How Do You Play It Rotating Header Image

Monopoly Deal Card Game Strategy

The Monopoly Deal Card game is exciting and fast paced. While there isn’t as much strategy involved as in a chess game, there are some basic ideas and concepts that can really improve your game.

Play Money First

The basic idea behind this strategy is to build up a hedge against the inevitable woes of the game. “It’s My Birthday” and “Debt Collector” played on a single turn early game can obliterate your chances of winning if you lose a bunch of property. Play money before you play property in the early game. There are exceptions, of course, which would involve playing property in order to gather rent. You are still essentially playing money, you are just doing it in a round about way. If you make a play like this, make sure that you are collecting enough rent to protect you from harm. Ideally you want 5M to 7M before playing properties.

Don’t Always Play Three Cards

Monopoly Deal Rules state that players play “UP TO” three cards. You don’t have to play all three cards, so if playing the full three (or even one or two) puts you in a bad position, don’t do it.

Avoid Leaving Complete Sets In Play

Use Wild Cards to Protect Sets from Deal Breaker

Break Up Sets in Monopoly Deal

This might seem counterintuitive, since you need three complete sets in order to win. However, you have to keep “Deal Breaker” in mind. Losing an entire set in one play will almost certainly ruin your chances of winning. You can play most of a set onto the board, but withhold the completing card in your hand. Another option is to play the full set onto the board using wild cards, but to keep the set broken up by making the wild card part of a different set. Of course, if you are holding two “Just Say No” cards, you could safely play a complete set. You’d just have to hold the JSNs for the Deal Breaker. One JSN isn’t enough, because your opponent could be holding one too.

Use Debt to Acquire Property

Monopoly Deal Debt Cards

Use Debt Cards To Get Property


Try and play your rent cards, “Debt Collectors” and “It’s My Birthday” cards when you can acquire property. This isn’t always an option, but saving them for an opportune time can result in a devastating blow to your opponent’s game.

Save “Just Say No” Cards for Game Breaking Situations

When you are holding a JSN or two, you may be tempted to use it early when you lose a valuable property or your stack of cash. Just make sure that whenever you use your JSN it is for a game altering situation. There are sometimes points in the game where certain plays are game breaking. You can prevent those plays (or ensure they happen) if you hang onto your JSN cards.

Know How Many of Each Card Are in the Deck

Knowing the deck can give you a significant advantage. For instance, if you know in advance that there are two Deal Breakers in the deck, and one has been played, and one is in your hand, you know that it is safe to play complete sets.

The card breakdown is as follows:

110 Cards Total
4x Rules cards
28x property cards (non wild)
11 x property wild cards as follows:
1x light blue/brown
1x light blue/railroad
2x pink/orange
2x red/yellow
1x dark blue/green
1x green/railroad
1x railroad/utility
2x any color wild card
34 action cards as follows:
2x deal breaker
3x houses
2x hotels
10x pass go
13 x Rent Cards as Follows:
2x light blue/brown
2x pink/orange
2x red/yellow
2x dark blue/green
2x railroad/utility
3x wild rent cards
20x Money Cards as follows:
6x 1M
5x 2M
3x 3M
3x 4M
2x 5M
1x 10M

Check out my Brighthub article for complete Monopoly Deal Rules


4 Comments

  1. […] let the simplicity of the game fool you, though, there is plenty of strategy in Monopoly Deal. ← Monopoly Deal Card Game Strategy Rules for Phase 10 Dice Game […]

  2. K says:

    This is a nice guide. I like the simplicity to which you have boiled it down to. I’m working on my own guide, and this is a good resource for organization. A note on the bit about completing sets: I think you should always complete your sets if they are low renting. In all likelihood, the person with the Deal Breaker will try to steal the strongest set, and therefore, they won’t be looking to steal yours. This protects you from Forced and Sly Deals, while the chances that someone steals your full set are low.

    1. admin says:

      You are probably right in a multiplayer game. I usually only play with 1 other player, so my strategy is sort of geared around that type of play. However, there is always some risk of deal breaker when you have a full set in play, so play accordingly.

  3. Dave says:

    My friends and I love this game but we’re always confused on some of the rules about the property wild cards.
    1) Can you steal a multi property wild card from an opponent with a sly or forced deal? Can you use a turn to switch it between your property sets if you wish?
    2) I’ve heard that you cannot put down a property wild card unless you have a base color property before it (meaning you can’t have a wild card down on it’s own like in the first image of this article). Is this true?
    If someone can clear this confusion that would be great, thanks!

Leave a Reply