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Mexican Standoff in Monopoly

In Monopoly, this term means that no properties except possibly the utilities are monopolized.  Everybody is just going around and around, collecting money when they pass Go and paying rent on undeveloped properties, railroads and utilities.  This can become really tedious, so the following chart is provided to help you determine if anybody is going to eventually be pushed underwater or if they are all going to increase their cash holdings.  It assumes that it takes 5.92 turns to complete a go around the board, which is greater than the five that is usually quoted because it takes going to jail into consideration.

  Expected Cost
Baltic, Mediterranean 0.76  
Vermont, Connecticut, Oriental 2.72  
St. Charles, Virginia, States 4.76  
Tennessee, New York, St. James 7.67  
Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana 9.71  
Atlantic, Ventnor, Marvin Gardens 10.69  
Pacific, North Carolina, Pennsylvania 12.31  
Park Place, Boardwalk 12.30  
Electric Company, Water Works 8.96 different
  22.39 monopolized
B & O, Reading, Pennsylvania, Short Line 18.22 all different
  27.33 two, one and one
  36.44 two and two
  59.21 three and one
  145.74 monopolized
Community Chest and Chance -13.76  
Luxury Tax 9.68  
Income Tax 27.57  
Jail 11.69  

The weakest possible position in a Mexican standoff is to have no property of one’s own, so let us first investigate if such a player can be pushed under.  If he can survive a Mexican standoff, then everybody can and you might as well just quit or arbitrarily decide that Go will only pay $100 until someone goes under.  Persisting in a Mexican standoff is boring and is one reason why some people do not like the game of Monopoly.

The sum of all these expenses is compiled in the following table:

  Utilities Different Utilities Monopolized
All railroads different 85.24 98.27
Two railroads owned together 94.35 107.78
Two and two railroads owned together 103.46 116.89
Three railroads owned together 126.23 139.66
Four railroads monopolized 212.76 226.19

Thus we see that, with nothing monopolized except the utilities, Mexican standoffs are interminable.  Four railroads will push an unpropertied player under, but only just barely and a monopoly of the railroads is generally not considered a Mexican standoff.  Hotels on Baltic and Mediterranean add $88.39 to these numbers so, if nobody owns more than one railroad or utility, the cost per go around the board is only $211.67, which is just barely over one’s $200 salary.

Since owning even a handful of mismatched properties is significantly stronger than owning nothing at all, especially if they include at least one railroad or utility, one can generally assume that all Mexican standoffs are interminable, including cases where someone owns all four railroads or someone has hotels on Baltic and Mediterranean, though not both.