MONOPOLY gives players the chance to be rich and attempt to build an empire.
But what are the original Monopoly pieces and how many different versions are there.
What are the original Monopoly pieces?
Since Monopoly was introduced in the 1930s, many of the playing pieces have come and gone.
Some have stuck around since its launch, and others have been ditched.
Monopoly enthusiasts will know that there used to be six items in the famous playing game’s line-up.
The original six were:
- The top hat
- The thimble
- The iron (now retired)
- The shoe
- The battleship
- The cannon (now retired)
A few more options were added in 1935 and 1936:
- The race car
- The purse (now retired)
- The rocking horse (now retired)
- The lantern (now retired)
And a further collection was added in the 1950s and later:
- Scottie dog
- Horse and rider (now retired)
- Sack of money (now retired)
- Cat (new in 2013)
How many versions of Monopoly pieces are there?
Different versions of the game present different versions of pieces to choose from.
Parker Brothers brought in Dowst Manufacturing Company to produce their pieces.
The first pieces in the 1930s were made from zinc alloy before the material was replaced by a mix of lead and tin.
The reason for this change was that the lead and tin mix didn't oxidize and turned black as much as the zinc alloy did.
During the war then, the metals used for the pieces was a need for the armed forces and other necessities.
That is why the pieces then were made from wood.
They looked like chess pawns and all had a different colour to distinguish between one player and another.
There were some versions which has pieces made from a mix of paper and sawdust but they did not have a good quality when compared to the wooden ones, so they weren't very popular.
After the war, Dowst Manufacturing Company wanted to focus on die-cast toys such as warplanes and cars and so Parker Brothers started manufacturing the pieces in-house.
They produced some versions of monopoly with pewter pieces while some with plastic pieces.
To this day, most versions are still found with pewter pieces.
What versions of Monopoly are there?
This isn’t the first time the public have been given their say on which piece will take them past GO.
In 2013, a vote meant that the iron was replaced by a cat, but there are many other editions available other than the classic board game.
There are many other cities other than London that are featured, such as the Chicago edition, a New York-opoly and a New Zealand edition.
And then the sky is the limit for themed options that have hit shelves since its launch.
Some of the most creative include a Walking Dead Survival Edition, a 007 James Bond Collector’s edition, a Beatles' Collector’s Edition and even a Sonic the Hedgehog Collector’s edition.
How to always win at Monopoly?
You may think that Monopoly's a game of chance and that there's no firm strategy to winning it.
But one woman who knows differently is 2015 UK Monopoly champion Natalie Fitzsimons, from Northern Ireland.
The 26-year-old was ranked sixth in the world when she beat her husband and three others to the UK and Ireland championship title.
First study the rule book, to find out how you've been playing the game wrong.
Then, here are Natalie's top tips:
1. Borrow, borrow, borrow
We're not suggesting you do this in real life, but Natalie advises players to mortgage themselves to a hilt.
Stretching yourself financially to buy up streets and houses should allow you to make more money in the long run – in rent from other players.
Jessica says: "This always feels a little like cheating, but I never know why other people don't do it.
"As soon as you get a monopoly yourself, mortgage everything else and spend every penny on houses.
"A monopoly with three houses on each square is far more valuable with lots of low-rent single property squares. You can always 'un-mortgage' them later in the game."
2. Cause a housing shortage
Never bother buying a hotel, houses are far more valuable – and limited.
This strategy is one Jessica shares with Imgur user Elpher, who says it's a little known fact that the Monopoly box only contains 32 houses and 12 hotels.
If you can afford to put four houses on each, that's only eight properties in total.
Elpher says: "The goal is to gain a second monopoly, and buy enough houses to create a housing shortage, effectively locking down the game for the other players."
3. Go to jail – and stay there
Prison seems like the ultimate punishment, and most of us can't wait to get out of jail.
But towards the end, the best strategy is to stay in jail and rake in the cash – while not risking landing on anyone else's squares.
Natalie says: "In the early game you want to get out of jail as soon as possible.
"But once all the property squares have been bought sometimes the best thing is to wait patiently in jail.
"At the later stages of the game, it's better to be behind bars so you can still collect but don't land on expensive squares."
It may not seem the funnest way to win – but, according to Natalie, it is the most effective.
4. NEVER buy Park Lane
For many, they're the most sought after squares on the board – but Natalie advises avoiding the purple properties.
They may have come with sky-high rents, but they cost a fair bit to buy too.
And, for reasons we explained earlier, your mates aren't very likely to land on Park Lane.
How can you turn it around when you're losing at Monopoly?
Going to jail can also be a good strategy if you're close to going bankrupt, and don't want to risk landing on anyone else's properties. Don't stay there forever though.
Another good, but sneaky, strategy is to form alliances and gang up on strong players.
Does your dad always win? Why don't you and one of your siblings make a pact to block his monopolies?
What's the most landed on property in Monopoly?
This is the first question if you're looking to rake in on rent.
According to the maths boffins, Trafalgar Square is the most landed on property on the cardboard London map – making it the most important one to buy.
They are working on the basis that the most occupied square is Jail – because of how easily Chance and Community Chest cards, as well as the dreaded Go To Jail square, send people to the clink, combined with the probability of landing there and being Just Visiting.
There are six different ways to roll a seven, 6 and 1, 1 and 6, 5 and 2, 2 and 5, 4 and 3, and 3 and 4 – making it the most likely roll.
Seven steps from Jail is the Community Chest, but another seven rolls will land you in the red territory – and on Trafalgar Square.
The orange properties – on 6, 8 or 9 rolls – are also a smart buy. While the purple squares, despite having the highest rent, are unlikely to be landed on so often.
What is the rarest Monopoly piece?
The rarest Monopoly pieces are the chess pawn pieces that were made during the war.
The most difficult ones to find are the ones that were made from paper and sawdust.
This is because this material made the pieces very fragile and they easily broke, hence why they weren't so popular.
You'll be lucky if you manage to find a collector who has one of these pieces.
They need to be handled with care considering their fragility.
The other rare pieces would be the original pieces that were first produced.
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