Why Does Monopoly Cause Fights? (2 Ways to Avoid!)

By Kimberly

Updated:

Monopoly is a popular game of real estate and money, and it’s a huge favorite. One of the reasons why it’s so popular is because it causes fights, and some people even scream. This sounds hilarious, but it’s the truth. So, why does Monopoly have a bad reputation for causing fights? Let’s find out!

The most common reason for fighting during Monopoly is when players cheat. Players may also become angry and fight if they are unhappy with losing, rules being bent, or the game becoming too unfair.

Every family has a notorious Monopoly story, an epic fight they will never forget, especially that one time when they saw their brother steal money from the bank, but no one believed him. Joking aside, heated arguments do happen during the game.

an image of Monopoly - the train is on the go to jail square with dice in the background

Why Do People Fight Over Monopoly?

Here are the most common fights people have over Monopoly:

  1. Players make up their own rules
  2. Players steal (or “borrow”) money from the bank
  3. Who will be the banker
  4. The player buying the property another player wanted
  5. Players purposely miscount their move

Did you know that Monopoly is the most forbidden board game ever? Some family members have even been banned from Monopoly game night! One has to wonder, why even play Monopoly when it causes so much trouble?

I’ll be honest: it’s one of my least-favorite games to play at home because it frequently ends in a… let’s call it a vocal disagreement between family members.

2 Ways to Avoid Fighting During a Game of Monopoly

There are only 2 ways to avoid fighting during a game of Monopoly: 1. follow the rules and 2. manage frustrations. Both must be in place to avoid a fight during games like Monopoly. These two things take a lot of practice, so be patient with everyone while they learn good sportsmanship skills.

It’s okay to get mad at first. We all have to learn to be good players – whether we win or lose. And that takes time. Sound too simple? Let’s complicate things a little bit more.

As a matter of fact, in a way, a goal of the Monopoly game is to fight. Recent surveys have shown that people like to fight during games. Not necessarily throwing rocks at each other, but a little disagreement here and there can be welcome. 

The commercials like to show a picture-perfect family playing board games. Well, that is far from the truth. Monopoly was engaged in the campaign ‘Fighting is Good.’

The purpose of the campaign was to show children there is a valuable lesson that can be learned from losing the game. Furthermore, it’s encouraged to express negative and positive emotions. 

This way, children and adults can learn how to deal with anger and frustration correctly, calm down and let go, and deal with losing. Learning to lose with grace and good sportsmanship is an important life skill.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy – learning to lose takes a long time. But perhaps that’s a good reason to break out the Monopoly board game after all – so everyone can re-learn good sportsmanship.

So perhaps avoiding fighting during any game should have three components.

  1. Follow the rules.
  2. Learn to manage frustration when it happens.
  3. Keep practicing #1 and #2 until the activity (or game) becomes fun – even when there’s only one winner.
An image of a woman holding a card by dice on monopoly game.

Why Is Monopoly So Frustrating?

The whole nature of the Monopoly game is frustrating. There are a couple of reasons behind it, including normal game mechanics, the element of chance, players not following the rules (cheating), and experiencing anger when another player is successful and we are not.

Monopoly was designed to be frustrating. Nothing is soothing or calming about being driven into bankruptcy! That applies to both real life AND gaming!

When it comes to the element of chance, that’s when the real frustration begins. Usually, the reason is “it’s not fair.” And it’s not. We can be the smartest and most strategic player in the room, but without any luck, we will lose. That’s why this game has a pair of dice – it is up to some chance. Whether or not you then draw a chance card is different!

Next, most of us know at least one person who avoids playing Monopoly because it is frustrating. For some reason, following the rules in Monopoly isn’t a popular tradition. Let me correct myself; some people like to interpret rules in their way. That or they flat-out cheat.

If players gather around the table and unanimously agree on the rules, there shouldn’t be any problem. But let’s be honest with ourselves, when does that happen? Probably never, or maybe once. 

For example, if some players aren’t very keen on following the rules, they will make their own rules. That is when the cheating starts. The player tries to bend the rules and frustrates other players.

In most cases, the cheating player is the only one having fun while the rest are angry.

Finally, it’s a game where one person wins at the expense of everyone else. This gets us back to the “normal game mechanics,” as this is how Monopoly was designed (and many other games, if we’re being honest). There can only be one “winner” if you’re playing Monopoly the “right” way. And everyone else goes bankrupt and loses.

Losing at Monopoly takes a healthy dose of sportsmanship. So does winning, for that matter.

What Board Game Causes the Most Fights? (Is It Monopoly?)

Undoubtedly, Monopoly is the board game that causes the most fights.

Monopoly is the number one board game that causes fights. Scrabble is second and is followed by Risk, Settlers of Catan, Pictionary, Uno, Sorry!, and Jenga.

Monopoly causes the most fights because in almost every game, someone quits due to loss, and in almost every game, a player accuses someone of cheating.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Monopoly is the most controversial board game ever, but that is part of the charm. Although we encourage playing Monopoly by the rules and being respectful towards other players, fights will arise at some point in the game.

Hopefully, the fight won’t go too far, and after the game, players will be able to laugh at the whole thing. Monopoly can teach our children and us how to express and control emotions and deal with money.

Let’s not forget the most important part; Monopoly is fun to play. The conclusion is that Monopoly isn’t just another board game; it’s too real. That’s why we fight. Monopoly can give us great exercise for practicing patience and kindness. Good luck with your next Monopoly game!

If you are a Monopoly lover and want to know more about the game, check out these other Monopoly articles packed full of information.

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.

  • Gosling, E. G. (2022, September 13). Fighting is good, according to KesselsKramer’s new Monopoly campaign. Creative Review Co Uk. https://www.creativereview.co.uk/kesselskramer-monopoly/
  • Houston, A. (2022, September 13). Monopoly encourages family feuds in ‘Fighting Is Good’ billboard campaign. The Drum. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2022/09/13/monopoly-encourages-family-feuds-fighting-good-billboard-campaign
  • Logan, R. L. (2021, June 3). List: Board Games Most Likely to Start a Fight. wcsx.com. https://wcsx.com/2021/06/03/list-board-games-most-likely-to-start-a-fight/
  • Melore, C. (2021, June 2). Banned from game night: ‘Monopoly’ leads to the most fights among family, friends. Study Finds. https://studyfinds.org/game-night-monopoly-banned-causes-most-fights/
  • Nelson, D. (2017, August 30). These Are the Games That Cause the Most Fights. Thrillist. https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/monopoly-causes-fights-about-rules
  • Styles, W. (2021, June 4). No Surprise: Monopoly causes the most ‘fights’ of all board games. Neuhoff Media Springfield. https://neuhoffmediaspringfield.com/2021/06/04/no-surprise-monopoly-causes-the-most-fights-of-all-board-games/

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