Sunday, June 3, 2012

how to play Monopoly, American-style

This description assumes five players, but it can be tweaked for more or fewer. (See below.)

The Banker puts $7500 ($1500 per player) into a pot. The players roll dice to decide the order of play.

The high roller takes $6,375 (85% of the pot) and goes first.

The next-highest takes $750 (10% of the pot) and goes second.

The third takes $353 (4.7% of the pot, rounded up) and goes third.

The fourth takes $15 (.2% of the pot) and goes fourth.

The fifth takes the last $7 (.1% of the pot, rounded down) and goes last.

Whenever players pass Go, the high roller always gets $200 from the Banker, the next-highest gets $88, the third gets $55, the fourth gets $35, and the fifth gets $20.

When players run out of money, they accumulate debt. Whenever debtors pass Go, they divide their income among their creditors.

Every seventh time debtors pass Go, they declare bankruptcy. Their debts are forgiven and they get half as much as they did when they first rolled: #1 gets $3188, #2 gets $375, #3 gets $176, #4 gets $8, and #5 gets $3.

The game never ends. If you want to quit, put the cannon in your mouth and say "Boom!"


Note: The percentages are based on the current wealth and income quintiles of the USA. If you have more or fewer players, adjust the percentages accordingly. But don't even think about giving everyone the same amount when they start or when they pass Go—this game isn't called Pinko.

ETA: Passing "Go" in Monopoly is like Guaranteed Basic Income

I hadn't realized that Monopoly includes a form of Basic Income until I read this, in The Pictorial Arts: The Color of Money:
My favorite part of the game was passing GO, just to always receive that stipend of $200. We should have that in real life. Everytime we pass GO, um, let's say every January 1, every man woman and child should receive a stipend, and with cost of living increases, that should be oh I dunno, $7500? Wouldn't that be a lovely way to begin each year? Or to spread it out, it could be on each of our birthdays. Wouldn't that make older people appreciate their birthdays more?
ETA: At G+, Dan Harper left this comment: "According to the online Inflation Calculator (reference: ), $200 in 1934, when the game was created, would be worth $3221.87 in 2010 dollars."

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