Total Monopoly

Here is the full game of TOTAL MONOPOLY, the heartbreaking game of futility and contempt. Click here to access (an updated) high-quality printable pdfs of the board, the rules and a full set of chance cards (a selection of which are also below).

2020 edit: note that these are all 2016 prices. You can probably add about 15% cumulative interest on for every year since then. Also, needless to say, ‘London’ here is just a metaphor.


  1. Nobody can buy anything. Whoever owned (or whoever’s parents owned) all the property in the last game gets it all again this game. This player is the elite player.
  2. Only the elite players have any dice. Everyone else—the common players—just stay in the same place paying rent, over and over again.
  3. When an elite player lands on a chance square, they take an elite chance card. Common players take common chance cards every round, or whenever the elite players feel like giving them one.
  4. Nobody can play another game. Attempting to quit leads directly to jail (which doubles up as a psychiatric hospital).
  5. You have to buy get out of jail free cards. They’re very expensive, so the elite player has them all.
  6. The elite player can cheat as much as he likes.
  7. The elite player is also the bank (and vice versa), or a close friend of the bank.
  8. The bank is also the government and can make any rules it likes.
  9. Any disputes over rules, refer to the government.
  10. When an elite player lands on a tax square, everyone gives him money.
  11. Players earn money from the property owner by ‘building the board’—making it bigger and adding properties to it… which the elites automatically gain possession of. They paid for it after all!
  12. Players keep paying rent until they’ve run out of money, at which point they can ask the bank for a loan.
  13. When a player asks for a loan, the bank literally writes the money into existence and then keeps the return.
  14. The bank also charges interest on the loans, which are payable to the bank after every round.
  15. Anyone who defaults on loans or doesn’t pay rent goes directly to jail.
  16. The game ends when everyone is in jail or when the board covers the entire planet and everyone starves to death or when all the common players take their own lives out of pure hopeless misery and the elites go out of their minds because they have to clean their own toilets, or when everyone decides that this is a crap game and plays something more sensible. Like twister.


The original Monopoly board, patented in 1904 by Elizabeth Maggie as ‘The Landlord’s Game’, was intended to show how large property owners expoit poor tenants. Instead of the ‘Pass Go, Collect $200’ square, she had ‘Labor Upon Mother Earth Produces Wages’. Her properties included ‘Lonely Lane’, ‘Boomtown’, ‘Goat Alley’ and ‘Rickety Row’ (which reminds me of a road I once lived on in poor Beijing — ‘Dirty Street’, just round the corner from ‘Filthy Street’). You could go to jail for trespassing on Lord Blueblood’s estate, or end up in the poorhouse, or perhaps get some relief from the ‘absolute necessity shelter’. How times change eh?

Other posters in this series: