If you haven’t heard about the new version of Monopoly that’s set to hit the streets in the UK you might be in for a shock…
The latest version due to be launched in August is going cashless. Gone are the days of counting your big wad of cash as you crush the opposition or handing over you last £1 to the banker in misery…. It’s just a case of keeping up with the times I guess but I think it’s rather sad – the end of an era if you like…
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The Monopoly “Voice Banking” version of the board game doesn’t use any physical cash. Instead, an electronic banking Top Hat in the centre of the board manages all money and transactions. It’s also done away with physical Chance and Community Chest cards as this is all handled by the Electronic AI unit. It only launched last week in the US with a UK launch set for August and will cost £29.99.
In this version, cash was replaced with bank cards for each player. You also collect £2,000,000 every time you pass Go! Not bad!!!
The announced change has also sparked strong feelings in the press, with the Guardian questioning if this is jumping the gun and concerns being raised that it might teach kids bad financial lessons.
So, with the change being such a contentious issue, especially to anyone mildly interested in finance or business, I thought I’d gather some thoughts from some of the UK’s Top Money Bloggers.
All contributors were asked 3 questions…
1. Were they for or against the change? And Why?
2. What Was Their Favourite Monopoly Piece?
3. What was their Monopoly Strategy?
First off, I’d like to give a big thank you to Sara Williams of Debt Camel who shared this article in the Mirror, which sparked the idea for this post. So, we’ll start off with Sara’s thoughts on the change.
Against: “I think with children under the age of 10, actually handling the notes helps them realise when you can and can’t afford something. Having it all done electronically is too much like magic for small children.”
For older players, well it’s not that interesting a game! I would prefer to play something like Settlers of Catan or Carcassone with teenage children or adults.”
Favourite Piece: “I always liked to be the Top Hat – I don’t remember why though”
Strategy: “Anyone who thinks Monopoly is a game of chance should think again – after my son got to be about 8 no-one ever beat him in a game unless the other players collaborated (cheated?) and sold properties to each other very cheaply.”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No, the rules aren’t affected by the cashless change, so collaboration is still possible. I think this a shrewd rather than “cheating”. According to the official Hasbro rules “Unimproved properties, railroads and utilities (but not buildings) may be sold to any player as a private transaction for any amount the owner can get”
All’s fair in Love, War, and Monopoly!
Understands the Decision: “A cashless society is likely to be the future so I can totally understand why Hasbro have made the decision to bring out a completely cashless version of Monopoly. However, I don’t think it will be as popular as the cash ones it was always a great game to begin teaching children the value of money.”
Favourite Piece: “My favourite piece was always the top hat.”
Strategy: “My strategy was to buy everything I came across as I went around, sit on any spare cash thus hiding it from my family and always buy myself out of jail!”
Strategy Affected by The Change? Yes, unfortunately for Hollie in the new cashless versions hiding cash from the rest of the players won’t be possible anymore! Hollie seems to have a very solid strategy though. Buying up everything you come across (especially early on) is one of the recommended tactics to be successful at Monopoly. Your cash is far better invested than sat in the bank…
Both Options: “I do like the cash version, but I think it’s good to have both options available. I just hope they keep making the cash version too!”
Favourite Piece: “My favourite player piece was the boot!”
Strategy: “I liked to buy as many properties as I could and would buy every available property I landed on so long as I had enough cash!”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No. Another winning strategy her too though along with Hollie. It’s looking like the Money Bloggers are a canny bunch when it comes to Monopoly… Unfortunately, the boot won’t be in the cashless version as the piece was booted out in 2017 along with the Thimble and Wheelbarrow. Hasbro replaced them with The Duck, Penguin, and T-Rex!
Against: “The fun was always in cheating which I can’t see how you can with a cashless system!! So, I am strictly against it on this basis.”
Favourite Piece: “Top Hat all the way here!”
Strategy: “I always wanted the 4 stations for vanity rather than as part of a strong strategy. And I always aimed to get all three greens or yellows – good earners but not the most expensive.”
Strategy Affected by the Change?: Yes! As Emma says, cheating will be pretty tough using the cashless system, hence why she’s against the change! Buying the railways though could be a winning strategy as it’s cited as one of the best in this post along with several others. It’s widely regarded as a winning tactic as they deliver a more constant level of revenue over the course of a game.
As for the colour choices, this post tells us the yellows are reds are good, but oranges are in fact the best colour to own as their landed on more often than any other colour.
Against: “I prefer the older version. I could understand it more if we were already totally cashless, but this seems to be a nudge in that direction, and it makes me wonder who has given them that nudge!
But to be honest, it’s not a big deal for me. Maybe it’s a good thing, we shall see.”
Favourite Piece: “I was always the dog as it was a similar breed to my dog, and I adored her!”
Strategy: “I don’t think I had a strategy apart from avoiding jail – I’ve not played it since I was too young to remember, as the game goes on too long for me.”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No. Jail is still jail in the new game! Although going to jail late on in the game when the board is full of houses and hotels can actually be a winning tactic. According to Tim Darling, you’re best off buying yourself out of jail early in the game as you need to acquire as many properties as you can. But stay in later in the game to conserve your cash…
For: “Change always happens and we’re a progressive society, so I’m not against a new type of game. However, I’m nostalgic for the classic Monopoly.”
Favourite Piece: “My piece was the top hat or the dog.”
Strategy: “My strategy was to be banker and cheat, if necessary (sorry family!)”
Strategy Affected by the Change? Yes, undeniably so. Sorry Naomi, you can’t be the banker in the new version, or cheat…. Was there some skimming from the bank going on here I wonder??
Against: “I think the older version is better. It’s something my whole family played when we were younger and even when my siblings had no concept of money, we would guide them. By playing the role of the bank, they also improved their maths skills and would say things like “woah that’s expensive.” I think Monopoly is one of those games you can learn through unwittingly.”
Favourite Piece: “Hmm I think my favourite piece was always the boat and my favourite space was of course pass and collect £200.”
Strategy: “In terms of a strategy I was very flexible and would change it depending on how the game went or how others were buying. I normally always bought the train stations and medium-priced properties though!”
For: “I think it’s really important to teach kids about how to manage money digitally with the amount of people carrying cash on the fall in today’s world. I still think there are plenty of opportunities to use cash in games as it’s important to get a balance of both teachings.”
Favourite Piece: “I was also the little dog (my brothers always used to get first choice as they were older!)”
Strategy: “I used to try and buy up two colours that were close together to increase my chances of cornering my brothers! Pink and orange were my favourite.”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No. Buying up a couple of colour groups close together seems to be a solid strategy to me! And as mentioned earlier, Orange is the best one to own!
Against: “I’m not a fan – the cash version does teach children money in some form. We’re not a cashless society (yet!) so it seems a bit premature.”
Favourite Piece: “I was always the dog”
Strategy: “My strategy was to buy and hold everything!”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No. Another solid strategy here as buying up as much as you can to generate an income is a winning Monopoly strategy. It may be worth steering clear of some of the duds though such as Utility companies and Old Kent Road.
For: “I really like the cashless version because it’s less hassle like counting or sorting the notes. I also know some people who are prone to cheating so with the cashless version there are less issues, and less arguments. Personally, when I was a child, I didn’t play Monopoly and still learned how to deal with money.”
Favourite Piece: Battleship
Strategy: “My strategy is to focus on getting the pink, orange, red and yellow fields as the player owning these is statistically most likely to win (based on my family’s data)”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No. This again seems like a solid strategy with red and orange being commonly cited as the most lucrative sites to own.
For (but retaining the cash version): “I think there is definite value in having a cashless version for those wanting to play it with older children – over 10. Young people these days think nothing of buying a 99p drink with a contactless card, so it fits their style. I agree with Sara though that there is value in retaining a cash-based version to help teach money skills to much younger children.”
Favourite Piece: “Always the boot for me.”
Strategy: “I played this with my brothers for years and continued with my girls. I always chose to go after the turquoise properties as I grew up by The Angel, Islington. And I loved the brown properties – Old Kent Road etc. Probably why I never won as they were the cheap ones!”
Strategy Affected by the Change?: No. Love your honesty here on your Monopoly success. You’re bang on the money with the Brown properties, unfortunately. Even though their cheap to buy the rent yields are so low they’re not worth buying according to the experts.
For: “I’m for it – I prefer my children to go cashless when it comes to pocket money. I get them a bank account with a card as soon as they’re old enough and all pocket money goes in there. I worry about them losing cash or being a target for pickpockets etc.”
Favourite Piece: “My piece of choice was always the dog (no idea why because I’m no animal lover)”
Strategy: “I didn’t have a strategy as such when playing but I ALWAYS had to get the stations, no idea why, might have been an OCD thing but I liked where they were positioned and we’re always my first things to buy.”
Strategy Affected by The Change?: No. However, although you say you didn’t have a strategy Claire, buying railways is actually one of the most common winning strategies cited by the experts due to their consistent revenue. So, it looks like you unwittingly picked a winner here!
Both Needed: “I think money keeps it real. They need to offer both; we aren’t completely cashless… yet. The cashless society has contributed to people going into debt because they don’t see the money so be interesting to see how they deal with this…”
Favourite Piece: “I don’t think I had a favourite piece. I’m usually the cat or dog now.”
Strategy: “My 11-year-old wins every flipping time. I change my strategy every time, but to no avail. I hope he’s as good at making that money in real life!”
Strategy Affected by the Change?: No. Although perhaps there’s some cheating going one here too? Maybe the cashless version will change your luck….
Against: “My main thought is that the new cashless version cuts down on the chance to learn mental arithmetic. It banishes all the counting out of money and counting out of change to buy properties, pay rent and deal with whatever Chance and Community Chest throw at you. I actually have a sneaky liking for Junior Monopoly, as it’s so much quicker than the full-on traditional version of my childhood.”
Favourite Piece: “I was always the dog.”
Strategy: “My strategy was to buy anything I landed on and hope for the best.”
Strategy Affected by the Change?: No, but it looks like Faith is another proponent of the “Buy Everything” strategy, which seems to be a popular one! I do think Faith raises a very important point about learning mental arithmetic. Counting the notes and working out what I could afford to buy was a big part of the game for me as a child, but that seems to be completely banished in the new version. I also remember being horrified when I had to mortgage all my properties to pay a big rent bill once!
Against: “I think moving everything over to cashless just gives the banks and government more control overseeing EVERYTHING that we do.
I prefer the old game I’ll be honest BUT I haven’t seen the game in the flesh yet to pass judgement.”
For: “I think cashless is a great move to cater to the younger generations. It’s inevitable we move to a completely cashless society. Don’t forget that monopoly was always a great way for kids to learn about money. Cashless will help kids learn as they grow up under this regime.”
Favourite Piece: “I was always the Tophat piece.”
Strategy: “When I play monopoly, I’m usually the more aggressive participate and buy when I can. Then, navigate through the monetary situation later.”
Strategy Affected by the Change? No. Switching to cashless won’t affect Kyle’s ability to buy aggressively.
For: “I think the cashless version is a useful tool for children to learn about the value of “non-physical money” (is that even what it’s called?).
My daughter has savings/spending/sharing jars, so I feel like I have the area of cold, hard cash well and truly covered.
It’s quite a relief to have a resource to teach children that the cashpoint isn’t just a magical money machine.
I think it’s a great idea and I’ll be buying one for Audrey – to accompany our traditional version – just because of this new development.”
Favourite Piece: “I always wanted to be the dog, but as the youngest, that never seemed to happen!”
Strategy: “My strategy was to buy everything and hope for the best. I don’t think anyone ever explained that I had any other option!”
Last up we’ve got my answers…
Against: I’m actually against the change. I understand the move as many of my fellow Money Bloggers do as we’re becoming more and more of a cashless society. My main concern though is the impact it has as a learning experience for children. A point made by Sara (Debt Camel), Hollie (Thrifty Mum), Annelies (The Frugal Frenchie) and Nicola (The Frugal Cottage). I also wholeheartedly agree with Helen Dewdney’s point about the cashless society contributing to people going into debt, as they don’t see the physical money.
As Sara Williams says: “Having it all done electronically is too much like magic for small children.” I definitely notice this with my 6-year-old. He seems to think if we just “order something off eBay” it’s free. Handling the physical notes and coins helps him to understand the value of money.
I also vividly remember playing Monopoly as a child and my mum helping to work out what I could afford to buy with the notes I had. I think this will be much more difficult to do with a cashless system unfortunately.
Favourite Piece: Mine was always the Battleship. I’m not entirely sure why. I think I just liked the shape of it for some reason…
Strategy: I’ll be honest here. I was pretty young when I played Monopoly so I think my strategy (if you can call it that) left a lot to be desired. I was completely fixed on buying the most expensive streets (Mayfair and Park Lane) and building as much as possible on them. Yes, it was very much an “all or nothing” strategy!!!
Is my Strategy Affected by the Change: No, but I’m definitely changing it after creating this post and reading up on winning Monopoly tactics. Mine was a bit of a dud!
I used to win a lot though. But with hindsight, I think my family were probably letting me win. It’s probably why our games went on for hours like Francesca Harry’s…. It took hours for me to get a lucky run of people landing on my Park Lane and Mayfair hotel developments 😊.
For or Against the Switch to Cashless
The results were actually fairly balanced.
- 6 Money Bloggers were in-favour of the Change
- 8 were against it and
- 4 were kind of in the middle i.e. they understood the change but felt the cash version was still valuable and needed.
The Pro cashless camp mainly argues that it’s a welcome change and Hasbro is keeping up with the times. More and more transactions are cashless now so it’s important to teach children how to manage money in a cashless society.
The Against camp mainly argues that the removal of physical money reduces the learning process for younger children as they won’t be physically counting the notes and handing it over.
Then there’s the group in the middle who can see the benefits but still think the original has a lot of value. To be honest, I suspect this is where Hasbro will end up anyway. Yes, it’s a contentious move, but I can’t see them completely ditching the Classic version, especially as the opinion’s likely to be so split.
More than likely, quite a few households will end up owning both as Kara Gammell plans to do. The cynic in me suspects this is Hasbro’s cunning plan…. More versions equal more sales after all!!!
The Most Popular Piece
The most popular Monopoly token amongst the Money Bloggers surveyed was the Dog, followed by the Top Hat and Battleship.
Surprisingly the car didn’t make the list at all despite being the most popular Monopoly piece when Hasbro ran their Save Your Token Campaign in 2013 according to this article with 1 out of every 4 players choosing it. The Top Hat and Scottie Dog were tied with 1 in 5 people preferring them.
The most common strategy by far amongst the Money Bloggers was the “buy everything” approach. But, this is a tried and tested tactic as your money is better invested and working for you rather than sitting in cash… Fortunately for the bloggers it won’t be affected by the change. The only ones affected are those that like to cheat in some way… Hasbro, you spoilsports!
So, there you have it, the views of 18 Top Money Bloggers on the switch to cashless Monopoly. As you can see it’s a pretty divisive issue with a pretty even split of opinions.
I’d also like to give a big thank everyone who contributed to this post, I was amazed by the response!
What do you think? Is Hasbro onto a winner with the new version or should they proceed directly to Jail without passing Go? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading.