How to Dominate at Monopoly Using Basic Math

Take a very good look at the arrows on this this Monopoly board. It shows all the various ways you can end up in jail. That tidbit alone should fundamentally alter the way you look at this classic game. Here's why — and more.

According to Business Insider reporter Walter Hickey, most people look at the Monopoly board as if it were an infinite loop:

How to Dominate at Monopoly Using Basic Math

But that's not how it works — because you're more likely to land on some spaces than others. Hickey explains:

You shouldn't just be targeting [through trades and buys] the properties that are most expensive, you should be targeting the properties that get landed on most often, the properties that will return your investment most significantly.

And the key to that is understanding Jail.

The Jail square sucks people in from the rest of the board — from Chance, Community Chest, and the Go To Jail spaces, not to mention the people that roll doubles thrice — and deposits them on the tenth space...

As a result, the spaces between Jail and Go To Jail are more likely to get landed on than the spaces between Go To Jail and Jail.

Mind blown.

So this is how you should see the board, with the red arrow serving as a kind of reminder that all spaces are not created equal in terms of their location.

How to Dominate at Monopoly Using Basic Math

Okay, if you liked that tip, then you have to check out a related article posted by Hicks called, "How To Use Math To Crush Your Friends At Monopoly Like You've Never Done Before." He sets it up as a slideshow presentation, but it's totally worth the read. In it, he covers the following:

  • The most important properties in the game
  • The crucial "axis" that will change the way you think about the shape of the board
  • Where you should invest
  • How to make moves so that your opponent will keep landing on your properties

Hmmm, no tips on how to consistently win the beauty contest? Shame.