Monopoly can sometimes get a bad rap. A lot of people complain about playing the game because “it takes way too long”. And the thing is, Monopoly games can last a very long time – if you don’t follow the rules properly.
Which is a common problem. However, if you actually play Monopoly by the rules that you’re supposed to, most games aren’t super-long.
Sure it’s not normally a game that’s over in 10 minutes, but do you want a board game to end that quickly?
Let’s take a look at how long a game of Monopoly should actually take.
How long does it take to play Monopoly?
When playing by the normal Monopoly rules, a game of Monopoly will last for around 45 minutes on average. Games with fewer players are faster, but games with four or more players may last a while longer.
There are a number of reasons why the number of players impacts the speed of a game. Firstly just from a practical perspective – passing the dice back and forth, more players bidding on auctions, and thinking time in general, means that it just takes longer for each player to complete their turn.
But the key to a game of Monopoly is completing color sets – and the more players there are, the increased likelihood that each set will be split between players, making it harder to get a full set and start building the houses and hotels that can wipe a player out.
How long does a 2 player game of Monopoly take?
A two-player game of Monopoly will normally last for an average of 30-45 minutes. They aren’t extremely quick as you still need time to gather property sets and build houses and hotels, but with fewer players, you can get through turns quicker.
It also means that a lot of the practical elements of Monopoly are much quicker. Auctions for properties don’t bounce back and forth between lots of different people. There aren’t longer pauses between everyone taking their turn. And trades are much more straightforward since you always know who you are dealing with.
How long does Monopoly take with 3 players?
A game of Monopoly with three players will take an average of 45 minutes but could last longer – up to 60 minutes would be unsurprising. Games could run longer on occasion but it would require players to each have a stake in every color set.
As long as one player can get control of a full color set, a game of Monopoly will start to speed up. Other players will see that player building and will start trades in order to get their own color set.
And as soon as there are houses and hotels on the board, money exchanges hands in larger quantities and the risk of going bankrupt increases, leading to the end of the game.
How long does Monopoly take with 4 players?
A 4-player game of Monopoly will last for between 60 and 90 minutes on average. Considered by many to be the optimal number, a game with 4 players ensures turns rotate relatively quickly but there are ample opportunities for trades to get complete color sets.
As you add more players to a game of Monopoly, people tend to become more flexible with their trading options. But of course, it also means that things like auctions take longer as there are more people to bid.
As long as you follow the rules though, there’ll be enough money leaving the game that by around the 45-minute mark someone will be either bankrupt or not far off, in most games. And that opens up the opportunity for someone to capitalise and get into a dominant position where they can secure the win.
How long does Monopoly take with 6 players?
A game of Monopoly with 6 players will likely last between 2 and 2.5 hours. When you have 6 players, the chances of getting a complete color set are massively reduced, meaning it takes longer to get to a higher stakes game with houses and hotels.
Also, having 6 players just means that some of the basics take longer. Once you’ve had your turn, you need to wait for 5 other players to take their turn before you get another go. And if someone declines to buy a property, those auctions can drag on a little bit.
And if we get really into the practicalities of a game, the more players there are, the higher the chances of someone holding things up with a bathroom break or topping up their snacks.
How long was the shortest game of Monopoly?
The shortest game of Monopoly involves two players, a very specific set of dice rolls and the right Community Chest and Chance cards being at the top of the deck. Lasting just 21 seconds, this is a theoretical game, rather than one which was actually played out.
The game involves a player getting the perfect set of circumstances to be able to buy Park Place and Boardwalk, and buy houses, within two turns, and the second player bankrupting themselves by landing on Boardwalk in their second turn. The odds are 1 in 253 trillion of the game happening by chance (source).
Technically, a game could end faster – if a player decided to retire immediately after starting.
How long was the longest game of Monopoly?
There is no official record for the longest game of Monopoly ever, at least according to the Guinness World Records, but it is generally accepted that the longest game lasted for 70 straight days and took 1,680 hours. Hasbro gives this as their answer for the longest game.
Various other games have lasted a long time too, including a 50-day game held underwater, and a 99-hour game held in a bathtub.
Why does Monopoly go on forever?
The usual reason that Monopoly tends to go on forever is that people don’t follow the official rules. However, it is a chance-based game and sometimes proper games can last a long time just due to bad luck.
The most common rule that people adopt which extends the game is putting fines on the Free Parking space and allowing people to collect this money when they land on that space. This slows things down immensely because it keeps money in the game, which enables people to pay rent when they shouldn’t be able to.
Also, if you don’t want to buy a property, it has to go to auction. Someone must own that property at the end of the turn. If you leave it unsold, games take a lot more time because color sets will never be completed.
If you stick to the rules, games will be a lot faster.
Read more: How to play Monopoly faster
Different Monopoly Versions
There are various different versions of Monopoly, some of which take longer than regular Monopoly. Here’s a look at some of the most popular options.
A typical game of Monopoly Builder will last for between 60 and 120 minutes. The game sees you using builder’s blocks to build up properties, with the height of the building at the end of the game awarding points.
Monopoly Junior is a simplified version of Monopoly with fewer properties. As such, games tend to be shorter, lasting an average of 30 minutes or less with 2-3 players. Adding more players could extend the game to around 45 minutes.
Monopoly Cheaters Edition
The Monopoly Cheaters Edition is a faster game which ends when all properties have been bought and players have returned to Go. Games tend to last between 30 and 45 minutes, on average.
Monopoly Ultimate Banking
A typical game of Monopoly Ultimate banking lasts for 30 minutes. There’s no cash to exchange as everything is handled with the banking tool, no trades can take place, and houses can be built without owning a full color set.
Monopoly Super Mario
Games of Monopoly Super Mario vary in length but average at around 60 minutes. The game uses coins instead of Monopoly Money, with much lower values, meaning it’s easier to bankrupt each other. But the Question Block can award bonus coins as well.
Monopoly Longest Game Ever
There’s no average for how long a game of Monopoly Longest Game Ever takes, but expect it to last for many hours. To win, you have to own all the properties on the board – and there are 66 in total. Extra rules mean it’s harder to go bankrupt, and there is only a single die.
Monopoly Deal is a card game that is aimed at providing a taste of the Monopoly experience but in a fraction of the time – typically games will only last 15 minutes at most, and are designed to be enjoyed with multiple rounds.
Read more: Monopoly Deal rules
Monopoly’s reputation as a game that takes too long to play isn’t justified because the vast majority of games will be completed within the hour – as long as you actually read the rules and play properly.
Occasional games may last longer, but these are the exception. So make sure you’re up to date with how to play Monopoly, including some of the little-known Monopoly rules, and you won’t be bored by the end of your game.