100 Words On: Why the Most Valuable Monopoly Property Isn't Boardwalk

When playing Monopoly, the conventional wisdom is that the best property to own is Boardwalk because it commands the highest rent. However, savvy players know the most valuable property is actually Illinois Avenue. How can that be? Well, one of the biggest reasons is that Illinois Avenue’s board position — two “seven” rolls from Jail — gives it the distinction of being the game’s most-landed on property; Boardwalk is ranked fourteenth.

The bottom line: When buying real estate, the three most important factors are always location, location and location — regardless of whether you’re paying for it with Monopoly money or real cash.

Photo Credit: Mark Strozier

19 comments to 100 Words On: Why the Most Valuable Monopoly Property Isn’t Boardwalk

  • Becky

    My favorite properties have always been the light blue squares. Oriental, Connecticut and the last one escapes me at the moment. It doesn’t cost a lot to put 4 houses and a hotel on them so the return on your investment is good and they seem to catch their fair share of players.

    • Len Penzo

      Vermont is the other property, Becky. As for me, I’ve always preferred the Orange properties: Tennessee Ave, New York Ave and St. James Place. Don’t ask me why. (Because I can’t really say.)

  • As a former landlord, I definitely agree it is always location when it come to real estate. It doesn’t have to be Beverly Hills to be agreat location! It should be where there high demand!

  • Auntjenny7

    It’s the orange properties that are most landed on. I didn’t believe it at first, but then I Googled it and it’s due to: 1. Go to Jail, 2. Advance to St. Charles Place (Pall Mall), 3. Advance to Reading Railroad (King’s Cross Station) and 4. Go Back Three Spaces. You have to pass by those oranges a lot.

    I still like Boardwalk and Park Place though, you’ll at least come in second if you get those!

    • Len Penzo

      Well, Aunt Jenny, the website I linked to was from a nerd who ran detailed probability analyses (you can see his results there) that show it’s indeed Illinois Avenue — not those Orange properties. The official Monopoly FAQ agrees with those results too! :-)

  • tracee

    I don’t know what color they are…maybe orange…but I always liked the row between jail and the money stash!!!!

  • Angie

    And there’s a card that sends you to Illinois Ave!

    We’re board game geeks around here, and my husband and I have already sussed all this out :D

  • Frankly, I’d go for any of the cheaper properties, so you can get a monopoly fast, build, and wipe out your opponents. Of course, that’s just my humble strategy!!

  • Great advice for real estate investors and cool tie in with Monopoly. Park Place and Boardwalk, you feel like a high roller, but in real life, the quicker you get your monopoly going, that’s when the money starts rolling in!

  • workingman

    Len, Aunt Jenny is VERY correct. The orange properties are the most landed on properties in total — ranking #4, #7 and #12 in the listing of “most landed upon.” Illinois is the most single landed on property, ranking only behind Jail.
    Kentucky is #10 and Indiana is #13. Adding everything up, orange is 4+7+12 or 23. Red properties are 2+10+13, or 25. Therefore, you’ll hit the oranges slightly more than the reds. (FYI: Go is #3)

  • I sit with my kids to teach me Monopoly. It’s so confusing but when they play it among themselves it’s very interesting even if I don’t understand it completely.

  • [...] Damn Len Penzo. Here I was, for all these years, selling the farm to buy Boardwalk when I played Monopoly. And it turns out it’s only the 14th most landed on property. [...]

  • [...] Len Penzo goes against the grain saying that Boardwalk is not the best property to own in Monopoly.  Personally, I always preferred the yellow “Marvin’s Gardens” associated properties, but seemed to have the most success with the orange “New York/St. James/Tennessee” properties.  What about you? [...]

  • [...] “100 Words On: Why the Most Valuable Monopoly Isn’t Boardwalk” – Len must be an awesome board gamer.  If I land on Boardwalk, I’m still buying it!  I wonder how the Boardwalk ‘Chance’ card factors into the odds? [...]

  • [...] Len has a penchant for covering personal topics in, shall we say, an off-beat manner.   He covers a wide range of topics with a genuinely unique viewpoint, with subject matter that includes things like a surefire way to beat the lottery, the most valuable grocery store items known to man as well as a discussion of why the most valuable Monopoly property is NOT Boardwalk. [...]

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