Have you ever turned down a game of Monopoly because it takes too long? You’re not alone.
If you find that Monopoly is taking hours to play, there’s a good chance that you’re not following the rules correctly. This is a common mistake that can really slow things down.
However, if you’ve studied the rule book (or the rules section of this website) and you still find that a Monopoly game takes up too much of your time, then here are eight ways to play a quicker version of Monopoly…
How long does Monopoly take?
An average game of Monopoly should last for around 45 minutes. With only two players, the game will be quicker, but with four or more players it can take 90 minutes or more.
1. Use the correct rules!
A survey by Hasbro showed that 68% of Americans have never read the Monopoly rules. Not following the rules is the most common reason why Monopoly takes too long.
There are two commonly misunderstood rules that can add a lot of unnecessary time to the game…
The property auction rule
If you land on a property and choose not to buy it, the official rules state that the property must go to auction.
The property auction rule should not be skipped. This rule makes it a lot faster for every property in the game to be snapped up by somebody. If you just decide to pass, then you need to wait until someone else lands on it before that becomes a space where rent can be made.
If you travel around the road passing on properties and leaving them without an owner, your game is sure to take a long time.
Read more: Monopoly Auction Rules Explained
The Free Parking rule
Commonly, people throw money from fines in the center of the board, and then whoever lands on the Free Parking space wins a ton of cash. This is wrong! Free Parking should just be a rest space and nothing more.
While adding the unofficial Free Parking Rule is fun, it drags out the game. Because everyone is richer than they should be, it becomes harder to make someone bankrupt and end the game.
If you play with custom rules so that properties aren’t auctioned, or Free Parking nets you a windfall, you could be adding hours to your overall game time.
Take a look at more ways that you could be playing Monopoly wrong: 16 Little-known Monopoly Rules That Everyone Gets Wrong.
2. Play using the Short Game house rules
Some optional Monopoly rules can speed up your game. A popular set of house rules called Short Game can allow you to complete your Monopoly game in as little as 30 minutes.
There are three changed rules for a short game of Monopoly:
- Before the game starts: The banker deals each player two Title Deed cards at random. Players must pay the cash value for these properties to the bank, so initial cash reserves take a hit.
- During gameplay: Only three houses are needed to start buying hotels, rather than the usual four. Players can therefore accumulate more rent quickly.
- To end the game: Two players declare bankruptcy. Then, all remaining players tally up their assets, and the person with the most cash and property value wins. This is faster than the standard game which continues until only one player remains.
It’s not the tried and true way to play Monopoly, but these quick game rules are certainly a lot faster. [Source]
3. Get lucky!
There is a way that you can win a game on Monopoly extremely quickly but it is almost impossible to achieve.
Discovered by Daniel J. Myers, a professor of sociology at Notre Dame University, this theoretical game requires nine perfect dice rolls in a row, and for both the Community Chest and Chance cards to have the exact necessary card at the top of the pile.
Here’s how it works…
Player One begins and rolls double-6, landing on Electric Company. They do nothing and roll again. Another double-6 lands them on Illinois Avenue. At this point, they must auction the property and choose not to buy it. With their third role, they roll a nine and land on Community Chest, where they must draw the Bank Error card, gaining them $200.
Player Two then rolls a double two, landing on Income Tax and losing $200. They roll again with the double and roll an 11, landing on Pennsylvania Railroad, which they have to buy or win at auction. As long as Player One doesn’t spend their cash.
Player One takes their second turn and rolls double-2, landing on Park Place and buying it. Another roll thanks to the double must land on double-1, letting them buy Boardwalk. They roll again and roll any value that doesn’t land them on Chance or Income Tax. They collect $200 and use almost all their cash to buy two houses on Park Place and three on Boardwalk.
Player Two then rolls a seven, landing on Chance. They need to draw the “Advance to Boardwalk” card, where they’ll be asked to pay $1400. They won’t have the money and must declare bankruptcy.
You can see a demonstration of the shortest possible Monopoly game in this video…
There’s no better fast way to play Monopoly, though you might want another go once this short game ends. The odds for this are astronomical, so let us know if it ever happens to you!
4. Set a time limit
Before you start to play, agree on a definite time that the game will end. You may choose to play for only one hour, for example. Setting a timer on your watch or phone is a good idea so that you will be alerted when the time is up.
When the time runs out, count up the value of your cash, properties, buildings and any Get Out of Jail Free cards. The richest player will be declared the winner.
5. Use a speed die
The speed die was first added to Monopoly: The Mega Edition and is now included with other versions of Monopoly, including some variations of the Standard game. having a third die helps to get players around the board faster.
The speed die is numbered 1-3, then has Mr. Monopoly on two of the sides, and a Bus on the final side. Players roll it alongside the two regular dice.
Rolling a 1, 2, or 3
If a player rolls a 1, 2, or 3 then this is added to their total. The speed die doesn’t count towards doubles, but you can get a triple. Rolling a triple-1, triple-2, or triple-3 allows a player can move to any space they want to on the board. They don’t then roll again, though.
Rolling a Mr. Monopoly
If the player rolls Mr. Monopoly, they move normally according to the other dice and then move forward to the next unowned property to buy it or auction it. If all properties are owned, the player moves to the next unmortgaged property owned by an opponent.
Rolling a Bus
If the player uses the speed die to roll a Bus, they can choose whether to move the combined total of the two regular dice as normal, or to just move one or the other.
So, if a player rolls a three, a five, and a Bus, they can choose to move eight spaces as normal, or choose three or five spaces instead if that’s more beneficial.
By helping to move players to unowned property, and by letting players pick moves that suit them, the entire game is sped up considerably.
6. Play Monopoly Speed
Released in 2019, Monopoly Speed is a crazy version of the game that can be played in around 10 minutes. Instead of rolling one after another, every player plays simultaneously, doing as much as possible within a timed turn. When the timed round ends, trades can occur.
Free Parking has been replaced with a second Go space for boosted cash, and Chance and Community Chest values are enhanced too.
The game ends after four rounds so it won’t ever take too long, providing you don’t negotiate trades for hours on end. It’s frantic, fun, and a great fast version of Monopoly to enjoy.
7. Play Monopoly Millionaire
Monopoly Millionaire is another version of the game that can be played much quicker. That’s because the goal is just to be the first person to become a millionaire, with prices hiked up to make this goal achievable in around 20 minutes or so.
It’s helped by having a streamlined board. There are no railroads, no utilities, and no tax spaces. So you’ll be able to acquire full sets much quicker and charge a lot of rent to your opponents. It’s a game that’ll end quickly, and hopefully in your favor.
8. Play Monopoly Ultimate Banking
The main feature of Monopoly Ultimate Banking is that it doesn’t use cash, but instead tracks players’ money digitally. The game naturally runs a lot more quickly because you don’t need to keep track of your money and hand over physical cash.
On top of that though, the rules are also adjusted to speed up the gameplay even further. Only one house can be added to a property, and the rent rises every time someone lands on it. The technology of digital banking and these new rules encourage fast play, so a ‘long’ game of the Ultimate Banking edition should last no more than an hour.
9. Play Monopoly Deal
If the most important thing to you is a game with quick rules, and you don’t need it to be too close to traditional gameplay, then Monopoly Deal could be perfect. It’s a card game, rather than a board game, where you collect properties, make trades and use action cards to swing the tide.
A normal game lasts for around 15 minutes, and it has the benefit of being great as a travel game too. So if you’re on vacation, take a copy of Monopoly Deal with you and you can enjoy all the fun of Monopoly in short bursts.
FAQs about playing Monopoly fast
A game of Monopoly should last no longer than 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the number of players and the way the game unfolds. Most people slow the game down by forgetting to auction unbought properties, or by giving players cash for landing on Free Parking.
According to official records, the longest game of Monopoly lasted for 54 hours. It was played between four friends across three days in 1975.
The game lasted so long because a house rule was added, allowing players to loan from the bank. Some websites list a 70-day record but no evidence of the game is given.
The quickest way to play Monopoly is to use the Short Game rules:
1. Everyone is dealt two properties at the start of the game (and must pay for them)
2. Hotels can be bought with only three houses
3. After the second bankruptcy, the game ends, and whoever has the highest value assets wins
If you play Monopoly by the standard rules then the game will end in under two hours. Don’t add fines as a Free Parking reward, and make sure to auction off properties that players choose not to buy. Most games will last less than 90 minutes.
If you follow the Short Game house rules then a game of Monopoly shouldn’t take more than a half-hour. You can also set a timer for 30 minutes and whoever has the most assets when the time is up is declared the winner.
There is a 1 in 253,899,891,671,040 chance that a game of Monopoly lasts 21 seconds. It needs one player to buy Park Place and Boardwalk on only their second turn, building three houses on Boardwalk, and the opponent landing on it due to a Chance card.
The bottom line
For most people, the best way to play Monopoly faster is to just follow the intended rules. Using unofficial House Rules is the main reason why Monopoly takes so long for most people.
Even when you follow the rules, Monopoly can still take a while, especially when more than three people are playing. If you don’t have 90 minutes in which to play then there are alternative versions out there that you can pick up with fast rules.
Remember, Monopoly doesn’t have to be played as a board game, so you may also want to take a look at these cool Monopoly video games.