Full Auction Monopoly
Many years ago, Games Magazine’s main article was about a family that played a Monopoly variant which I describe below. I cannot find this article online, but if you find it then drop me a note about it.
Before play begins, maybe even days before, each player takes a list of all the properties and bids on every single property. Players all start with $12,000 divided by the number of players in the game. So four players all start with $3,000 each. But you are allowed to bid as much as you want for each property. You come to the game with your piece of paper containing all your bids.
Going around the board from Go, each property is put up for auction. Players say how much they had written down, and the property goes to the highest bidder, who pays for the property immediately. If the highest bidder does not have the money to pay what they have bid, his bid is ignored. If there is a tie for the highest bidder, roll a die to break the tie (say, odd result means player A gets it, even result means player b gets it). All properties will thus probably be sold, even if a property goes to a player who bid zero dollars. In the unlikely situation that all the players run out of money before the last property is auctioned off, leave those properties unpurchased.
Next, players may all make trades with each other, exchanging property, money, immunities, profit sharing, or whatever deals they wish to make. Nobody may buy houses.
After all trades are concluded, houses may be purchased, remembering that nobody may build a hotel without four houses on the given property. Each player writes down how many houses he wishes to buy. If there are enough houses, then they are purchased at the price stated on the property. If there are not enough houses, then distribute the houses evenly to the players who have asked for them and have a silent auction for the extras, starting at the lower house price.
Next, hotels may be purchased by players who have four houses on a property. If any are purchased, this frees up houses which may be purchase according to the previous paragraph.
When all houses and hotels have been purchased, the normal game finally begins. Roll to see which player moves first, and proceed.
To this game, I recommend these variations from the standard Monopoly rules:
- Honest Game: pay rent without being asked.
- Maximum Penalty: you may not collect rent while in jail.
- Bank Repossession: if you are bankrupted, mortgage all your property and pay the rent or fine as much as possible, and then return your property to the bank. It is then available for sale.
- No Mortgaging: you may sell property back to the bank for half the printed price.
- Uneven Building: you do not need to build houses on a set evenly.
- Non-Set Building: you may build houses on a property for which you do not own a set, but the house costs double to build. Such houses sold back to the bank still just get half of the normal purchase price.
- Utilities: pay the owner $5 per house, $20 per hotel, that you own. Double that if the owner owns both utilities.
Ignoring the time taken to write down your bids for each property, the whole game should take significantly less time, and should focus on the strategies of buying properties, making trades, and deciding which monopolies to develop.
Monopoly Bidding Sheet
|St. Charles Place|
|St. James Place|
|New York Avenue|
|B & O Railroad|
|North Carolina Avenue|