Some Obscure Monopoly Rules Explained

The official Monopoly® rules sometimes get a bit mis-interpreted. Here are some of the more common rules that get overlooked and other items that aren’t specifically addressed in the rules.

Jail and doubles

If a player goes to jail his turn immediately ends even if doubles are rolled. You do not roll again under any circumstances.

If a player gets out of jail because doubles are rolled he does not go again. In a sense the “power” of the doubles is used up in saving you the $50 fine. The exception to this is when a player pays his $50 upon going to jail and then rolls doubles on his way out on his next turn. This is because as soon as you pay your fine you are out of jail and “just visiting” so the doubles are not necessary to get you out.

Income Tax

If a player passes GO and lands on income tax in a single turn his $200 GO money is included in his total worth.

Building Hotels

A player does not need to physically have four houses on each property in a colour group before he can buy hotels. However, there must exist enough houses in the bank in order for that person to do so. If there are not enough houses, the hotels cannot be bought.

Utilities

You do not role again when you land on a utility to determine the fine. The fine is base on “amount shown on dice”.

Quitting

If a player wishes to leave the game all assets are turned into the bank. The bank then auctions off any properties. Under no circumstances can a quitting player give over their assets to another player. Note, there is nothing to stop any player from selling their properties and any “Get Out of Jail Free” card to another player at any price (say $1) and then quitting. Remember, though that no player can give cash or buildings to another player, these go to the bank.

Mergers

Mergers are not allowed in the official rules yet there are players that will always insist upon them. If two players wish to begin playing together then have one quit as above and remove that player’s token. Players cannot simply combine their assets.

Immunity

Under no circumstances can a player offer immunity against rents to another player.

Watching your Properties

It is your responsibility to watch if someone lands on your property. If someone lands on your property you have until the end of the next player’s turn to notice it. This player’s turn ends when the player after him throws the dice.

Example: June lands on Park Place, which is owned by Bill. June plays dumb (which is what she shoud do) and passes the dice to Mary, who roles completes her turn and passes the dice to Paul. Before Paul roles Bill notices June on Park Place and announces such. Does June have to pay up? Yes. Bill has to the end of the next player’s turn to notice June. If Paul had rolled the dice, though, Mary’s turn would have ended and Bill would have been out of luck.

The rule works this way to prevent players from just quickly passing the dice on while the property owner sneezes.

16 Comments to “Some Obscure Monopoly Rules Explained”

Big Bob says


If a player lands on another’s properties with buildings,and the result is that the first player is bankrupt, can the first player sell unimproved properties to other players to raise the cash to pay the rent to the owner of the property on which he landed?

November 24, 2006 at 11:09 pm

Chris Mospaw says


If you do not have enough cash to cover rent, you may sell any other asset you have in the game, such as unimproved properties to raise the rent. You can sell the properties for whatever amount the market will bear.

You may also make a trade of unimproved properties (or properties and cash) to the landlord, which is effectively selling the properties to that person for the amount in question.

The only time a sale cannot take place is if a player will be cheated. For example, Player A lands on Boardwalk with hotels and owes $2,000 to Player B. Player A cannot raise enough cash or make a trade with Player B, so he is effectively bankrupt and should turn over all assets. Player A would not be able to make a deal with Player C to sell some properties for less than their value (say the red properties for $1) since that would cheat Player B. He could sell them for more than their purchase value, however.

There is a lot of flexibility in how you can finance your debts. Most limitations are that the deal is limited to the game (you can’t trade a cookie or a kiss) and that you don’t cheat the player due money by making a deal with another player when owing money. Other limitations involve the inability to grant immunity to someone. It’s simply not allowed.

November 27, 2006 at 2:41 pm

Jeremy Franmin says


what if someone about to go bankrupt but with a lot of mortgaged property gets the elected chairman chance card and has to pay everyone $50 but can only pay one or two guys off? who does this player go bankrupt to and surrender his property to?

January 22, 2007 at 4:43 pm

peter blose says


can you give a citation to the rules for your statement “under no cercumstances can a player offer immunity to another player” ??? Use of this tactic allows for much more nuanced and exciting and intruiging games. it allows for partnerships, joint ventures, trusts, and other corporate forms which ad a whole new level of play. it does not seem to be specifically prohibited by the rules.

February 19, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Eugene says


If you’re about to go bankrupt when landing on someone’s property, do you have to mortgage your property or can they take it as is?

March 19, 2007 at 10:35 am

Richard says


I am building my own “board.” I’m creating property names and deed titles to fit the members of my family. I’ll create images using my digital camera to bring faces and people into those property images. Then, I’ll print out on cloth made for this printing purpose. I’ll create a blanket/quilt that will ALSO be an 8 ft wide Monolopy board.

If anyone has tried this before, I’d appreciate your thoughts or suggestions . . . warnings.

April 5, 2007 at 10:01 am

derek says


i got a question? do i still collect my 200$ when i pass go and land on chance and get the go to jail card

September 12, 2007 at 5:52 am

wahoofive says


If you need to sell a hotel (downgrading it to four houses) to raise cash, what happens if there aren’t enough houses to put four houses on your property? If there are only three houses left in the bank, does that mean you have to sell all the way down to one house on each property?

September 20, 2007 at 6:56 pm

andrew says


Are utilities and railroads considered “property” ? This question is reguarding the mega edition of monopoly. When you roll the purple dice and get a Mr. monopoly. If you moved to Illinois ave. and rolled a Mr. Monopoly on the purple dice, would you go to B.&O. Railroad or to Atlantic ave.? It says in the rules that “when all of the properties are owned, make a normal move according to the white dice, then you must move ahead to the first property on which you needed to pay rent. Would a railroad or a utility be considered a property in that context?

October 22, 2007 at 2:54 pm

paige says


What about the chance card “Re-evaluating tax pay $150. for each house” Is that each house you own or each house on the board.?

November 23, 2007 at 7:48 am

Keith sullivan says


when you get a community chest advance to go and collect 2million do you collect the 2million when you pass go

November 25, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Chris Mospaw says


“i got a question? do i still collect my 200$ when i pass go and land on chance and get the go to jail card”

In a word, yes. You earned the “GO” money before being sent to jail, so you are entitled to it.

December 14, 2007 at 11:06 am

Chris Mospaw says


“what if someone about to go bankrupt but with a lot of mortgaged property gets the elected chairman chance card and has to pay everyone $50 but can only pay one or two guys off? who does this player go bankrupt to and surrender his property to?”

The player would first have to sell any liquid assets, such as houses, to pay off the debt. The palyer could also “trade” an exisitng property (mortgaged or not) in lieu of the $50 to any player. (This is effectively selling the property for $50.) Other financial arrangements may be made, such as another player purchasing property for more than $50, etc.

If the player’s assets are so small as to no be able to pay each player in full, then all of the player’s possessions get liquidated completely and distributed equally.

December 14, 2007 at 11:19 am

Chris Mospaw says


“can you give a citation to the rules for your statement “under no cercumstances can a player offer immunity to another player” ??? Use of this tactic allows for much more nuanced and exciting and intruiging games. it allows for partnerships, joint ventures, trusts, and other corporate forms which ad a whole new level of play. it does not seem to be specifically prohibited by the rules. ”

I’mciting officially sanctioned tournament rules. Please don’t take it as gospel or an imposition on every Monopoly game palyed universally. I agree that “team Monopoly”, joint ventures, etc. adds to the game in new ways. You’re welcome to set things up any way you wish. Just don’t try those things at a tournament. :-)

December 14, 2007 at 11:21 am

Chris Mospaw says


“If you’re about to go bankrupt when landing on someone’s property, do you have to mortgage your property or can they take it as is?”

It depends on what kind of deal you can make. Unmortagaged properties are worht more, so it’s probably best to not mortage them. There is absolutely no requirement that properties be mortgaged when changing hands for any reason.

December 14, 2007 at 11:22 am

Chris Mospaw says


“If you need to sell a hotel (downgrading it to four houses) to raise cash, what happens if there aren’t enough houses to put four houses on your property? If there are only three houses left in the bank, does that mean you have to sell all the way down to one house on each property? ”

Yes. Since you would have to downgrade the other properties to four houses, and there aren’t enough houses to put them all up, selling that one hotel would force a downgrade to single houses on three properties. (You would be entitled to all the money from the downgrade, however. Voluntary or forced, you get paid for buildings.)

This is called a “housing shortage” and can be a brutally effective strategy when playing. In order to keep as many houses in my possession, I rarely go up to hotels. (In fact, my buddy Jay and I used going to hotels as the ultimate Monopoly insult against the other guy when playing since we were effectively saying “Yeah, I’ve got this one bagged. You cannot win now.”)

By the way, Monopoly sets usually come with extra houses and hotels. The game should only begin wiht 32 houses and 12 hotels.

December 14, 2007 at 11:26 am

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