Why Does a Game of Monopoly Take So Long?

Few board games can bring young and old players together the way as Monopoly can. The rules are simple, the gameplay is engaging, and if you take the time to explain the game and teach the rules clearly, both children, parents, and grandparents can enjoy the very same game at the same time.

Using unofficial House Rules is the main reason why Monopoly takes so long for most people. Even when you follow the rules, Monopoly can still take a while, especially when more than three people are playing.

Keep reading to find out more interesting facts about the game.

The Rules Of Monopoly 

Monopoly requires a special board, 32 houses, 12 hotels, Chance and Community Chest cards, Title Deed cards for each property, play money, player tokens, and two six-sided dice.

Each player chooses a token and places it on ‘Go’ and is provided with $1500 as follows: 2 of each $500’s, $100’s, and $50’s; 6 $20’s; and 5 of each $10’s, $5’s, and $1’s. One player is the Banker. All assets of the Bank should be separate from the Banker’s assets. The Bank controls all remaining money, properties, and buildings until they are purchased. The Bank can never ‘go broke’ – more money should be made if needed.

Game Play

According to the rules of Monopoly, the player that rolls the highest total on both dice goes first. Game play proceeds clockwise from that player.

There are 4 main parts to a turn.

Roll the dice. Move the number of squares indicated. If you throw doubles, you take another turn after your turn is completed. Each time you pass ‘Go’, collect $200 from the Bank.

Buy properties. You may buy any property from the bank you land on if it is not already owned. If you do not purchase the property, the Banker auctions the property to the highest bidder.

Some people chose not to use auctions, only allowing properties to be purchased as they are landed on.


You may only build when you own all properties in a color group. The building must be equal on all properties in a group. You may place a single building on a single property, but you may not place two buildings on one unless all other properties in the group have one building (even the build rule). 

Any property can have 4 houses, except Utilities and Railroads, which cannot be developed. To place a hotel on a property, 4 houses must be present on all properties in the group. Houses are removed from the property when a hotel is placed. All buildings are purchased from the Bank.

Complete necessary actions. Pay rent as determined by the Title Deed for the property you are on. Pay Income Tax to the Bank ($200 or 10% of your total assets). Draw a Community Chest or Chance card and follow the instructions. These cards are returned to the bottom of the pile when the action is completed.

Going to Jail

In the rules of Monopoly, there are 3 ways to be sent to ‘Jail’:

  1. Land on a space marked ‘Go to Jail’
  2. Draw a card marked ‘Go to Jail’
  3. Roll doubles three times in a row

To get out of ‘Jail’

  1. Pay the $50 fine before rolling the dice
  2. Use a ‘Get Out Of Jail Free Card’ before rolling the dice
  3. Roll doubles
  4. After the 3rd failed attempt to roll doubles, you must pay the $50 fine and leave jail

When you get out of ‘Jail’, move the number of spaces indicated by the dice. Even while in ‘Jail’, you may buy and sell the property and collect any rent owed to you. You are not sent to ‘Jail’ if you land on the ‘Jail’ square during normal gameplay, and you do not incur a fine.

Money to Pay Rent

The rules of Monopoly state, if you do not have enough money to pay Rent or other obligations during your turn, you may choose to sell houses, hotels, or property. Buildings may be sold to the Bank for one-half of the purchase price. Buildings may not be sold to other players. Unimproved properties (including railroads and utilities) can be sold to any player for any amount.

Unimproved properties can also be mortgaged to the Bank for the value mortgage value printed on the Title Deed. No rent is collected on mortgaged properties. The player must pay the Bank the mortgage amount plus 10% interest to lift a mortgage. 

Players retain possession of mortgaged properties. If that player chooses, he or she may sell the mortgaged property to another player for any price. The property would remain mortgaged, and the new owner would have to pay the Bank the same mortgage + 10% to lift the mortgage.

Winning the Game

You may end the game at any time and tally the total worth of each player (including buildings and all property worth). You may also choose to play until all but one player has been declared Bankrupt. 

Bankruptcy occurs when a player owes more than he or she can pay. You must turn over all that you have, including money and Title Deeds, to the Bank or another player, depending on who the current debt is owed to. Any player who has declared Bankruptcy is no longer part of the game. 

According to the rules of Monopoly, the last player in the game, or the player with the most money, wins.

How Much Time Does It Take to Play? 

An average game of Monopoly should last for around 45 minutes. The game will be quicker with only two players, but with four or more players, it can take 90 minutes or more.

A two-player Monopoly game takes between 30-45 minutes on average, but it can run for much longer depending on which properties are bought and the luck of the roll. Games with more players average 45 minutes to an hour.

In my playgroup (using the base rules, no house rules), our 4-player games take about 90 minutes depending on how intently we’re focusing on the game instead of just hanging out. In addition to the standard house rules that extend the game, specific strategies favor long, drawn-out games.


Monopoly was supposed to be played with eight or more players and had certain rules. Thus, the game takes a lot longer than other board games. The game of Monopoly ends when one player owns all property on the board, and thus with a lot of back and forth, it takes a lot of time to end the game.

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