Chicago Area Mensa banner
/images/mastheel-standard.jpg rest of Chicago Area Mensa banner

Monopoly Puzzler #3

Question 1
You land on Boardwalk on your first turn of the game. Is it possible that another player already owns it?
Show Answer to Question 1
Answer 1
Yes.
For another player to own Boardwalk a player before you must have landed on it. (Not necessarily the same player who owns it now.)
The furthest you can move on your first turn purely by the dice is 12 + 12 + 11 = 35, which gets you to Short Line R.R., four spaces short of Boardwalk. Nobody gets from Go to Boardwalk in one turn without a card of some sort.
A Community Chest card is no help — the only two that cause movement send the player to Go or to Jail. You need a Chance card to reach Boardwalk from Go.
Clearly one player can get there with the “Advance Token to Boardwalk” card, but can two players get that on their first turns? The maximum number of players is eight.* The first seven can draw at most 14 Chance cards (proving this is left as an exercise), which is not enough to bring Boardwalk to the top of the 16-card deck a second time.
But there's a second way to reach Boardwalk. With doubles rolls of 10 and 12 you can reach the second Chance space, draw the “Advance Token to Nearest Utility” card, and then roll an 11 from Water Works to reach Boardwalk.

* Actually, this isn't written in the rules, but it's written on the box. It may be considered a loophole. If ten play, the first and last could draw “Advance Token to Boardwalk.”


Hide Answer 1
Question 2
Is it possible that both Boardwalk and Park Place have been purchased before your first turn?
Show Answer to Question 2
Answer 2
Yes.
One player can have gotten “Advance Token to Boardwalk,” and another have taken the more complex path above, but ending with a roll of 9 from Water Works rather than 11. This question didn’t presume that you yourself landed on one of the dark blue properties — that would require a third method of reaching them in a single turn and there isn’t one. (Rolling double fives and double sixes to reach the second Chance space, then drawing one of the two “Advance token to the nearest railroad” cards puts you within twelve spaces of Park Place, but a twelve would be your third consecutive roll of doubles.)
Hide Answer 2
Home Contact
Members
Only