My strategy for Monopoly is as follows:
- On your first turn, you will most likely land on one of the light blue properties. BUY IT. Do all that you can to get the rest of the light blue properties as the game progresses.
- As you make your way around, try and buy at least one property from each colour-group. This will decrease everyone's chances of getting a full colour-group and increase yours.
- Railroads - I find that as soon as I buy two I have a larger interest in buying the others. If you only get one and only one more is up for grabs, make that a secondary priority. I do not, as a rule, express any interest at all in utilities. Cheap bastards.
- Once around the board now, and hopefully we haven't landed in jail. If so then we're down a couple of turns, and $50. Anyway, we have just scored $200 for passing Go, and we have also hopefully landed on one of the brown properties. Try to buy them both, then put houses on it FAST AS YOU CAN. Do not put hotels on at this stage - you want to create a housing shortage.
- Say we've gone around a few more times now. You own all of the bottom "street", as I call them, and someone else owns a colour-group that is either orange, red or yellow, despite your efforts. Now it is time to upgrade houses to hotels. It is definitely worth it as you will get anywhere between $250 and $600 rent each time someone lands on them. This makes it difficult for the other(s) to build houses.
- If playing with three or more players, try and focus on the one who is losing first and hope to the Monopoly Gods that they will land on your property when they go bankrupt and not anybody else's. Their properties will turn over to you and your empire will expand.
- If all goes well, by the end there will be a huge empire. This is when you should take one house away from the hotels so that they remain as expensive as possible, but you can build hotels on the more expensive properties. If it is only you and a mate playing, keep the hotels on the properties you have - hopefully you own one street or at least half of all the properties.
- If all doesn't go well, just try and survive as much as you can. I once played a game that lasted 5 lunchtimes (which are about 40 minutes each) and I only lost at the last minute. If you survive, the greater your chances are of landing on a property with hotels, but you also get time to nut out tactics.
- Best of all, have a bit of good luck on your side. I'm not saying to go out and buy a lucky charm or whatever - mainly because I'm a skeptic - but luck is an idea. (DO NOT say the word "luck", otherwise it might go away...)