Released in 2020, Monopoly Bid is the latest card game from Hasbro that tries to take the winning formula of Monopoly and condense it down into a fast game that can be played on the go or when you only have a small amount of time.
It’s pretty successful too – of course, it’s nothing like playing the real Monopoly, but it’s a fun game.
But how do you play it? Is it just an updated version of Monopoly Deal, or is it its own game with its own rules?
In this guide, I’ll explain all the rules you need to know about playing Monopoly Bid, along with some tactical advice if you want to make sure you’re winning more rounds than you lose.
Is Monopoly Bid the same as Monopoly Deal?
Monopoly Bid and Monopoly Deal are not the same game, although they do share the same end goal – be the first player to complete three property sets. However, the mechanics of the games are different.
The main difference is how you accumulate properties. In Monopoly Deal, the property cards are included in the deck that you draw from, so you need to hope to draw the cards you need.
In Monopoly Bid, the property cards are separate, and only one property is available to be won each round.
Read more: Monopoly Bid Vs Monopoly Deal
How do you play Monopoly Bid?
To play Monopoly Bid, players take turns hosting an auction for a property from the property deck. Players auction blind – declaring their bids all at once. Whoever bids the most wins the property, and the first player to complete three sets wins the game.
Here’s a quick overview of the main Monopoly Bid rules:
Suitable for ages 7+. For 2-5 players.
How to Win
Collect 3 complete property sets.
Shuffle the action cards and money cards together to create a draw deck. Shuffle the property card deck and place it next to the draw deck.
Every player needs five cards from the draw deck.
Starting the game
The youngest player starts the game as the auctioneer.
- Everyone draws a card from the draw deck
- The auctioneer plays any action cards that they want to play
- The auctioneer turns over the top property card
- Once everyone has confirmed they have prepared their bid, the auctioneer declares “1, 2, 3, Bid!” and then everyone plays their bid at once
- The player with the highest bid wins the card. Their money cards go into the discard pile next to the draw deck. Other players return their money cards to their hands.
- The player to the left of the youngest player starts the next turn, and play continues to move clockwise.
That’s the game in a nutshell, but there are a few nuances to some of the rules, so let’s go through them step by step.
How many cards are in a Monopoly Bid game?
In total there are 110 cards in a Monopoly Bid game. This consists of 50 money cards, 32 action cards and 28 property cards. During the game, the money cards and action cards are shuffled together, so you play with two decks – a property deck (28 cards) and a draw deck (82 cards).
We can break this down even further. Let’s start with the property cards. These represent the property spaces included in a traditional Monopoly game. So you get:
- Two brown property cards
- Three light blue property cards
- Three pink property cards
- Three orange property cards
- Three red property cards
- Three yellow property cards
- Three green property cards
- Two dark blue property cards
- Four black property cards, representing the railroads
- Two teal property cards, representing the utilities
With the money cards, it is broken down into different denominations. The cash values in Monopoly bid are very much simplified compared to the regular game of Monopoly. You get:
- Fourteen 1M cards
- Thirteen 2M cards
- Eight 3M cards
- Ten 4M cards
- Five 5M cards
Finally, there are the action cards. In a Monopoly Bid set you get:
- Seven Nope cards
- Seven +2 cards
- Seven Steal cards
- Eleven Wild cards
Setting up the game
How many cards do you start with in Monopoly Bid?
Every player starts with five cards in their hand, and then immediately on the first turn draws another card, so the first time you make a bid in the game, you’ll have six cards in hand.
How much money do you start with in Monopoly Bid?
Players in Monopoly Bid don’t start with guaranteed money. They draw five cards from the draw deck which includes a mix of money cards and action cards. A player could start the game with no money if they drew five action cards, though the odds on this are very low.
Players then acquire money by drawing from the draw deck – either drawing one card at the start of their turn, or playing a “+2” action card when it is their turn as auctioneer.
How does the game look during play?
During Monopoly Bid, the main play area will have four spaces. There’s the draw deck, the property deck, the discard pile, and the active property currently being bid on. Players will also have a playspace in front of them with the properties they have won/Wild cards played.
Playing the game
How do you host an auction in Monopoly Bid?
When it’s your turn as auctioneer, you have to wait until players have drawn a card and then you’ve played any action cards. Turn over the top property card, wait for everyone to prepare their bid, then invite the bids to be shown.
It’s important you follow these steps in order, because players could be drawing the cards they need to make a bid with. And you have to give players time to prepare their bids.
The whole point of Monopoly Bid is that bids are secret. You aren’t supposed to know how much someone else is bidding before you bid – everyone bids at the same time. It’s tactical – you’re trying to work out how much to bid to win the property you want, without overspending.
So make sure that people have the time to get their bids together so that everyone can play their bids at exactly the same time.
When you’ve confirmed everyone is ready, call out “1, 2, 3, Bid!” and everyone – including yourself – should place their bids face-up on the table.
Determine who has bid the most, and award them the property card. The money they’ve bid goes into the discard pile, and other players pick up their money cards to use again in another turn.
What happens if bids are tied?
If the top bids for a property card are tied in Monopoly Bid, those players who are tied must raise their bids until there’s a clear winner. Essentially run the auction again but only for those players, leaving their existing bids on the table.
If there is still no clear winner once players have added to their bids, then nobody wins the property. Players pick up their money cards, and the property card is placed at the bottom of the property card deck.
Do you have to bid in Monopoly Bid?
Players are not obligated to bid in any round of Monopoly Bid. There may be turns where you can’t bid, if you don’t hold any money cards.
But be aware that if another player spots that you aren’t bidding, they may lower their own bid. So try to fake it! If you only have action cards, or you’re just choosing not to bid, pretend that you’re getting ready to. Shuffle your cards around and hold them in your hand as if you were about to place them down.
When the auctioneer calls “Bid!”, just don’t place the cards on the table. That way, you can ‘trick’ other players into bidding more than they needed to.
If nobody bids on a property, that property just goes to the bottom of the property card deck.
What are action cards in Monopoly Bid?
In Monopoly Bid, action cards let you take additional actions to gain more cards or properties. There are four types of action card, and three of those can only be played when it is your turn to host the auction. The fourth card – the Nope card – can be played by any player at any time.
The action cards are:
- Steal – this lets you steal any property from another player, as long as it is not part of a complete set. Once a property set is complete, consider it locked away and secure.
- +2 – this card lets you draw an additional two cards from the draw deck when you play it.
- Wild – this acts as any property card that you want it to. You can only play it onto an existing property – you can’t start a new color set with a Wild.
- Nope – this card blocks all other action cards. You can stop a player from playing an action card by playing a Nope card at any time. Both cards are then added to the discard pile.
How many action cards can you play in Monopoly Bid?
Only the player hosting an auction can play action cards, but they can play as many as they want to on their turn. Players can play as many Nope cards as they want to at any time, too.
So if you’re hosting the auction, it makes sense to use your ‘weakest’ plays first, as they might get a Nope card.
Say you have a +2, a Steal and a Wild to play, you’d probably start with the +2 in case that was Nope’d, then try the Steal before finishing with the Wild, which is arguably the most valuable action card since it can be used to help you complete any property set.
How many Wild cards can you play in one property set?
You can play as many Wild cards into one property set as you wish, provided you only add them to an existing color set. So you could play one black property, and then finish the set with three Wild cards. But you can’t play two Wild cards and claim they are the brown properties.
This is what makes the game more interesting, because if you only played with the property cards, then only one player could own each color set. There are only two brown properties in the game, so in theory, only two players could complete brown.
But with the Wild cards, that’s not the case. Two different players could complete the brown set, with one brown property and one Wild.
And crucially, one player could actually complete two brown sets themselves. The rules state that players are allowed to have more than one of each property set, if they are using wilds.
Can you steal a Wild card in Monopoly Bid?
You can use a Steal card to steal a Wild card in Monopoly Bid. You can’t steal a Wild card from someone’s hand, only one that has been played on a property. And you can’t steal a Wild card from a complete property set – once the set is complete, it can’t be taken by another player.
Can you Nope a Nope in Monopoly Bid?
You can Nope a Nope in Monopoly Bid! If it’s your turn and you try to play a Wild card, and someone plays a Nope card on it, you can play your own Nope card in return. This cancels the original Nope card, meaning your Wild card is still played.
There are seven Nope cards in a game though, so don’t be surprised if someone Nope’s your Nope that you played onto another Nope… the chain could get quite messy!
Who draws 2 in Monopoly Bid?
When an auctioneer plays a +2 action card, they draw two extra cards. This doesn’t impact other players and it doesn’t replace the card that is drawn at the start of a turn by all players.
In turn order, it goes:
- All players draw one card
- The auctioneer then plays action cards, and if they play a +2, they draw two extra cards
Can you trade in Monopoly Bid?
You can trade in Monopoly Bid, but only with property cards that have been played. You can’t trade using any cards in your hand, including money or action cards. And you can’t trade complete property sets.
Trading can happen at any time – just ask the player that you want to trade with whether they are interested.
What do you do when you run out of cards in Monopoly Bid?
Nothing happens when you run out of cards in Monopoly Bid – you don’t draw extra to remake your hand. You just have to wait for the next turn, where you will draw one card as normal.
Is there a limit to the number of cards in your hand?
There is no limit to the number of cards in your hand during a game of Monopoly Bid – you can have as many money and action cards as you want.
This can be a useful tactic, depending on how the game is panning out. If the property sets with only two properties (brown, dark blue and teal) haven’t emerged yet, you might prefer to save your money. And you can let other players cancel each other’s actions with Nope cards before you play your own action cards.
It’s also risky though, because it means you’re letting others accrue property, and get themselves closer to the win.
What do you do if the draw pile runs out of cards?
When the draw pile runs out of cards in Monopoly Bid, just pick up the discard pile, shuffle it and turn it over to restock the draw pile.
Winning the game
How do you win Monopoly Bid?
The first player to complete any three property sets in Monopoly Bid is the winner. This means a game can either be won once an auction has been completed, or during an auctioneer’s turn if they play a Wild card to finish off their last property set.
Tactics for Monopoly Bid
What are the best property sets in Monopoly Bid?
The best property sets in Monopoly Bid are the brown, dark blue and teal sets as they only require two cards to complete the set. While this also means they may take longer to appear from the deck, when paired with a Wild card they are the fastest sets to complete.
Conversely, the worst property set in Monopoly Bid is the black set, since you need four cards to complete the set. But if you have multiple Wild cards in your hand, you could use them up by completing a black set with one or two black properties, which also removes Wilds from the game for others to use.
What are the odds of drawing a Wild card in Monopoly Bid?
There are eleven Wild cards in Monopoly Bid, which are arguably the best cards in the game since you can use them to complete any set. With 82 cards in the draw deck in total, that means you have odds of roughly 1 in 7.5 of drawing a Wild card.
It’s good to know this, because you can try to guess when you might get a Wild card, based on whether other players have used them and how many cards are in the discard pile. There are no guarantees, but if you own one Wild card, and a property from a 3-card set comes up for auction, you might want to bid more if you feel a Wild card is ‘due’ from the draw deck.
Can you have two of the same property color set in Monopoly Bid?
While there are only enough cards for each property set to be completed once, with Wild cards you can own more than one set of a color. You also don’t have to play a color onto its same set if you don’t want to.
So, say you own a brown property, and the second brown property comes up in play. If you win that card, you don’t have to play it onto your existing brown property to complete the set.
You could instead start a second brown property set, and hope to get two Wild cards to complete each one. This can be a way of getting into a winning position faster.
General tactical tips for Monopoly Bid
- Always be aware of your opponents’ properties, and be on high alert when they’re close to winning, so that you can try to block them by outbidding them or playing Nope cards on their turn.
- If you have a Steal card, try to save it for when you need it to complete a set – but be careful of others stealing your cards too.
- Bid high for the properties you really want – don’t be afraid to pay over the odds if it’s something you need.
- If the last card you need comes out of the property card deck, bid every money card you have to try to win it!
Is Monopoly Bid or Monopoly Deal better?
Choosing which of the Monopoly card games is best is subjective. Monopoly Deal is a bit more tactical and can be more addictive, but Monopoly Bid is very simple – and so it might be better if you’re playing with younger children in your family.
Monopoly Bid is quick and easy to learn too, so you can introduce new players with ease – it doesn’t take a few rounds for someone to pick up the rules. This makes it good for the holidays if you’re visiting family and want to play a game that doesn’t need a lot of explanation.
Why not check out my Monopoly Bid review to see what I think?