Commonly Missed Monopoly Rules

Everyone who has ever bought a Monopoly┬« game should have the rules, but because everyone seems to know about or have a game, very few actually sit down to read the rules. The rules are actually pretty clear, but a few get overlooked. Here are the ones that most folks don’t know about.


There are 32 houses and 12 hotels in a Monopoly┬« set and that’s it. Once these are used up you cannot buy any more. This can be used to an advantage. If someone buys up the last of the houses than no more building can occur. This includes hotels.

When you sell houses or hotels back to the bank you only get half of what you paid for them.

You can buy and sell buildings, or conduct any other business, at any point in the game. You don’t have to wait for your turn. However, this business should be conducted between roles of the dice, with a brief “time out” being called.


If you decide you do not want to buy a property you land on, it is immediately auctioned by the bank. One way or another the bank gets rid of it. Regardless of price, the property is sold to the highest bidder.


Once a “Chance” or “Community Chest” card is drawn, it is placed, face down, on the bottom of the deck (unless it is a “Get Out of Jail Free” card). The deck is never reshuffled during the game. It is fun when the cards have gone around once and you have an idea of what cards are coming up. This is especially true in the later stages of the game if you know one of the “building repair” cards are coming up and there are lots of houses and hotels about. Drawing cards then begins to resemble a game of Russian Roulette.

Income Tax

Income tax is calculated from total net worth, including property and buildings, not just cash on hand. You must decided whether to pay the 10% or the $200 before you count up what you have.

The Bank

The bank will not except anything from players except cash, houses, and hotels, with buildings worth only half their purchase price. Money can be raised by mortgaging properties. The bank cannot take back property. If a player happens to go bankrupt to the bank, the bank must immediately auction all of that player’s properties. The bank, or any other player, cannot loan money to another player.

Going Into Debt

Quite simply, You can’t! Once your assets are down to zero (or less) you are bankrupt and out of the game. You can get a “loan” from the bank in the form of mortgaging.


A player can collect rent or conduct any other business when in jail, just like Al Capone did.

If you do not roll doubles on your third turn in jail then you must pay the $50 fine.


When you bring property out of mortgage you must pay 10% interest.

If you obtain mortgage property from another player you must pay the 10% interest immediately, whether or not you take it out of mortgage. If you bring the property out of mortgage at a later time a further 10% is still applied. This additional interest can be avoided by bringing the properties out of mortgage immediately.


Under no circumstances can players loan money to each other, nor can houses or hotels be transferred from one player to another. Buildings must be sold back to the bank for one-half of their purchase price, and purchased by the other player at the appropriate value for the properties they will be built upon. Player are free to exchange properties (provided they do not contain buildings), cash or “Get Out of Jail Free” cards in trades. Players cannot trade “immunity” for fines when landing on other player’s properties.

Free Parking

Nothing happens on “Free Parking”. No money collects here. It’s exactly what the name says – free parking.

However, if you have the Stock Exchange option, Free Parking becomes the Stock Exchange.


You do not get $400 if you land on “GO”. You just get your regular salary of $200.

159 Comments to “Commonly Missed Monopoly Rules”

jef says

When you are playing and you buy a property and then you. Put a house. On. It. And then you sell it does the buyer get. The.
House too thank you

December 22, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Billy G. says

If I land on the Chance on the first stretch of the board (right after GO), and I get a card that sends me back 3 spaces, i.e. to Income Tax, do I have to pay it? The card doesn’t say anything other than “Go back 3 Spaces”. Moreover, if someone gets the “Take a walk on the Boardwalk” chance card, does that person get to buy Boardwalk? Thanks!

December 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

Samuel says

Do I have to reveal a get out of jail card?

February 1, 2014 at 10:20 am

Al says

Can a player with no money bid on a property ?

February 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Michael says

Hi, I’m a little confused about the mortgage rules. The utilities have a mortgage price of $75. If I want to get the property unmortgaged, I have to pay $75 plus 10% right? What is 10% of $75?

March 26, 2014 at 1:34 am

Laura Tobin says

If a property is auctioned and bidding commences are bidders limited to cash on hand or can they speculate and bid using money they would get from raising funds by mortgaging without actually mortgaging those properties beforehand? In short must you mortgage to bid or can u bid and mortgage for what you owe after a winner is declared?

April 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Dorothea says

If you role 3 doubles and go to jail do you still pay rent on the space the third role landed on?

May 3, 2014 at 11:35 am

damienpage says

Hi i was playing the game with family..we had a banker who wasnt playing, i was in the process of collecting money from someone landing on my property, someone else took their go while i was collecting the money, missed them landing on the property, should i have still been paid out,as the banker was slow with the computerised version? Thanks for your help.

May 30, 2014 at 2:44 am

Alex Bissell says

When a player sells a hotel, do they sell it for half of the value they payed for the hotel ie 100 dollars for hotel on mayfair, or do they sell it for the value of the hotel plus all of the houses that were needed for the hotel. ie 500 dollars for mayfair?
If they do sell the hotel do they get 4 houses in return or is it considered it’s own entity?

August 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

scott says

dude, when you get a repair card of hotels and houses does that mean you are repairing just your houses or acting as the insurance company repairing all houses on the board.

November 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Rhonda says

HELP… BIG argument on THANKSGIVING! If a player sells ALL their house’s, mortgages ALL their properties but is able to pay another player the rent they owe, due to landing on the other players property but has nothing left are they still in the game? What happens to the mortgaged properties both ways ( f the player is in or out).

November 28, 2014 at 8:07 am

Bailey says

Say a player owes me $1200 but can not afford it. After they downsize their houses and mortgage, will I still somehow get all $1200???

November 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm

dj says

Hi Chris, here’s a question: if one player is in jail and another player gets the card that says move the player of your choice to any space on the board, can they move the player who is in jail? thanks!

December 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Mike Muffler says

SAy I have a color set. I want to put up a hotel instead of a house. Can i just pay the hotel price. I dont see any reason to buy houses one by one as there is no wait time- it can be done all at once- and then return them to pay the hotel price…its not like we can build only one house per turn….please help

December 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm

ryan atkins says

Player 1: has a property
Player 2: lands on the property
But player 1 doesnt say nothing
Does player 2 still have to pay him rent after player 1 rolled the dice

December 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Ali says

Not sure if this is considered the Stock version or not but there’s a version of the game that my family and I always play -All taxes such as income tax and Dr.’s fee, poor tax etc goes into the middle of the board and who ever lands on Free Parking gets the loot. (you start with 500 in the middle and keep adding to it with taxes) it kinda makes the game more interesting and more fun. ­čÖé

December 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Sean says

Hi Chris,

I hope you still check this and I have an important question for you. When someone is about to go bankrupt because he landed on someone elses property, can that person just say “screw it” and give ALL of his properties and cash away to the person that owned the property INSTEAD of mortgaging, selling houses, etc to pay back the person (even if it doesn’t equal the full amount necessary)? I have had problems with this in the past because it makes the game completely unfair for the other player(s) who DIDN’T end up bankrupting the individual, and the one who got all the bankrupt guys properties now has all of the guys properties!

So, in essence, if you are about to go bankrupt because you landed on somebody’s property, do you have to MORTGAGE all of your properties and sell back all of your houses, hotels, etc, or can you just say to hell with it and give everything you have to the person who just bankrupted you and skip the mortgaging and selling of houses?

December 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Nikhil says

I need some help to find out if:
You own a house and you want to auction your own house. Can you do this?

December 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Victor Duran says

Just had a big dispute with a know cheater at monopoly.

So a property went to auction, and the highest bidder did not have enough funds to pay for
The property (because he did not count his money before making his bid) what happens to this player?
Please tell me there is a penalty.

January 3, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Jim herb says

Do you ever put fees, assessments and penalty money in the middle of the board. And if so is there a way for a player to be given that pool of money??

January 3, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Hope says

If you pick up a community card and it tells you to go to a property (it is unowned)but does not mention buying it or not does the player have the option to buy it

February 2, 2015 at 10:45 am

Kristen says

Someone just stormed out of the game because they said you must go entirely around the board once before you can begin collecting rent?!! I said no, you can buy the first thing you land on. Which is it?

March 9, 2015 at 10:55 pm

Kristen says

Correction- go around once before you can buy anything

March 9, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Megan says

If I land on property and I don’t buy it immediately, but then after the other player(s)’ turn (s) and it’s my turn, can I buy it if I’m on it and didn’t roll yet?

March 15, 2015 at 11:43 am

Greg says

Hi, I was reading “The Monopoly Book” by Maxine Brady, and she states that if you owe the bank money and don’t have it, you can “give” the bank a piece of mortgaged property for the mortgaged price minus 10% (i.e. you would receive $90 for a R.R. I’ve never heard of this, and it seems to contradict the official rules. Any thoughts?

March 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm

hayley says

hi , hayley here so say if i landed on player 1’s property do i pay them the rent or the amount they paid to get the property

April 5, 2015 at 3:53 am

Jan says

Hi, my friend says you must build at the start of your turn or you cannot do it after you roll the dice or advance. He believes it gives a bigger advantage if you come into money during your turn. I disagree and believe you can build, mortgage, etc. any time during your turn until you say, done…and hand over the dice to the next player. What is your take on this?

April 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

kisser says

i lost my monopoly instructions and dont know how much money to give

April 6, 2015 at 3:32 am

Angela says

Hi Please help.. When buying Hotels after you have the 4 houses do you have to repay for the houses and the hotel or do you give back the 4 houses and only pay for the hotel…Please help

April 6, 2015 at 10:11 am

Pop Corn says

I love Popcorn!!
I love Monopoly!!

April 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Jenna says

I am old but love monopoly. I saw the comment above and laughed hard!!I love popcorn too!! Anyways I don’t get the mortgage part. Clarity please?I don’t use the net much and hope this comment appears correctly. Thanks and as the young say,”Catch ya on the flip side!!” HAHAHA

April 25, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Rich Uncle Pennybags says

If someone rolls the dice then immediately picks the dice back up, and no one saw what they rolled, does the roll count?

July 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Madonna Rapozo says

There is certainly a lot to know about this issue. I like all the points you made.

July 8, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Patrick Kamel says

I would like to add something to the Jail section of the rules:
When you haven’t paid 50$ and you are getting out of jail because you rolled a double, you do not get to roll again after that double. You only get to roll again if you have posted bail before rolling that double.

July 19, 2015 at 2:08 am

John says

Hey, Chris
I rolled doubles and landed on a property that i could buy. then i rolled my next turn and landed on a space that someone else owned. The other playes said that i couldnt buy the last property i landed on because i didnt say i wanted it. They said i pay triple the amount it was for or the property goes up for auction

August 3, 2015 at 9:15 am

noylj says

Why does the card read something like: Advance to Boardwalk. If you pass Go, collect $200. I see no way to pass Go, ever, on the way to Boardwalk.

August 8, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Abdullah hashem says

So i pay my friend for a property that he owns, and after i get the card and pay him, he decides to take the property back by returning the money even though it became mine, is it allowed?

August 17, 2015 at 3:00 am

Jake Suhr says

Hey Chris. I’ve always hated the no building on properties if houses are all bought up because it just felt like playing the game dirty. Like someone decided to be cheap and not give the other a chance but having said all of that I have a scenario for you. (Btw I say it’s cheap or dirty way to win because if one can’t buy houses it’s highly improbably for one to win the game.)

Say player A has bought all houses on his properties and all that remains are the 12 hotels but he refuses to put them up so that player B can’t buy houses. Could player B buy hotels if he has the money equivalent to 4 houses and the hotel price for each property of a monopoly (so that he’s also evenly building still)?

August 19, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Jake Suhr says

Btw although I’m from and have always lived in the USA and have always played by the USA rules, I’ve learned recently (from playing monopoly on GameCube and wii) that when the Standard UK rules are being used instead of the USA rules, those in jail cannot collect rent.

Also I thought the USA rules say auction is an alternate way to play and that it’s not something that has to be done.

August 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Bob says

You have two players. Player #1 lands on property that he cannot buy because he is short of funds. The property goes for auction. Will player #2 get the land for the minimum bid or can Player # 1 bid as well?

August 23, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Brandon says

The bank has to buy anything back from the players that they want to sell

August 26, 2015 at 12:43 am

Lee and Mylo says

We need clarification. If the player doesn’t want to purchase the property, can they enter the bidding?

September 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

olivia says

If a player draws a chance that says “go to saint Charles place”, do they still pay rent after they move there?

September 19, 2015 at 10:02 pm

sameer says

is it necessary to buy 7 properties before you can improve any of your property.

and can any one buy more than 7 properties

September 27, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Pat Champion says

Hello. I am visiting my son, daughter, and my grandsons. We want to play Monopoly, but there seems to be varied opinions on the white houses. We have red hotels, green houses & 10 white houses. Granted it’s been long time since I’ve played, but don’t remember ever having white houses. Young grandsons have plenty of ideas, but doubtful if they are legimate rules. Can you help us? Hate to ruin this very rare visit. Thank you so much.

December 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Kennth says

I have a question if you land on a property you can buy a house or not

Please answer this

December 29, 2015 at 1:11 am

Scott says

Can you buy property if you have other properties mortgaged Thanks

December 30, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Calin says

So stupid you can collect rent money while in jail. That makes it favorable to go to jail and stay there when you have houses and hotels. Terrible rule.

January 9, 2016 at 9:36 pm

Blake says

Thank you for this site. My class is in a dead heat of monopoly fever and are playing it for extra credit so being the official for 4 games all at the same time this website helped. thank you

January 25, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Jonny says

Must players lose a turn in jail? Or can they immediately pay $50 before rolling, or using a get-out-of-jail card to get out?

March 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm

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