There are no Monopoly pros and no books written on how to play winning Monopoly. People often ask Darrow for advice, so often that all he will say now is: "Stay out of debt and own Boardwalk and Park Place." This is like saying the way to make money on the stock market is to buy low and sell high. Playing a winning game of Monopoly is actually very much like operating a successful business. You have to be aggressive, but not too aggressive. You must stay flexible, invest enough to provide an income and save enough to deal with emergencies, such as steep rents late in the game.
Regional variations of Monopoly have sprung up in the past 28 years. Parker Bros, officials can tell by the letters they receive that new ground rules are developing around the country. People write in for clarification of rules that do not officially exist. The company assumes that many families are playing by rules that have come down byword of mouth, long after the rules sheet has disappeared. Another indication of Monopoly's place in American life is that people are beginning to spell it with a small M, the same treatment they have been giving to such familiar articles as Jell-O, Vaseline, Scotch tape, Yo-Yo and Coke. Parker Bros, is grateful for the compliment implied, but they would be happier with a large M.
Monopoly migrated to England shortly after its success in the U.S. Since then it has been sold and played in most of the free world. Mr. Darrow once saw natives playing it in New Guinea.
Generally, foreign countries translate Monopoly into their own real estate and currency. In England the location is London, instead of Atlantic City. Mediterranean Avenue and Baltic Avenue come out as Old Kent Road and White-chapel Road. Boardwalk and Park Place turn into Mayfair and Park Lane. In Spain, Boardwalk translates to Paseo del Prado, in Germany it is Schlossallee and in France it is the Rue de la Paix. Instead of the railway lines serving the Atlantic City area, foreign Monopoly boards generally use railway stations, such as Gare de Lyon or King's Cross Station. In Japan, Monopoly retains all the American names and has translations underneath them. The Australians use a British board pattern. In most cases Monopoly, as a name, is still Monopoly after translation. But Italy has no y, so it becomes Monopoli. The Scandinavians call it Monopol.
Obviously, Monopoly is the epitome of a capitalistic game, and Communists could hardly be expected to embrace it. The game was very popular in Cuba, but when Fidel Castro took over he said it was "symbolic of an imperialistic and capitalistic system," and ordered shops to destroy all of the sets that they had in stock.
The Soviet Union banned Monopoly almost before Mr. Darrow got up from his kitchen table. But it is obvious that the game is played in the U.S.S.R. Little groups of would-be entrepreneurs, hard at play behind shuttered windows and locked doors, must be passing the subarctic winters buying houses for Marvin Gardens and trying to corner both utilities. During the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959—scene of the famed Nixon-Khrushchev kitchen debate—there were six Monopoly sets on display. By the end of the exhibit all six had been stolen.