The properties on each side of the board might be classified as “major” or “minor”. On the bottom of the board, the light blues generate more income per house than the dark purple/browns (the color depending on your game edition). The light blues, therefore, might be considered as “major” compared to the dark purple/browns, because they are more efficient. (The fact there are only two dark purple/browns also makes the light blues much more valuable.)
On the left side, the oranges are major; on the top it’s the yellows, and on the right it’s the dark blues. While the dark blues have only two properties, the fact houses are so expensive on the right side means it is easier to get to three houses on the dark blues than it is the greens, which may overcome the fact there are only two dark blues.
The object, of course, is to obtain monopolies of the highest value. Depending on how important luck is as a result of the rules the players have negotiated, a player’s control over which color group or groups he or she acquires may vary from significant to little. In a game where luck is a primary factor, and because speed in acquiring a monopoly is usually important, a player may be forced to make do with what luck provides.
In a standard rules game, the general consensus is the oranges are the best monopoly, primarily because of the effect Jail has on the play, but also because houses on the left side are relatively affordable, making it easier to get to three on each property, than it is on more expensive properties. As indicated previously, the frequency with which a property will be landed on, and thus an important element of its value, will be greatly affected by the rules the players negotiate.
As suggested, house affordability significantly determines how quickly a player can acquire three houses on each property. For this reason, the major color group of one side may approach, equal or exceed the value of the minor color group on the side following it. Additionally, the fact opposing players must “pass through” the major color group of one side before reaching the minor group of the following side may also add value to the less costly major color group.
Generally, then, it is more efficient to acquire a major group than a minor, and cheaper groups may be more useful for acquiring three houses on each property, than more expensive groups. Inexpensive housing may have a point of diminishing return, however, on the bottom row, as even with hotels, these properties have limited bankrupting power.
Depending, then, on the rules the players negotiate, particularly as to Jail, The Monopoly Guru would rank the value of the color groups as: orange, light blue, purple, red, yellow, dark blue, dark purple/brown, and finally green.
A note on acquiring the dark purple/browns: they have limited bankrupting power; therefore, a commitment to this color group should be accompanied with further strategy. One strategy is, prior to building, consider trading them as a group for a particularly valuable property, say, the third property in another color group or the fourth railroad (although owning even four railroads also has limited bankrupting power). If that deal is not available, it will likely be necessary to acquire and develop another color group, or at least the railroads, in addition to the dark purple/browns, if victory is to be possible.
As an aside, the railroads are often a good place to put one’s income once a color group has been sufficiently developed. A good target seller is the player who has just landed on your monopoly and is in need of money.
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