Monopoly House Rules, by Nichole Brown

Summer Reading is finally behind us for another year, congratulations. Now it is time to start planning for International Gaming Week! November 4 – 10, 2018.

As someone who doesn’t play video games, I  didn’t think I was a gamer until I saw this episode of Blackish: ( You’ll need a Facebook account to view the video, and no of course I don’t have rights to this content.)

This is EXACTLY how my family plays Monopoly. With house rules, trash talking, and real life consequences.  The online gaming community is no comparison to the face to face trash talking of kinfolk plotting fratricide in the form of financial demise.  So if you are a gamer, like I am a gamer, we should play Monopoly for International Gaming week.  A much more civilized game of course… well, maybe not!  But we can host Monopoly tournaments in our libraries.

They are pretty easy to organize and facilitate.  First and foremost you must learn the official rules of the game; because unlike my house and the Johnson house, an official Monopoly tournament does not allow house rules.  So no money is earned when you land on free parking, and you can collect rent while in jail.

For basic rules I recommend starting with the Hasbro Website:  but more detailed rules are coming later.

Second you must get permission from Habsbro to officially promote this as a Monopoly event. Here is the link to the PDF application: You could go rogue and skip this step, but the Gaming Roundtable highly discourages that course of action. Your library administrators won’t appreciate that either. P.S. unless this is an official fundraiser sponsored by a Friends Group, you should get approval for free.

Everything else you need to know (like all of the rules in detail) is in this official tournament game kit: I recommend reading this guide completely before you begin. If you don’t…well don’t say I didn’t warn you. Seriously folks, reading the guide will help you plan your event better because you will know what to expect.  For example one area the guide address is how many volunteers you may need to recruit and where to find them. For example:

  • Ask local bank managers to volunteer be the official bankers at the tournament.
  • Ask real estate agents to be the referees.
  • Ask the local chamber of commerce/Rotary/Friends Group to donate the game boards, ( yes you gotta buy them, Hasbro doesn’t give you any for free) refreshments, and prizes.

One time when I was planning this event for a previous position I got the City Manager to agree to be the official judge. With enough advanced notice and planning, you can get the entire city involved!  So start now!

Finally and most important: DON’T FORGET TO BOOK THE MEETING ROOM!  A Monopoly tournament will be an all-day (sometimes all week or weekend depending on how you plan it) event. I recommend short games and an official timekeeper.  And if the Johnsons show up to play, you can always close the door to keep the noise level down.

Happy gaming, I look forward to playing with you in November.

Nichole Brown is a Children’s Librarian from the Bay Area who doesn’t need to cheat to win in Monopoly. If you need help understanding the rules, she can be reached at her local branch anytime it’s open.



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