How to Win at Monopoly!

Published on Sunday, June 23, 2013 in , , ,

ScooterSES' photo of Monopoly tokensDid you ever play the board game monopoly and wonder why others seem to make money so easily and frequently, while you could never quite the money flowing your way.

In this post, we'll use math to take a peek behind the monopoly board, and see just what strategies are the most effective for this classic game.

In Monopoly, like many board games, you move from space to space, and the only major influence on where you wind up is the space from which you started. In mathematics, processes like this are known as Markov chains. Here's a quick overview of Markov chain basics:

At first, you might think that all you'd have to do is analyze dice roll probabilities to see where you might wind up. Like any good board game, however, Monopoly throws several wrenches into the works. For example, you might roll doubles, and therefore get to roll again, and possibly even a third time. If you roll doubles a fourth time, however, you wind up in jail and everything changes!

Beyond just the dice rules, there's also the effect of the Chance and COmmunity Chest cards, which can take you to other squares on the board regardless of where you're currently located!

The analysis of the game can get complicated quick quickly. Fortunately, Walter Hickey has done all the math for you, and explains it in this straightforward slideshow over at Business Insider. The math behind each step in the thought process is clearly explained at each point, and the charts and graphs are of great help.

Take a look at this slideshow, take the time to understand it, and remember the strategies, and soon you just may find yourself dominating the next Monopoly game!

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