How Much Cash Do You Have at the Start of The Game of Life?

One of the earliest and longest-lasting board games in America is The Game of LIFE. The game was initially released in 1860 by the Milton Bradley business under the name The Checkered Game of Life.

The game we still play today has the same basic idea even in its early iterations: players move across the board and go through various life stages, such as going to college or straight to work, getting married, having kids, and eventually retiring – presumably with a fortune in the bank.

The Game of LIFE had precise rules, much like any board game, but they have evolved through time, especially with the addition of themed editions like the Pirates of the Caribbean one. One hundred years after the original introduction, the fundamental variation that is still used today originally appeared in 1960.

You must first familiarise yourself with the rules, set up the game, and distribute some starting money to each player before you can begin to play The Game of LIFE. Here is a breakdown of how much money you start with and the other important gameplay guidelines in case you misplaced your instructions.

Getting the game ready

Before you can play the game, you must distribute startup money, set up other cards and equipment, such as snapping 3D pieces and the spinner onto the board. The pile of LIFE tiles must be shuffled before four tiles are drawn and placed next to Millionaire Estates. Players draw the remaining tiles as the game progresses.

The cards must be divided into four thematic decks for the game’s most popular current iteration: Stocks, House Deeds, Career Cards, and Salary Cards.

While newer speciality versions of the game may have cards for Pets, Actions, Adventures, and more, older versions of the game may have additional card types like Share the Wealth and Long-Term Investments.

The Spin-to-Win coloured strip is placed along one edge of the game board, and the Spin-to-Win tiles (and any other version-specific accessories), if applicable (depends on version), are placed face down next to the board. Players may easily access the cards for bank loans, homeowner’s insurance, and auto insurance because they are separated and put close to the game board.

The Game of LIFE can be played by two to six players. Each participant chooses a vehicle and a blue or pink peg to act as the driver. Throughout the entire game, one player is designated as the banker. Each player receives $10,000 to start The Game of LIFE after this player divides the money into several heaps according to denomination.

How Do You Start the Game of LIFE?

You must choose whether you want to immediately start a career or enrol in college before the game may start. If you decide to attend college, you immediately take out a loan for $40,000 and select a Salary Card and a Career Card that both state “Degree Required.”

If you prefer to launch your career right away, simply select a Career Card and then park your automobile in the correct places (Start Career or Start College). Higher salaries are available from college careers, but athletes are immediately in debt. You can spin the wheel to move and take your turn once you are on the suitable starting place.

How Does the Gameplay Develop?

You advance down the board’s course as the game continues, landing on spaces that have varying colours for varying functions. The majority of places are orange, and you just need to adhere to the instructions there (if applicable). The instructions provided on a blue spot are optional if you land there.

You get your pay from the banker if you land on a green area. Even if you still have movements remaining in your turn, you must stop as soon as you come across a red space and obey the instructions there. The activities that players in The Game of LIFE must perform are shown by red spots, including “Job Search,” “Get Married,” and “Buy a House.”

You can select a LIFE tile from the pile of LIFE tiles if you land on a LIFE space. Don’t peek at the tile’s reverse side! These game bonuses aren’t made known until the very end. Special spots on the board may also compel you to make a payment to the bank or another player. These contain tax-paying spaces as well as career-related areas for you or another player.

How to Get a Loan and Buy Insurance Protection

At the start of the game or at the start of any of your turns, you can purchase homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, or stocks; but, you cannot do so at the conclusion of your turn. Stocks pay up when any player spins the number on your stock on the wheel, and insurance can shield your home or car from damage or theft. Additionally, you are always free to borrow money from the bank, but you will need to pay them everything back after you retire.

How to End the Game and Retire

Several things happen when you reach the retirement spot at the very end of the game board. You must first pay back any loans you took out during the game that are still due. So that you can continue to profit from stock payouts from spins until everyone else has retired, put your deed and insurance out of play but keep your stocks in front of you. Park your automobile at Millionaire Estates if you think you’ll win the game with the most money. Park at Countryside Acres if not.

Important: If you park at Millionaire Estates, the pile of LIFE tiles for the game is empty and other players can still steal your secret LIFE tiles if they fall on a LIFE space on the board. Parking at Countryside Acres will prevent anyone from stealing your tiles.

The richest player parked at Millionaire Estates wins the four tiles that were placed there at the start of the game after the top contenders have retired and counted their money. Each player takes two of the tiles if there is a tie. The winner in The Game of LIFE is whoever has the most money at the conclusion of the game, regardless of where they are parked.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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