Monopoly Official Rules
These are the rules used at tournaments.
They are printed on the sheet inside a Monopoly box.
They do not include popular variations such as "Free Parking".
I have included variations ans short games in a separate section.


THE IDEA OF THE GAME is to BUY and RENT and SELL properties so profitably that one becomes the wealthiest player and eventual MONOPOLIST. Starting from "GO" move Tokens around the Board According to the throw of Dice. When a Player's Token lands on a space NOT already owned, he may Buy it from the BANK; otherwise it is Auctioned off to the Highest Bidder. The OBJECT of Owning property is to Collect Rents from Opponents stopping there. Rentals are greatly increased by the erection of Houses and Hotels, so it is wis e to build them on some of your Lots. To raise more Money, Lots may be mortgaged to the Bank. Community Chest give the draw of a Card, instructions on which must be followed. Sometimes players land in Jail! The game is one of shrewd and amusing trading and excitement.


For from three to seven players [Note: Many people play under the same rules when playing with two players.]


Monopoly equipment consists of the board with spaces indicating Avenues, Railroads, Utilities, Rewards and Penalties over which the players' pieces are moved. There are two dice, tokens of various designs for playing pieces, thirty-two green houses and twelve red hotels and two sets of cards for Chance and Community Chest spaces. There are Title Deed cards for every property and scrip representing money of various denominations.[Note: The denominations are $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and $500.]


Place the board on a good sized table putting the Chance Cards and Community Chest cards face-down on their allotted spaces on the board. Each player is provided with one token (Hat, Shoe, etc.) to represent him on his travels around the board. Each player is given $1,500. All other equipment goes to the Bank. One of the players is elected banker.

  • (see BANK and BANKER)

  • Money

    Each player is given $1500 divided as follows: 2 each of $500's, $100's and $50's; 6-$20's; 5 each of $10's, $5's and $1's.


    Select as Banker a player who will also make a good Auctioneer. If the Banker plays in the game, he must keep his personal funds separate from those of the Bank. When more than five persons play, the Banker may elect to act only as Banker and Auctioneer.

    The Bank:

    Besides the Bank's money, the Bank holds the Title Deed cards and houses and hotels prior to purchase and use by the players. The Bank pays salaries and bonuses. It sells and auctions properties and hands out their proper Title Deed cards; it sells houses and hotels to the players and loans money when required on mortgages.

    The Bank collects all taxes, fines, loans and interest, and the price of all properties which it sells and auctions. The Bank never "goes broke". If the Bank runs out of money it may issue as much more as may be needed by merely writing on any ordinary paper.


    Starting with the Banker, each player in turn throws the dice. The player with the highest total starts the play. He places his token on the corner marked "GO", throws the 2 dice and moves his token in the direction of the arrow the number of spaces indicated by the dice. After he has completed his play, the turn to play passes to the left. The tokens remain on the spaces occupied and proceed from that point on the player's next turn. Two or more tokens may rest on the same space at the same time.

    According to the space which his token reaches, a player may be entitled to buy real estate or other properties, -or be obliged to pay rent, pay taxes, draw a Chance or Community Chest card, "Go to Jail", etc.

    If a player throws doubles he moves his token as usual the sum of the two dice and is subject to any privileges or penalties pertaining to the space on which he lands. Retaining the dice, he throws again and moves his token as before. If a player throws doubles three times in succession, he moves his token immediately to the space marked "In Jail" (see JAIL).


    Each time a player's token lands on or passes over "GO", whether by throw of the dice or by drawing a card, the Banker pays him $200 salary. However, $200 is paid only once each time around the board. If a player, passing "GO" on the throw of the dice, lands 2 spaces beyond it on "Community Chest", or 7 spaces beyond it on "Chance", and draws the card "Advance to GO", he collects $200 for passing "GO" the first time and another $200 for reaching it the second time by instructions on the card.


    Whenever a player lands on an unowned property he may buy that property from the Bank at its printed price. He receives the Title Deed card showing ownership and places it face-up in front of him.

    If he does not wish to buy the property it is sold at auction by the Banker to the highest bidder. The buyer pays to the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option of buying it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.


    When a player lands on property owned by another player the owner collects rent from him in accordance with the list printed on the Title Deed card applying to it.

    If the property is mortgaged, no rent can be collected. When a property is mortgaged its Title Deed card is placed face-down in front of the owner.

    It is an advantage to hold all the Title Deeds in a color-group (i.e.: Boardwalk and Park Place, - or Connecticut, Vermont and Oriental Avenues) because the owner may then charge double rent for unimproved properties in that color-group. This rule applies to unmortgaged properties even if another property in that color-group is mortgaged.

    It is even more of an advantage to have houses or hotels on properties because rents are much higher than for unimproved properties.

    The owner may not collect his rent if he fails to ask for it before the second player following throws the dice.


    When a player lands on either of these spaces he takes the top card from the deck indicated, follows the instructions and returns the card face-down to the bottom of the deck.

    The "Get Out of Jail Free" card is held until used and then returned to the bottom of the deck. If the player who draws it does not wish to use it he may sell it, at any time, to another player at a price agreeable to both.

  • [Note: A Get out of Jail Free card is worth $50, since using one gets you
    out of paying a $50 fee.]


    When a player lands on "Income Tax" he has two options: he may estimate his tax at $200 and pay the Bank, or he may pay 10% of his total worth to the Bank. His total worth is all his cash on hand, printed prices of mortgaged and unmortgaged properties and cost price of all buildings he owns.

    The player must decide which option he will take before he adds up his total worth.


    You land in Jail when... (1) your token lands on the space marked "Go to Jail"; (2) you draw a card marked "Go to Jail"; or (3) you throw doubles three times in succession.

    When you are sent to Jail you cannot collect your $200 salary in that move since, regardless of where your token is on the board, you must move directly into Jail. Your turn ends when you are sent to Jail.

    If you are not "sent" to Jail but in the ordinary course of play land on that space, you are "Just Visiting," you incur no penalty, and you move ahead in the usual manner on your next turn.

    You get out of Jail by... (1) throwing doubles on any of your next three turns; if you succeed in doing this you immediately move forward the number of spaces shown by your doubles throw; even though you had thrown doubles, you do not take another turn; (2) using the "Get Out of Jail Free" card if you have it; (3) purchasing the "Get Out of Jail Free" card from another player and playing it; (4) paying a fine of $50 before you roll the dice on either of your next two turns.

    If you do not throw doubles by your third turn, you must pay the $50 fine. You then get out of Jail and immediately move forward the number of spaces shown by your throw.

    Even though you are in Jail, you may buy and sell property, buy and sell houses and hotels and collect rents.


    When you own all the properties in a color-group you may buy houses from the Bank and erect them on those properties. If you buy one house, you may put it on any one of those properties.

    The next house you buy must be erected on one of the unimproved properties of this or any other complete color-group you may own. The price you must pay the Bank for each house is shown on your Title Deed card for the property on which you erect the house. The owner still collects double rent from an opponent who lands on the unimproved properties of his/her complete color-group.

    Following the above rules, you may buy and erect at any time as many houses as your judgment and financial standing will allow. But you must build evenly, i.e., you cannot erect more than one house on any one property of any color-group until you have built one house on every property of that group. You may then begin on the second row of houses, and so on, up to a limit of four houses to a property. For example, you cannot build three houses on one property if you have only one house on another property of that group. As you build evenly, you must also break down evenly if you sell houses back to the Bank (see SELLING PROPERTY).


    When a player has four houses on each property of a complete color-group, he/she may buy a hotel from the Bank and erect it on any property of the color-group. He/she returns the four houses from that property to the Bank and pays the price for the hotel as shown on the Title Deed card. [This price is simply the price of one more house] Only one hotel may be erected on any one property.


    When the Bank has no houses to sell, [when all 32 have been bought] players wishing to build must wait for a player to sell back houses or spend enough money to build all the way to a Hotel. [pay enough for a fifth house, with the fifth house being represented by a Hotel.] [If your set is missing houses, you must use stand-ins for houses so that you have 32] If there are a limited number of Houses and Hotels available [there should be 12 Hotels] and two or more players wish to buy more that the Bank has, the Houses or Hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder.


    Undeveloped Lots, Railroads and Utilities (but not buildings)may be sold to any player as a private transaction for any amount that the owner can get. No Lot may be sold to another player if buildings are standing on any Lots of that color-group. Any buildings so located must be sold back to the Bank before the owner can sell any Lot of that color-group.

    Houses and hotels may be resold to players to the Bank only, but this may be done at any time and the Bank will pay 1/2 the price paid for them. Hotels cost the Price of Five Houses and the Bank will pay one-half that price for them. [You must pay the full price if you want to rebuild]


    Mortaging properties can be done through the Bank only. The mortgage value is printed on the back of each Title Deed. [and is always 1/2 of the property's listed purchase price] The rate of interest is 10%, payable when the mortgage is lifted. If any property is transferred while mortgaged, [transferring mortgaged properties is completely within the rules] the new owner may lift the mortgage at once if he wishes. If he fails to lift the mortgage, he must still pay 10% interest. [which will not count to fully unmortgaging the property]

    Houses and Hotels cannot be mortgaged. Only Lots may be mortgaged. Before a Lot can be mortgaged, a player must sell back to the Bank all buildings on that lot or on other lots in that color-group. The bank will pay half of what was paid for such buildings.

    No rental can be collected on unmortgaged property.

    In order to build houses on a mortgaged property, a player must lift the mortgage and buy the buildings back at FULL PRICE.

    [To lift a mortgage, pay to the bank the value of the mortage plus 10% interest. The interest on the Utilities ($75 mortgage value), is $8, not $7. The interest on Park Place (mortgage value $175) is $18, not $17.][Note: Properties that are mortgaged must have the Title Deeds flipped over][Note: You may unmortgage properties at any time during the game]


    A player who is bankrupt (owes more money than he can pay) must turn over to his Creditor all that he has of value and is eliminated from the game. If he owns Houses or Hotels, these are returned to the bank for money (1/2 purchase price), which the bankrupt player then gives to his Creditor. If the Bankrupt player turns over to his creditor any mortgaged property, his creditor must follow the normal rules for the transfer of mortgaged property. (see MORTGAGES)

    When a player cannot pay his taxes or penalties, (even by selling things or mortgaging property) the Bank takes over all of his assets and auctions off everything so taken. (except buildings) The player then retires from the game (is elimianted) The last player remaining in the game wins.


    If a player owes more rent than he can pay in cash, he may pay his creditor part in cash (using all his cash) and part in Lots at the printed price, or he may ask the Banker to put up some of his lots at auction to sell to the highest bidder, paying his creditor in full. If the player cannot pay his creditor in full, he is declared bankrupt. (see BANKRUPTCY)

    End of Official Rules

    Short Games

    Time Limit

    Agree on a time limit. At that time limit, the richest player wins.

    Second Bankruptcy Method

    Agree before the game that as soon as the second bankruptcy occurs, the richest player wins.
    (You need four or more players to play by this method)

    Two Properties

    Agree before the game to play by this method.

    At the start of the game, the Banker shuffles the Title Deed cards and deals out 2 to each player. The players must then pay the purchase price for each of them.

    [Note: For purposes of "Richest Player" add up cash on hand (duh!), the full value of unmortgaged properties, the mortgage value of mortgaged properties, the full purchase value of buildings, and $50 for any "Get Out Of Jail Free" cards.]

    [Note: it its common practice to stop a game when you run out of time, richest player then winning.]


    Free Parking

    This is by far the most popular Monopoly variation. Put money from certain sources in the middle of the board or in the corner of the board near the Free Parking space. When a player lands on Free Parking, he collects all of that money. Some people put in some money at the start of the game to start the pot, usually $100 or $500.

    What goes in the "Free Parking" pot

  • Income Tax money
  • Luxury Tax money
  • School Tax Pay $150 money (a Community Chest card)
  • Poor Tax Pay $15 money (a Chance card)
  • "Pay for Houses and Hotels" cards money (one Chance card and one Community Chest card)
  • Some people also put in the $50 Jail money, the Doctor's Fee, Pay Hospital $100 and other fees in Free Parking. I think this goes a bit overboard. Personally, I don't like the Free Parking rule much at all anymore.

    Basic Rules © 1935 Parker Brothers
    Free Parking and other additions © Alan Gilfoy, 2004-2005.
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