The Game of Life & How to Play It

By Sophie Johnson

The Game of Life is a Hasbro board game originally created by Milton Bradley. The game simulates real life, including milestones like getting married and switching careers. Two to six players compete to make the most money. Game makers periodically update the game to keep it current.

Starting the Game

A banker gives everyone $10,000. Put four Life tiles on Millionaire Estates. Players spin. The highest spin goes first. If you forego college, put your car at Start Career. Someone fans out the Career Cards. Draw a card to choose a career. Throw back cards requiring a degree. Choose a Salary Card the same way. Keep the two cards face-up.

College graduates get better career and salary opportunities. Begin from Start College, borrowing $40,000 from the bank for tuition. Interest on each loan is $5,000. You'll have a career after your car reaches a Job Search space.


On turns, spin, move forward, then follow the directions at your destination. Obeying blue space directions is optional. Two players can't occupy the same space. If a car sits on your destination, go to the next space.

Game Play

Stop on red spaces--Job Search, Get Married, Buy a House--even if you're not finished counting. To get married, add a peg to your car. To buy a house, collect a deed, paying the banker its cost, taking out a loan if necessary. For job searches, pull three Career Cards, choosing one. The same procedure gives salary. Spin and move again.

When you land or pass over Pay Day spaces, immediately collect wages.

Landing on a Life space gets you a Life tile. Don't look at it. If all tiles are taken, steal one from another player. If the space is a baby or twins space, add pegs to your car.

Career spaces have symbols denoting careers. Pay the player with that career the amount on the space. If nobody has the career, pay the bank.

If you're the police officer, collect $5,000 if you catch someone spinning a 10.

You're Fired and Mid-Life Crisis means drawing a new career and salary card.

Night School allows you to draw and choose between two careers and salaries. If you don't like your choices, keep your old cards. Otherwise, pay the tuition listed.

Buy auto insurance for $10,000, stock for $50,000 or homeowner's insurance at the start of turns. You can also buy homeowner's insurance when you buy a house.

You can have only one stock. Stock Market zooms lets you get a free, extra stock. Stocks have numbers. When anyone spins that number, earn $10,000.


At Retire, pay off loans and keep only Life tiles and stock, which continue earning. If you think you've won, move to Millionaire Estates. Otherwise, move to Countryside Acres and draw a Life tile. Life tiles are still vulnerable at Millionaire Estates.


Once everyone retires, Millionaire Estates occupants count their money. The richest gets the four Life tiles. Split them if there's a tie.

Everyone turns over Life tiles and totals the amounts listed. Add that to the cash total collected during play. Richest player wins.

About the Author

Sophie Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media. A freelancer for more than 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews.