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Subject: Another building shortage question rss

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Maxim Recoil
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Situation: The bank has no houses, but it has plenty of hotels. You have an unimproved monopoly, let's say Baltic/Med. Obviously you can't buy any houses, but can you buy hotels for $500? I was under the impression that you couldn't. For example:

Quote:
If there are not enough houses in the bank for a player to build four houses on each property before building a hotel, the player may not skip directly to buying a hotel by paying the full price at one go.

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But this excerpt from the official rules logically indicates that you can:

Quote:
All hotels on one color-group may be sold at once, or they may be
sold one house at a time (one hotel equals five houses), evenly, in
reverse of the manner in which they were erected.


Given that you can sell all hotels on one color-group at once, it logically follows that you can buy all hotels for one color-group at once, and since it specifically says that "one hotel equals five houses", this should bypass the need for available houses for building hotels. Hotels can be thought of as five houses glued together, therefore a housing shortage could never prevent someone from buying hotels because the necessary houses are an inseparable part of, and in fact, are equal to, each hotel.
 
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George Husted
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I don't think that's right. I am pretty sure you have to buy the houses before you can upgrade to a hotel.
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Maxim Recoil
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b a n j o wrote:


The rules explicitly say if there are not enough houses in the supply, you cannot buy a hotel.


No they don't. They say:

Quote:
BUILDING SHORTAGES… When the Bank has no houses to sell,
players wishing to build must wait for some player to return or sell
his/her houses to the Bank before building.


It doesn't mention hotels at all. If you had a man on the street read that excerpt without him knowing where it came from, he would read it as:

BUILDING SHORTAGES… When the Bank has no houses to sell,
players wishing to build [houses] must wait for some player to return or sell his/her houses to the Bank before building.


The word in brackets would go without saying, because that is what "build" is referring to in that particular sentence according to accepted standards of the English language.

Quote:
So I disagree with the logic you've employed in an attempt to ignore the rule.


Logic stands on its own merits, thus your grounds for disagreement with the logic are invalid. Even if the rules did specifically say what you say they do, that wouldn't invalidate the logic. In such a case you would simply have rules within the set that are at odds with each other, thus, illogical.

Also, your "an attempt to ignore the rule" statement is dismissed (see above).

Quote:
Players MUST be allowed to sell hotels (regardless of the number of houses in the supply) in an attempt to generate the necessary capital needed to avoid bankruptcy. The rule which allows players to sell a Hotel at the value of the Hotel AND all of the Houses, addresses this issue.


That you believe this to be a "must" is irrelevant. A rule that doesn't allow building hotels because there are no houses would in fact be at odds with a rule that allows one to sell hotels all at once even if there are no houses. This is a contradiction, and a contradiction constitutes fallacious reasoning / illogic.
 
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Justin Beal
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Okay, I hope I can put this to rest here, using a little logic of my own. The rules state that:
Quote:
When you have four houses on each property of a complete color-group, you may buy a hotel from the Bank and erect it on any property of that color-group.

So although the rules also say that:
Quote:
All hotels on one color-group may be sold at once.

It does NOT follow that you may BUY hotels at once as it gives specific rules that you must have four houses on the property to do so.

So when you said,
Quote:
It doesn't mention hotels at all. If you had a man on the street read that excerpt without him knowing where it came from, he would read it as:

BUILDING SHORTAGES… When the Bank has no houses to sell,
players wishing to build [houses] must wait for some player to return or sell his/her houses to the Bank before building.

The word in brackets would go without saying, because that is what "build" is referring to in that particular sentence according to accepted standards of the English language.

You're absolutely right! That rule is talking only about houses, so to answer your question about hotels, we must refer to the rule about building hotels, which as I've shown above, says that a hotel may only be purchased when there are 4 houses on the property in question. Therefore, if there are no houses to buy, and your property does not already have 4 houses on it, then you certainly can't buy a hotel!

Also, when you said:
Quote:
A rule that doesn't allow building hotels because there are no houses would in fact be at odds with a rule that allows one to sell hotels all at once even if there are no houses. This is a contradiction, and a contradiction constitutes fallacious reasoning / illogic.

This is not a contradiction. You are assuming that the rules for buying and selling should be equal and reversible, but with the rules quotes above I have shown that the rules for buying and selling are not equal and reversible.

I hope that clears everything up!
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Maxim Recoil
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Does anyone who has enough cash to go from empty lots to hotels actually go through the motions of setting up 4 houses on each property just to hand them back immediately and take hotels for each property?

urjustintime wrote:
Also, when you said:
Quote:
A rule that doesn't allow building hotels because there are no houses would in fact be at odds with a rule that allows one to sell hotels all at once even if there are no houses. This is a contradiction, and a contradiction constitutes fallacious reasoning / illogic.

This is not a contradiction. You are assuming that the rules for buying and selling should be equal and reversible, but with the rules quotes above I have shown that the rules for buying and selling are not equal and reversible.

I hope that clears everything up!


It actually is a contradiction, no matter how you slice it. On the one hand, hotels are treated by the game as a separate upgrade to 4 houses, but on the other hand, they are treated as a unit of 5 houses.

Consider the following scenario:

There are no houses left in the bank, and you have a pair of hotels on Baltic/Med. You owe another player rent and you have to sell your hotels. So you sell your hotels to the bank for $250. So what did you just sell to the bank? Only $50 of that $250 was for the hotels, so the other $200 was for the 8 houses that you originally bought before replacing them with hotels.

So, you just sold the bank 8 houses, and you have the $200 in hand to prove it. Okay then, I want to buy those 8 houses from the bank, you know, those same 8 houses that you just sold to the bank ...

What's that you say? The bank has no houses despite having just bought 8 houses? How can this be?

I can tell you how this can be; it is a contradiction, plain and simple, therefore, illogical.
 
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Justin Beal
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MaximRecoil wrote:

There are no houses left in the bank, and you have a pair of hotels on Baltic/Med. You owe another player rent and you have to sell your hotels. So you sell your hotels to the bank for $250. So what did you just sell to the bank?


You sold the bank 2 hotels. The selling price of a hotel on Baltic/Med. is $25 and 4 houses. Under normal circumstances, the bank would have given you 4 houses back, and then you would have a choice to sell more houses if you wanted to, but since the bank didn't have any houses to give you, it had to just refund you $25 per house that you weren't able to receive. This is why the housing shortage strategy is so devastating.

Another way to think about this is to look at the title deed cards. They say hotels cost "$x plus 4 houses." So to get a hotel, you have to 'pay' 4 houses. If you sell your hotel, the bank 'pays' you 4 houses. But if the bank doesn't have those houses in the supply, they have to pay you money instead.
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The Count
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Some of your questions you asked have been answered in a FAQ included in Monopoly games going back to my oldest copy in the 70's. It is almost identical to the FAQ I got in a copy in the last 15 years. It is a cardboard insert.

You might also want to read this book (or a current version):



It has history of the game and includes FAQ for the game. It is written by a past Chief Judge of the Monopoly Championship. He is also the founder of Winning Moves Games (USA).

It has a whole section on what you are asking about and explains it pretty well.

No one here is going to be making sure or care whether you play it correctly or not. It is your game, and you can play it how you want.

But if you are asking advice on how to play the "correct" way, you have been given the advice and can do what you want with it.
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Tyler Carpenter
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The best way to resolve (or understand) this issue is to play with the following rule:

Buying a hotel does not return the 4 houses to the bank. It leaves the 4 houses on the property. A player who adds a hotel to a property does not "free up" the houses for further purchase (or for other players).

By doing this, the housing shortage strategy becomes quite useful late in the game, and it resolves all questions regarding selling hotels. The rules are unclear about the cost of a hotel, but it does not indicate that the houses get returned to the bank when a hotel is built. Then selling the hotel brings leaves the property with the 4 houses it already had.

 
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Tom Swider
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What a terrible idea. Rules work fine as written.

All in all, not sure why this rule is so confusing to people. Read the rules and don't make assumptions. Four houses on each property is a prerequisite for buying a hotel. If you want to sell a single hotel, you can do so if there are 4 houses in the bank. If there aren't, the only way you can sell one hotel is to sell all of them, back down to an undeveloped property.
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Robert Stewart
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MaximRecoil wrote:
But this excerpt from the official rules logically indicates that you can:

Quote:
All hotels on one color-group may be sold at once, or they may be
sold one house at a time (one hotel equals five houses), evenly, in
reverse of the manner in which they were erected.


Given that you can sell all hotels on one color-group at once, it logically follows that you can buy all hotels for one color-group at once, and since it specifically says that "one hotel equals five houses", this should bypass the need for available houses for building hotels. Hotels can be thought of as five houses glued together, therefore a housing shortage could never prevent someone from buying hotels because the necessary houses are an inseparable part of, and in fact, are equal to, each hotel.


You appear to be applying either a non-sequitur, or using additional, unstated assumptions.

The rules quote says:

1) All Hotels of a colour group may be sold at once
or
2) They may be sold one house at a time, evenly (this is the reverse of the manner in which they were erected)

Not only does the statement "All hotels of a colour group may be erected at once even without having sufficient houses in supply to build 4 on each property first" not follow from 1) but it directly contradicts the parenthetical in 2) - if selling one house at a time is the reverse of the manner in which the hotels were erected, then the manner in which the hotels were erected is the reverse of removing one house at a time (since reversing the reverse of an operation gives you the original operation), which is erecting one house at a time.

So, what logically follows from your rules quote is the opposite of what you claim.


As to the question of whether you should be required to take the extra houses from the bank just to return them and replace them with hotels, it is generally accepted that it's permissible to take shortcuts in playing games provided its clear to everyone that the procedure you follow gives the same result as following the rules directly would - if you roll a 4 and a 6 when you're on Free Parking, do you move your piece to each space along that side of the board, counting them aloud from 1 to 10 as you go, then move your piece to In Jail, or do you just pick up your piece from Free Parking and put it down In Jail? In the same way, unless someone is concerned there may not be enough houses in the bank, you can pay the $1500 for 3 hotels on the oranges rather than paying $100 and placing a house 12 times, then paying $100 and 4 houses and placing a hotel 3 times (making change repeatedly as you go).
 
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Dave Young
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uubuntu wrote:
The best way to resolve (or understand) this issue is to play with the following rule:

Buying a hotel does not return the 4 houses to the bank. It leaves the 4 houses on the property. A player who adds a hotel to a property does not "free up" the houses for further purchase (or for other players).

By doing this, the housing shortage strategy becomes quite useful late in the game, and it resolves all questions regarding selling hotels. The rules are unclear about the cost of a hotel, but it does not indicate that the houses get returned to the bank when a hotel is built. Then selling the hotel brings leaves the property with the 4 houses it already had.



I don't think that this is the way the game was designed, nor the intent. If it were, the rules would explicitly state that once a Hotel is purchased, the original 4 Houses are NOT returned to the bank. To do as you suggest, would create an even more severe housing shortage.

I agree with Tom Swider's post.
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