's Monopoly House Rules Debate

Hasbro, owner of the Monopoly game, has decided to create an edition of its game that will include one house rule, which will be chosen through debate on its Facebook page from a group of ten proposed rules. Specifically, these:

The ‘House Rules’ included in the Great MONOPOLY ‘House Rules’ Debate are:

Gotta admit, the only ones I’ve heard of are the first, second, and ninth ones, and the ninth one - once around the board before you can buy properties - was always more along the lines of someone saying they’d heard that was a rule, with everyone else immediately saying, “what are you talking about - there’s no such rule!” but I’ve never encountered anyone saying it was a house rule they liked.

I think if houses and hotels on individual properties are allowed, they ought to change the name of the game, because if you don’t need a monopoly, why call it ‘Monopoly’? And some of the proposals are just plain silly, like $500 for snake eyes, or for three players on three consecutive properties.

My proposals would be to (a) dispose of limits on the total amount of cash and houses/hotels in the game, and (b) allow multiple hotels on the same property, with the rents adjusted accordingly. (E.g. three hotels on Baltic raises the rent to 3*$450 = $1350.)

Getting rid of the cash/house/hotel limits would be in keeping with how the game was actually played as I was growing up: you’d have older Monopoly sets where some of the cards/deeds/pieces had gone missing, and when you bought a new set, you’d just consolidate the cash, houses, and hotels from the old set into the new set. It wasn’t a ‘house rule’; it was just something everyone did.

The multiple hotels on a property house rule (which was one I usually instigated, but was popular with the other kids I played with) was a response to the reality that quite often, you’d get to a point where each of the remaining players had good monopolies, and equally important, too much cash to bankrupt in two or three unlucky trips around the board when the maximum rent anywhere was $2000, and was much less over most of the board.

Each remaining player would have all this extra money, but no way to employ it to bankrupt their opponents. So the money would just kind of slosh back and forth.

But if everybody agreed to unlimited building on a property, you could put ten hotels on each of the light blues if you had the monopoly and the cash, and charge $6000 in rent if they landed on Connecticut Avenue. And once you could do things like that, you could really hurt an opponent - or he could hurt you, if you’d sunk too much of your money into those thirty hotels, and you didn’t have much left over to pay the rent on Marvin Gardens with four hotels when you landed there.

So, your turn: what do you think of the various proposed house rules? Have you encountered many of them before? What rules should there be, that aren’t part of the official debate?

Honestly? I like the rules as the are. The “Free Parking” money house rule I absolutely hate. It drags out the game and erodes any skill involved in the game. I also like the ability to create housing shortages, so I wouldn’t change that. Of that bunch, inter-player loans sounds like the least bad to me. The whole game centers around wheeling and dealing with other players, and adding more options for creative deals seems to work with the game mechanic.

The extra money rules that so many people love so much are the reason why everyone hates the game so much. You want to know why the game always takes 9 hours to finish? It’s because everyone’s getting oodles of money, so nobody can ever go bankrupt.

I like the Cash Advance rule, and in fact thought that it was already in the rules. The rest, though, mostly inject too much money, too much randomness, or both.

Nope, unless they changed it, the rules specifically prohibit players loaning money to each other. Only the bank can loan, and that’s via mortgaging.

Free Parking and having to go around once before buying were the way that I always played. I knew about the Land on Go rule but never played that way. The others I never heard of.

As a child, I used to always play with rules 1, 2, and sometimes 9 if someone insisted on it (but I never much liked that one - just seemed to be a waste of time, and if someone goes to jail on their first time round, it can pretty much wipe out their chances of winning unless they get very lucky later on). I think it was on this board some time ago that I saw someone make the same point as Chronos in this thread, and I have ditched rules 1 and 2 ever since.

For the others on the list, 3 wouldn’t make a lot of difference, but does change the tactics a bit - in the normal rules, in can be beneficial to spend three turns in jail collecting rent so that you have enough money to pay other people when you get out. So I’d be prepared to experiment with that one.

4 and 5 don’t really add anything to the game except randomness, and it’s random enough already. 6 just sounds like it would be too complicated to administer, I’m not a fan. 7 and 8 are just awful (unless you like the idea of ripping all the money apart within about 3 games, or your mum is a total prima donna, respectively). And I agree with the previous comments about 10 - it changes the game too much, and half the fun of the game (and much of the skill) consists of wheeling and dealing with other players in order to get a full set.

So if I had to vote for one, it would probably be 3. Of course, the whole exercise is just designed to make Hasbro more money rather than genuinely improving the game.

Speaking of the latter, I played a version of Monopoly recently which had a new version of the shortened game, which involved an extra die. It certainly did the job, and while one of the moves involving the extra die didn’t do much, others did (there was a certain combo where you were allowed to move to the next unowned property, which of course massively speeded up the process of buying all the properties and getting full sets). I would say it made for a good game and I’d play it again - the whole thing was over within 2 hours (with 4 players). Anyone else played it?

ETA: I would also be interested in playing a game that allowed more than one hotel on a property, but still with restricted numbers of buildings - or do you need unlimited numbers of buildings to make it work properly?

I’m familiar with the first, second, third, sixth, ninth, and 10th rules.

I don’t like the “Free Parking = Cash” one because it prolongs the game too much, but it’s so common I think it’s become a de facto Official Rule and will probably be the one which gets added to the game.

I’m quite fond of the 10th rule because, especially in larger games, it can take ages to get a complete set of properties - I’ve played at least one game where nobody had a complete set of properties and for various intra-game political reasons wasn’t willing to trade. Having houses up sooner might have started draining people’s Monopoly Money reserves a lot faster and made the game flow better.

I’ve played with various house rules over the years and will only use one that I made up*. Whoever is the start player keeps track and once he’s circumnavigated the board 25 times, the game is over. It does change the timbre of the game knowing that there’s a finite amount of turns and it also doesn’t involve as much table flipping at the end too.

*By “made up” I mean a rule that I had never heard of anyone else playing. My idea isn’t that novel.