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Excel at Monopoly #4: Payoff periods

23 September 2016

Apologies for the break, but we’re back and ready to talk more Monopoly, just in time for the turn in the weather! Last week, we learned exactly how much we’re going to earn from owning each property. This week, we’re going to look at whether it’s actually worth it in the first place.

We saw last week that Mayfair earns an expected value of $2.61 every turn. Trafalgar Square earns an expected value of $1.27 each turn. So while Mayfair earns more, it’s important to remember that it’s more expensive than Trafalgar square.

We can see from the table above that once we factor in the cost of the property, it takes us 189 turns to pay off the cost of Trafalgar Square, and 153 turns to pay off the cost of Mayfair. If we look at what happens if we’ve bought a hotel on each property, it would take us 28 turns to pay off Trafalgar Square, and 27 turns to pay off Mayfair – much closer.

On the face of it, this would suggest that Mayfair is a better investment than Trafalgar Square. However, this ignores that we would also need to buy The Strand, Fleet Street and Park Lane as well. When we combine the purchase of all properties in a group, we get the following table:

Wow! So if we look at the Dark Blue group, if we buy both properties and all the houses needed to upgrade to hotels, it takes 32 turns to pay off our investment. In fact, it takes longer to pay off the hotels, than it would if we just upgraded to a 3 house position and left things there. Who would have guessed that?

Looking at the table, it shows that Orange has the best bang for buck – buy all the orange hotels, and it will only take you 24 turns to make your money back. Similarly, light blue only needs 28 turns – it really benefits from having some very cheap houses and hotels.

So this is really the final table that we’ve been building up to. This table essentially tells us what value we’re getting for our investments. If you’re ever in a pickle and trying to work out which property you want in the long-term, perhaps as part of a trade with another player, check back here and make an informed decision.