It is possible to eliminate the chance effect of using dice by taking dice out altogether. Using playing cards instead of dice allows the players to modulate how much chance is in the game.
Each player would use most of one suit from a standard deck. Taking out the Ace and King, a card’s value would correspond to its numeric value, with Jack as 11 and a Queen as 12. Thus, each player would have eleven cards, corresponding with the eleven possible outcomes of rolling two dice.
To control the element of luck, players would decide how many cards each player would keep in his or her hand, and how many remaining from the eleven would be shuffled and placed face down in front of each player. Players would move by selecting either card from their hand, and moving the corresponding number, or picking one from the shuffled stack each has, and move the corresponding number from that selection. Once played, a card is out of play until all other cards are played.
Thus, to begin the game, perhaps following the order auction and distribution of playing cards, each player would select the agreed-upon number of cards from his or her cache of eleven cards to keep in his or her hand; the rest would be shuffled by each player and placed in front of the player. A turn would consist of choosing either a card from one’s hand, or choosing an unknown card from the shuffled stack in front of the player. Once all cards are played, players would regroup their eleven cards, re-select an agreed-upon number of cards they choose to remain in their hands, and reshuffle their remaining cards and place them on the table.
The best play would likely be enhanced by increasing the element of luck as the game progresses; thus, players could decide, most effectively prior to the game, how many cards will be placed face down after each round in which all players have played all their cards. Increasing the number of face-down cards would increase the element of luck, thus making it possible to actually end the game.
During the early rounds of the game, however, when buying properties is most important, agreeing to let players keep a larger number of cards in their hands allows them to move strategically, either to acquire monopolies, or block other players from doing the same. As properties are acquired and negotiations begin, the element of luck can be increased, by increasing the number of face-down cards with each round that the cards are consumed.
It would even be possible to allow players to buy and sell the cards in their hands, although any exchanges should probably be reconciled after each round of cards has been exhausted. It should be noted that each player’s selection of which cards to keep and which to shuffle could be an important element of strategy, and might change as the game progresses. Note also that such play takes “doubles” out of the game.
By reducing the element of chance, Monopoly™ becomes less similar to, say, Candyland, a game whose winner is determined entirely by chance (and is usually played by younger children), to something more akin to Chess (particularly at the beginning of the game, where players choose their moves based on strategy and in reaction to the moves of the other players). Moreover, as the element of chance is reduced, not only is the importance of strategy increased, but most important, negotiation skill, the primary element of Monopoly™, “The Real Estate Trading Game™”, is brought to the fore.
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