Can Monopoly Go on Forever? (Is It Infinite?)

By Kimberly

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Love it or hate it, Monopoly is one of the most popular board games in the world, with hundreds of different versions available to play. Initially created in 1903 by Elizabeth Magie, Monopoly is a real-estate game that can lead to hours of fun and frustration for family and friends. 

Monopoly can be time-consuming, especially for players with good business sense and a foolproof strategy. Monopoly is a finite game, which will end when all the players go bankrupt though it may seem like forever to get to this point. 

We will explore the factors that lead to Monopoly games continuing for longer periods and the longest game of Monopoly ever played. So, if you want to avoid any chaotic scenes of frustration during game night, read on for more information. 

an image of people playing Monopoly

Why Does Monopoly Go on Forever?

The style of play impacts the length of a Monopoly game. Competitive players agree the best and most strategic style of play is aggressive. Win or lose, the game is likely to finish in under two hours. Not following the rules properly can lead to a Monopoly game lasting much longer. 

One of the reasons for not following the rules to the letter is to avoid disagreements between players. Monopoly can be played by up to eight people, making it an excellent game for families to enjoy.

To avoid unwanted arguments between siblings and relatives, it’s common for some rules of the game to be altered or ignored. This allows young or inexperienced players more opportunities to succeed in the game. 

Is Monopoly an Infinite Game?

Monopoly is not designed to be an infinite game, but researchers have found that in a game of two people, there is a 12% probability that it will continue indefinitely. The study followed some simple principles of purchasing whenever possible and keeping a reserve of money in an emergency.

While playing Monopoly among friends and family, players intend to win and hope the game ends at some point. Within the game of Monopoly, there are plenty of chances for a bad roll of the dice to lead to a loss of cash or bankruptcy.

When playing Monopoly, we may ask, “Will this ever end?” To answer that, it’s improbable that a game following the correct rules will last long. 

Part of the reason for studying Monopoly is to see how gameplay reflects our real-world behaviors. Monopoly mirrors the real-life business in some ways, so the data collected from studying the game could be applied to economic strategies, improving the chances of successful ventures.

Playing Monopoly frequently and improving our ability to survive in a constantly changing financial situation might teach us good habits for the real world. 

Does Monopoly Have a Time Limit?

The estimated duration of Monopoly is 20-180 minutes. The game does not have a set time limit. The game will finish when all but one player is bankrupt. It is possible to set a time limit for the game if players need to finish within a set period.

Once the time is up, check the value of each player’s assets, and the one with the most money wins. Another alternative way to have a shorter game of Monopoly without a time limit is to conclude the game as soon as the first person goes bankrupt.

At this point, players calculate the assets of all the players, and the player with the most wins. This also prevents bankrupt players from sitting around waiting for the game to conclude. 

If you’d like to play Monopoly quickly, there are ways to make that happen by having every property landed on go up for sale – or if the player doesn’t buy it, then put it up for immediate auction.

What Is the Longest Monopoly game?

Internet rumor has it that the longest game of Monopoly lasted for 70 days in a row, over 1600 hours of play. While this “fact” is widely stated, it does not seem to be an official recording or history of this game.

There are other highly circulated “records” of long Monopoly games in obscure places. These started from a 99-hour game of Monopoly in a bath to a 286-hour game of Monopoly in a treehouse, and even a 36-hour game of Monopoly played upside down.

Again, these records haven’t been officiated, so if we fancy a Guinness World Record for Monopoly, there’s no official bar to beat.

Monopoly has earned its reputation for the endless game by creating a “Longest Game Ever” version. This version requires players to purchase all 66 properties to become the winner, with only one die and whimsical tokens in the shapes of hares and tortoises.

The only official Guinness book record for playing a board game was for a marathon match, which lasted 80 hours playing the Dutch game Ganzenbord, (Game of the Goose).

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

A game of Monopoly is not infinite. Played by the correct rules, a game is estimated to last no more than two hours. The number of people playing and the style of play can all impact the time it takes for a game to conclude.

While in some circumstances, the game could continue for an extended period, players always have the option to finish a game and count their assets to identify a winner. 

While many have claimed to hold the record for some of the longest games of Monopoly, it’s still unclear what is genuinely the longest game ever played. If we’re playing with the intention of some fast, friendly competition, it’s best to follow the rules strictly.

If we sit around with the family during the holidays with time to kill and want to make the game easier, then be prepared for a long road of real estate dealings.

We usually limit our Monopoly games to an hour. That way, we can have fun and (hopefully) avoid the fights that are certain to happen when players get bankrupted out of the game. As our children age, we’ll see if that time frame rule changes. We’ll have to see!

Resources

Learning from your own experience is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as gamers.

  • Bradford, H. (2013, June 1). You’re Playing Monopoly All Wrong. HuffPost UK. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/monopoly-rules-long-wrong_n_3366875
  • LaFee, S. (2016, August 29). More than just fun and games – The. San Diego Union-Tribune. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-monopoly-game-could-last-forever-2009oct05-htmlstory.html
  • Why do Monopoly games last forever? (n.d.). Quora. https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Monopoly-games-last-forever

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