The rules indicate Monopoly™ is a game for two to eight players. Clearly a game with only two players misses much of the dynamics that make the game what it is. While there is some measure of strategy and negotiation, with only one opponent, the players are not likely to experience the subtlety or the challenges of a game with more players.
While three players is better than two, there is significant pressure for two of the players to work together against the third, although a skilled player will seek agreements with both opponents in a three player game. Triangulating two opponents interferes with their efforts to make agreements, while enhancing the possibilities for forming alliances. While a three player game may determine the best of three players, it will not confer the bragging rights of a larger game.
Four players is likely considered the standard game. This may be, in part, because there is so much luck in standard Monopoly™ rules, not allowing a player to roll until four or more players have already played, may be a handicap that is just too difficult to overcome.
There is, of course, much symmetry in Monopoly™: four sides, four railroads, eight color groups, and two each of Chance an Community Chest. The problem is that because Monopoly™ breaks down so easily into natural groupings, if the number of players is similarly symmetrical, it may not provide either the tension nor the opportunities of game with an asymmetrical number of players.
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