The game of Monopoly has become so much a part of the culture that when someone uses the terms "Monopoly money," "land on free parking" or "get out of jail free card," everyone knows what the speaker is alluding to. The game has become a standby on family holidays and on long, hot days at the beach house or on rainy Saturday afternoons.
Monopoly was put out in its current form by Parker Brothers in 1935, which accounts for the apparel of the various figures depicted in the game and the general look of it. Monopoly is a literal depiction of the idea that the rich get rich and the poor get poorer: the more money you have, the more property and houses and hotels you can buy, and then the more rent you can collect. The less money you have, well, you get the idea. A monopoly is, of course, a situation where there is only one seller or provider who has no competition for his goods or services. The winner of the game thus has a monopoly of all the property (and the money) in the end.
In the Bank
So, just how much money does the bank have at the beginning of the game? In standard Monopoly games, the bank has $15,140 in cash.
The money comes in 20 orange $500 bills, 20 beige $100 bills, 30 blue $50 bills, 50 green $20 bills, 40 yellow $10 bills, 40 pink $5 bills, and 40 white $1 bills.
In games made after September 2008, the bank has $20,580. Accounting for inflation, of course. A few of the bills are a different color -- $10s are blue, $20s get a brighter green hue, and $50s are purple. Also, there are 30 of each denomination rather than varying numbers of each one.
How Much Money Does Each Player Start With
In Monopoly, each player starts the game with 1,500 dollars. They're broken down into two $500, four $100, one $50, one $20, two $10, one $5, and five $1. At the start of the game, the bank holds all 32 houses and 12 motels.
Extra Money in the Bank
If the bank repeatedly runs out of money when you play, which is more likely if you play with several people, you can add as much as you want. Make your own out of paper or use checkers or poker chips to indicate different amounts. Or if you want it all to be real Monopoly money, you can buy more in a toy or hobby store or order it online. The Monopoly bank never goes belly-up.
How Much You Get
Each player starts the game with $1,500. What happens to all that cash is all in the game.
Special Editions of Monopoly
One of the things that bring a unique kitschiness to Monopoly is the special edition branding of the game. You can find special editions of the game for almost any fandom imaginable. There are over a thousand different special editions of Monopoly. Special editions are usually made to match things like TV shows, games or bands so the pieces will all be made to match the particular theme of the game.