Monopoly is one of the truly great games to play with family and friends, but what about when it’s a quieter night with only two of you – can you still have fun with Monopoly? Is it even possible?
It might surprise you but while Monopoly is best for three or more players, it still has a lot of value for just two people. You can even play Monopoly on your own if you wanted to, although two-player Monopoly is preferred.
With this guide, you’ll see just how easy it is to make Monopoly fun when you’re playing with just one other player.
Can you play Monopoly with two players?
You can play Monopoly with two players. Indeed, the classic board game is designed for 2-6 players, as it states on the box. Games with two players tend to be faster because fewer players are competing for each full color set.
And if your other player isn’t someone you live with and they can’t visit, then there are various (official and unofficial) versions of Monopoly you can play online either through your smartphone or on a laptop, PC, or games console.
Most versions of Monopoly work with two players, but some might not, and some might work but just be trickier. A great example is the Cheaters Edition – it’s a lot harder to cheat when you’ve got one player to watch you like a hawk, and nobody else to distract them!
There are, however, special versions of Monopoly such as Monopoly Rivals, that are designed specifically for two players.
How do you play two-player Monopoly?
When playing by the official rules, two-player Monopoly is played exactly the same as any other version of Monopoly. The rules and starting money don’t change to account for the smaller game. Games with two players tend to last 30 minutes but can go for much longer.
A lot of people find that playing two-player Monopoly with the standard rules can drag on too long, so some people prefer to change some of the rules or follow an unofficial set of rules for two players – more on that later.
How much money do you start with in Monopoly with two players?
In two-player Monopoly using the official rules, you start with $1500 just as you would in any other game. This is divided as 2 x $500, 2 x $100, 2 x $50, 6 x $20, 5 x $10, 5 x $5, and 5 x $1.
All of the official rules for two-player Monopoly are exactly the same.
Because there are fewer players, it means there is less money involved in the game overall. Consider – a game with four players has $6000 total in-play at the start, compared to just $3000 for a two-player game.
The total value of all properties on a standard Monopoly board is $5830, so with two players you’ll need to pass Go a combined seven times to get enough money into play for all properties to be bought at face value, and that doesn’t include any taxes paid to the bank, nor does it allow for house or hotel purchases.
So, in two-player Monopoly, auctions become a lot more tactical.
You might pass on buying a property you want outright, in the hope that your opponent doesn’t want to bid too high. And if the other player has low cash reserves, you can send every property you land on to auction and potentially win them all for well below their actual value.
How long is two-player Monopoly?
A two-player game of Monopoly tends to take between 30-45 minutes on average, but it can run for much longer depending on which properties are bought and the luck of the roll. Games with more players average 45 minutes to an hour.
The problem with two-player games is that, if there are no monopolies, small amounts of rent can pass backward and forwards between players for a long time. These games can become a little tedious if nothing happens to break the cycle.
How to play two-player Monopoly online
If you want to play Monopoly online, there are various ways you can do it. The easiest and cheapest is to use a free unofficial game like Rento, which has a lot of customizable rules and is stripped back graphically, so games tend to run really quickly.
If you prefer the official experience, you can buy a Monopoly video game on PC or on games consoles. You’ll need to use the same platform as the other player – you can’t have one of you playing on Xbox and the other on PlayStation.
Mobile is another option – the official Monopoly game on iOS and Android is multiplayer and lets you invite your friends.
And the benefit of these options is that you can invite other players to play too if you don’t want to just play a two-player game. You don’t need to know them – if you only have two players, you can get random Monopoly fans to play alongside you if you prefer. Or stick to two players, it’s up to you.
Or, if you want to be really cute but also a little more thorough, why not both set up a board at home, and then video call each other? You’ll get the traditional experience and you’ll just need to keep track of each other’s moves. Definitely more hard work, but for Monopoly lovers, it’s really fun.
Is Monopoly fun with two players?
Monopoly is fun with two players, provided you don’t get stuck in a loop of passing rent back and forth with no one taking a clear edge. When that happens, it’s not great. Unofficial house rules can help keep the game nice and snappy.
How to make two-player Monopoly more fun
1. Play with real money
Any version of Monopoly played with real money adds a little more edge and excitement, especially if you’re playing for keeps.
Swapping real money for Monopoly money is easy, but make sure you’re sensible with your values. You might want to treat a Monopoly dollar as a real-life cent so that $15 is your starting amount instead of $1500.
If you can comfortably afford to play with $1500 each (and losing that sum doesn’t bother you) then well done on winning at life, and have fun!
2. Strip Monopoly
Strip Monopoly is one way of making two-player games a lot more fun – and you’re more likely to enjoy it if you only have to strip in front of your partner.
It works the same as the main game, but clothes have a cash value, and whoever loses all their money and clothes is the loser. Good fun for date night.
3. Use different rules
The official Monopoly rules aren’t optimized for two players, so using different rules can speed things along and make it more fun.
Choose your own, or use the “SP” rules, which are a set created by two fans called Samson and Patrick. These rules are really popular and do make it a lot more fun for two players.
- Players start with $1000 instead of $1500
- To avoid someone rolling doubles and getting a huge advantage on turn one, both players roll one die. The player with the higher value moves the combined total. So if player one rolls 5 and player two rolls 3, player one goes first and moves 8. Then player two rolls as normal
- Community Chest and Chance card values are halved
- You can buy houses on properties even if you don’t have the full color set, but only if you land on the property, and two houses maximum. You can’t place two houses in this way at once. And when you own the color set, you have to build as normal, including even building across the properties
4. Stop playing when it’s obvious who will win
The best suggestion is to stop the game when one player has a huge advantage. Otherwise, games can run for a long time – you’d be surprised how long one player can survive on small rent collections.
There are some other ways you can speed up a game of Monopoly here: How to Play Monopoly Faster.
The best Monopoly games for two players
When you’re playing with only two people, Classic Monopoly isn’t the best version. Take a look at these Monopoly games which are a little more fun when there are only two of you playing…
1. Monopoly Rivals
Monopoly Rivals is a version of the game designed specifically for two players. It strips back the game to remove railroads and utilities, and each color set has only two properties. It’s a lot faster to play which does make it a lot more fun.
You can read more about Monopoly Rivals in my Monopoly Rivals Review.
2. Monopoly Speed
This version of Monopoly has players taking their turn at once, with only four timed turns in the game. It’s impossible for games to last a long time, and so is ideal for two players who just want a frenetic experience.
3. Monopoly Junior
If you’re playing two-player Monopoly with your kid, Monopoly Junior is a good option. Not only does it have lower cash values and cute properties to keep the child engaged, but similar to Rivals it’s a bit more stripped back so games should run faster with two players.
4. Monopoly Deal
While not a full version of Monopoly, this popular card game is ideal if you just want a quick game of something that’s in the spirit of the board game. It works really well for two players too, but you can easily add in other players when you have more friends available.
Why not check out the most popular Monopoly games to get some more ideas?
The bottom line
Monopoly is a game best played with three to four players, but two players can have a lot of fun still. You might want to add your own twist to the rules to keep games from dragging on too long, but you don’t need to, and many two-player games are nice and brisk.
So, whether you just live with your partner, or one of the kids is suddenly too old and ‘cool’ to join in with games night, you won’t have problems making Monopoly enjoyable even if it is just you and one other player.