Almost every self proclaimed Monopoly expert will say that 2 most important nuances in Monopoly are the dice rolls distribution (the fact that 6, 7, 8 rolls much more often than 2 and 12 etc) and property landing chances (Orange set being the most frequently landed on because of the Jail position, then the Red set and so on). But those are the basics: everyone knows that (and if they don’t – they have probably played less than 10 games and have no chance to win against real opponent anyway). Advanced tactics, based on results of ~100000 games and counting, go a step further:
1) Provided that everyone knows that not all properties are made equal, it is a given fact that every person has their own biases towards every set. The least experienced player would have huge bias towards Orange and Lignt Blue set, and those biases could be easily exploited. Very few players love Green set – so you could collect it easily and have enough money left to build it up while your opponents will end up stripped of cash but holding on to their ‘popular’ sets. Just look at the prices during Auctions (if there are any), propose trades often to gauge the biases of your opponents and give them what they want for a lot of money and take properties which they do not want cheap.
2) Most people do not understand that Monopoly is a property trading game. Well, they know it (sort of), but do not understand it fully. As a result, they turn it into a game of dice (which it is not!) and just hope for a lucky roll, or blame the dice when they do not get it. First round (before player goes through Go for the first time) is the only round when there is not much player can do but roll the dice, scoop everything they are landing on up and end their turn. After first round though, you should be trading. Every turn, with every player. If there is nothing to trade with given opponent (no sets in common) – you should still keep a very close eye on what that player has, especially his cash level. Alternatively, you should be probing his biases, trying to guess what would be better for you – sell him your property, buy his, exchange – and not just one property for another, but many for many too. Your goal is to find situation wnen on a single turn you could trade with every player, giving everyone everything they need as expensive as possible, then collecting your own set (making sure the player who finishes your set gets an offer he could not refuse). When the dust settles, you should be the one with most houses on your set, and your opponents, even though having the sets they desired, having little money to improve them. Let them blame the dice or luck or ‘cheaters’ for their loss, you know better: any Monopoly game is only 20% dice or luck dependant, with 80% being your skill.
3) Do not be afraid to let other players complete their set, but worry about their cash once their set is completed. If you cannot take all their money for their set finisher, insist on them buying something they do not need from you as part of the deal. Give them options – if you keep refusing all the trade offers without a counter offer, noone will want to give you what you need later either. It is a property trading game, so you have to understand the psychology of trading. And yes, Quadropoly AI emulate that too with millions of different personalities – to ensure no 2 AI are ever identical.
4) Learn to manage your cashflow. When you obtain your first property set (which should happen on your second round on average, but no later than the third round), make sure you treat all the properties you have except the set you will be improving as cash – do not be afraid to mortgage them. If you can, try to sell as many properties as you can to other players to raise your cash and improve your set as far as possible. As a rule of thumb, improve the bottom and left sets to the hotels, and top and right sets to 3 houses only. Improving Green set beyond 3 houses is the least efficient as your rent raises by the same amount as the cost of the house only. Leave cash enough to be able to pay the rent of your next 2-12 squares. It is statistically better to overinvest and sometimes having to demolish than to sit on spare cash and wait until it dissapears into other players pockets.
5) Play to the very end and never give up. Even if it looks like there is no chance you could win, just remember – Monopoly is still 20% dice dependant. In roughly 100000 games there were approximately 0.5% games (1 for every 200) when the player was less than $100 away from the bankruptcy, having to demolish and mortgage everything, ans still being able to win the game in the end.
6) Despite everything you could have heard before, there is no sure way to win in Monopoly. What you can and should be doing, is improving your statistical chances to win by doing the right thing – not the only one, but one of many, constantly choosing the most appropriate action to ultimately raise your total rent to be higher than any of your opponents. When you lose, you should analyse what you could have done differently to improve your chances. Try new tactics as often as possible – if you do the same thing over and over again, your opponents (including Quadropoly AI) would soon adopt to it and would start exploiting its weaknesses.
To be continued…