Monopoly Rules: The Complete Guide (2023)

Basana Saha


If you are searching to find the most comprehensive and accurate Monopoly Rules, then this is the perfect guide for you.

All the information here adheres with the Official Monopoly Classic Game and its Speed die version.

Monopoly Rules Complete guide

Let’s get started!

Chapter 1: Intro To the Monopoly Game

In this chapter, let’s get to know the game first before diving into the rules of the Monopoly Game.

What is Monopoly Game?

Monopoly is a real-estate-themed board game. It is one of the most ancient board games that still soars high in popularity. This economics-themed board game is centered around buying and selling properties to the players until one of them becomes the richest.

The ones getting bankrupt get disqualified and lose the game.

The properties you buy in the Monopoly game resemble real-life locations which makes this game more interesting.

To know more about the History of Monopoly game, you can check here.

The objective of the Monopoly Game

There are multiple versions of the Monopoly game. When discussing the classic version, the game’s objective is to become the wealthiest player of the game by trading properties and lands before anyone else and driving others into bankruptcy.

Chapter 2: Setting up the Game

Before you begin the game there are several things you need to know. These would help you to get a basic idea about the game.

In this chapter, I will discuss about the number of players, the components of the game, setting up the Monopoly board, distributing money, and more.

Knowing Max Number of Players who can play

Classic monopoly is designed for 2 to 8 players. The players should be above 8 years of age. The game turns out to be the best and most successful when the number of players is 4.

To know more about Monopoly Age Range, you may check this detailed post written by me.

You may also like to know how long does a Monopoly game Take to play with 2-6 players.

Components of the Classic Monopoly Game

Here are the items required for the Monopoly game:

  • A gameboard
  • 32 houses
  • 12 hotels
  • 2 Dice
  • 8 Monopoly Pieces/Tokens
  • 16 Chance Cards
  • 16 Community Cards
  • Play Money
  • Banker’s Tray

Don’t have all these? Check here for the complete DIY guide to creating a Monopoly game.

Setting Up Board

The game preparation starts with placing the monopoly board on a center table among all the players. The first task is placing the community chest card and chance cards face-down at their allotted spaces. 

Each player will choose one token representing them and their movements throughout the game, pretty much how we do in other board games like chess or ludo. 

Distributing Monopoly Money

Initially, each player gets $1500. This money is divided as 2*$500, 2*$100, 2* %50, 6*$20, 5* $10, 5*$5, 5*$1. This is the total amount each plate gets. The remaining money out of the total monopoly is stored in the bank. 

Monopoly Money
Image of Monopoly 100 and 50 denominations

The players can access the money as and when needed per their needs from the bank.

You can simply stack the money near the bank’s representation on board. 

To know more about how much money each player gets in Monopoly at the start of the game, you can check this helpful post here.

Knowing Monopoly Board

A typical classic monopoly board consists of 40 squares.

Out of these 40, 28 squares stand for properties(22 Streets + 4 Railroads + 2 Utilities).

  • 22 property Spaces which are Streets
  • 3 Chance Squares
  • 3 Community Chest Squares
  • 1 Luxury Tax Square
  • 1 Income Tax Square
  • 4 Railroads
  • 2 Utilities (Electric Company and Water Works)
  • Free Parking Square
  • Go to Jail Square
  • GO square
  • Jail Square(Just Visiting space)

Chapter 3: Different Classic Monopoly Game Rules

Now, as you have learned to set up the game and to play the game you need to know several Monopoly Game rules. These rules are often the same as other versions of Monopoly with some modifications in them specific to the version of the game.

Here, I would discuss about the Official Classic Monopoly Game rules.

There are also several Rules which are fanmade and known as Monopoly House Rules.

Monopoly Jail Rules

Jail is the first corner of the Monopoly game board after the Go space. It is common to encounter the Jail space at the beginning of the game.

Monopoly Jail Space
Image of Monopoly Jail space

Here are the Jail rules of Monopoly:

Players can be sent to jail under four circumstances:

  1. When the dice rolls to the Go to Jail square;
  2. When you land on the Chance square and draw the Go to Jail card. 
  3. When you land on the community chest and draw the Go to Jail card,
  4. You can go to jail when you roll double three times consecutively. 

Under each of these conditions, the player has to go to jail, and while in jail, they cannot collect the $200 allotted salary or trade any property.

Here are some of the property rules for the player in jail:

  • If the players need to buy properties while in jail, they have to negotiate and deal with other players because they cannot land up property squares by themselves during this time. 
  • Players can mortgage and sell the property when in jail if they need cash to move out. They can also trade property with other players and buy houses while in jail

Here are the rules for getting out of jail:

  • Players can pay a fine of $50 and roll their dice to move their tokens in the usual way. 
  • If the players own a “Get Out of Jail” card, they can use the same
  • If they don’t have a get-out-of-jail card, they can buy one from any other player. 
  • If the player rolls doubles, they can get out of jail. 

Monopoly Mortgage Rules

Mortgaging any property in the Monopoly game means the bank temporarily controls the property by paying the owner some cash. It is precisely similar to how we mortgage property in real life.

Mortgage in Monopoly
Image of Mortgage deeds in Monopoly

When the player can repay the bank with the amount, they can resume control over their property. Here are some Monopoly mortgage rules:

The mortgaged property is on temporary hold. You cannot build anything on the mortgaged property, but you will still be the owner.

Any player landing on another player’s mortgaged property will not lose any cash.

If a property has houses and hotels on it, you cannot mortgage that property. If you wish to mortgage a property, leave it undeveloped. If you have to mortgage an already developed property, you have to sell the houses and hotels for half their original price and then mortgage the property. 

When you mortgage a property, the Title deed card is over. The player will receive half the mortgaged property’s original value that remains printed on the mortgage card. You cannot operate on any mortgaged property (inactive), but you can sell the mortgaged property to some other player. 

Monopoly Buying House Rules

Monopoly is about the trading property like buying and selling houses, hotels, and other assets. Buying houses in Monopoly is one of the chief actions on the game board. Here are some rules about buying houses in Monopoly:

  • On the Monopoly board, you can buy houses when you own all properties of a color. A player can only build two houses on any one color once they have built at least one property on all the colors. 
  • Other than building, players can acquire houses by buying them from other players. Simply by paying the value to the bank, they can own houses. 
  • As soon as you own all properties of a particular color, you can start building houses. None of the properties can be mortgaged at this time. If any property is mortgaged, you need to unmortgage that before you can build houses. 
  • Players can buy houses during or between other players’ turns. You don’t have to land on the property to buy your house. You can buy them irrespective of your current token position on the board. 

Monopoly Selling House Rules

Selling houses in Monopoly is a significant task, just like buying houses. You can sell houses on the monopoly board if you need some cash. The fundamental rule for selling houses in Monopoly is that you can sell the houses only to the bank and not to any other player. 

The selling price of the houses is half of their original purchase value. Selling houses is like returning them to the bank in exchange for cash. 

Like buying houses, you can sell the houses during your turn or between any other player’s turn. The best time to sell the house is when you land on someone else’s property and need to pay rent. Mortgaging the property should be the first target, and selling the houses must only be the last resort. 

The most important rule for selling houses in Monopoly is to sell the houses evenly. If you have four houses in any particular Monopoly color, you cannot sell all four houses until you have at least sold one house in the other colors. 

Monopoly Loan Rules

In Monopoly, you can opt for a loan from a bank. It is not termed as a loan in Monopoly. It is the same as mortgaging a property. You can only take a loan from a bank when you mortgage a property.

The player has to hand the title deed card to the bank, and the bank will provide the loan in return. The bank will grant the mortgage value of the property printed on the back of the card. If the player gains cash, they can always unmortgage a property by paying it back to the bank.

It may seem very easy to get money from the bank, but when you mortgage most of your properties, generating income is extremely tough. Also, you will only gain money as rent.

Unmortgaging the property becomes difficult when you keep on opting for loans. The best tactic is to pay back the loans you already owe and then move forward.

You can explore more about Monopoly Loan rules here. 

Monopoly Income Tax Rules

In a Monopoly game, you have to pay income taxes just as in real life economy. It is one of the two taxes you must pay in Monopoly. 

Whenever any player lands on the income tax square, they need to pay a tax of $200 to the bank instantly. 

The Income-tax square is situated between the Reading Railroad and Baltic avenue on the board. Initially, the US versions had the rule of playing 10% of your total worth as Income tax when you landed on that square. 

The modern versions say you have to pay a flat amount of $200, no matter what your worth is at that time. The Income taxes should be paid to the bank. The player-appointed banker will ensure that all the fines are being paid on time. You may read details about the Income Tax Rules in Monopoly here in this post to stay ahead with tax rules in the game. 

Monopoly Auction Rules

Auctioning is a significant part of the Monopoly game. Monopoly games would have continued for hours without any potential winners had there not been auctioning. In monopoly, players can participate in the auction to bid on unowned property. 

These properties may include railroads and utilities. The auction proceeds in the usual manner. Players will continue bidding on the property until someone offers the highest bid and the property passes to them (just as in real-life auctioning). 

All the aggressive bidders collect plenty of property on the monopoly board through this technique, but you must have the skill of balancing. Players become overwhelmed and tempted to own almost everything, ending up bankrupt.

Here is the probable situation when an auction occurs in the Monopoly game as per the Official Monopoly Auction Rules:

  • When a player lands on a property but is not interested in buying the same, the property passes for auction.
  • When a player lands on the unowned property but cannot afford to buy the property or pay the price in full.
  • The bank puts up all their owned property pieces for sale when any player turns bankrupt.
  • If players want to buy more houses and hotels than are currently available on the board, the properties will be auctioned. 
  • When any player initiates the house rules for the forced auction, properties will be auctioned. 

Monopoly Bankruptcy Rules

As per the Monopoly Bankruptcy Rules, a player is declared bankrupt in Monopoly when they owe more than they can pay. The debt can be either to another exciting player or to the bank if any player turns bankrupt, they have to turn over to that player and quit the game. 

If they owe money to the bank, the bank will procure the money in its way; the player has to hand over the property deeds to the bank. These included all the player’s assets, like property, cash, and monopoly money. 

After handling down the assets, the player is out of the game. The creditor in the case of Bankruptcy is the bank. 

Monopoly Rent Rules

Whenever a player lands on any property owned by some other players, they have to pay rent to the winner; collecting rent is one of the best income sources for any monopoly player. The rent amount is displayed on the Title deed. If a player owns all the properties of any particular color set, the rent amount will be on the hike. 

If you cannot pay rent in Monopoly, it is time to go bankrupt. The rent is calculated based on whether the player owns only some or all of the properties in a color set. Each color set has unique rent charges.

To know more about the Monopoly rent rules, you can read this post written by me.

Monopoly Railroad Rules

Monopoly Railroads are the most discussed property on the Monopoly board. There are plenty of rules around the railroads. Also, there are specific rules about railroads that players often misinterpret.

When playing Monopoly, the players should have complete knowledge of the Railroads in Monopoly. There are certain complex Monopoly railroad rules. Let us explore them quickly:

  • When a player lands on any unowned railroad, they must pay the list price of $200 to buy the railroad. If a player lands on a railroad owned by another player, they have to pay the rent for the railroad. The rent amount is not fixed; it depends on the number of railroads a player owns. The rent is as follows: for 1 railroad, it is $25; for two railroads, it is $50; for three, the amount is $100; and for 4 of the railroads, it is $200. 
  • A player can never build houses on the railroads. There is only one chance of adding the same colored properties to a complete set. 
  • Even if a player puts one of their owned railroads on the mortgage, they can still collect the rent for the railroads. A player is liable to pay the total rent of $200 when they land on a railroad owned by another player. 

Here is a complete guide on Monopoly Railroads for UK and US versions with strategies and rules written by me.

Monopoly Utility Rules

Players are not primarily concerned with the utility rules because they don’t consider it an important property. Here are some rules you must know about utility properties:

In Monopoly, utilities are the only type of property with no fixed rent amount. So, even though there are simple rules around them, how much return a player can expect is unpredictable. 

Utilities on the Monopoly Board

Electric Company on Monopoly Board
Water Works on Monopoly Board

The rent amount is determined by the dice rolling of the player that lands on the property. When the player owns one utility only, they have to pay rent four times the amount reflected on the dice roll.

  • If the player owns both the utilities, that is, waterworks and electric company, they have to pay rent as ten times the total amount shown on the dice. 
  • There are usually two types of utilities – the Electric company with a cost of $150 and a mortgage of $75. The second type of utility is the waterworks, for which the initial value and the mortgage cost are the same as the former. 

These Utilities are so great that you may like to explore More on the Monopoly Utility to know detailed rules and strategies.

Monopoly Hotel Rules

Hotels are one of the most lucrative properties in the monopoly game. To buy a hotel in the monopoly game, a player must own all the properties of each color set. They also need to have houses built on each of the color sets.

Image of Monopoly Hotels
Image of Monopoly Hotels

Only after that can you attempt to buy a hotel. The hotel has to be bought at the list price mentioned in the Title deed card. Also, players have to pay four houses to the bank. 

You can read this helpful article to know more about Monopoly Hotel Rules.

Monopoly Rolling Double Rules

Here are some rules you must know about rolling doubles in Monopoly. 

Rolling Doubles with two 6s
  • When a player rolls double in the monopoly game, you will move your token by the indicated number of spaces on the board. Roll twice and take standard actions. 
  • If a player rolls three doubles consecutively, they are straightaway sent to jail. 
  • When a player is in jail, they can buy their way out of jail by rolling a double

You can read this helpful article to know more about Monopoly Rolling Double Rules.

Rules for the Speedy Version of Monopoly “SPEED DIE”

Speed die is the speedy version of Monopoly. Using the speed die rules, it is possible to play it fast:

At the beginning of the game, each player must be handed over $1000. This extra cash will help the players to trade property faster as the game will proceed very quickly.

Speed Die rules will not be applicable in the game if the player has not passed the GO space even once. All players should pass the GO space for at least only then the Speed Die rules can be applied. 

For rolling the speed die, roll it simultaneously with the white dice and then perform the actions generally as you do while rolling the dice. 

Chapter 4: Ending the Game

Like every other game the Monopoly Game ends and we declare a winner. However, there is a rule about how the game ending happens which I will discuss over here.

Rules for Ending Classic Monopoly Game

The game ends when any one of the members becomes the wealthiest among all the players, and everyone except that player goes bankrupt. When the players are unable to pay rent, they are declared bankrupt. 

At one time in the game, all the players are declared bankrupt except for one, usually the wealthiest, who can pay taxes and rent. This player wins the game. The game will not last too long if the players follow official rules.

Rule to End Based on Time 

This is a time-based game and is very useful when you are short of time and want to limit the timing of your Monopoly game.

Here, players decide the time they will play the game. This will ensure they won’t wait for one player’s bankruptcy to happen before declaring the winner.

After the time the game is over(e.g. 2 hours), we calculate the total net worth of a player considering the total value of the acquired property, his cash in hand, and half of the value of the mortgaged property.

The player with max net worth is the winner in this case.

To know more about how does Monopoly end, you can check this helpful post here written by me.

Chapter 5: Tips to Win the Game

Though Monopoly Game’s winning depends on the dice you throw which may indicate a luck factor, still it is not totally a luck-based game.

Here, strategies come into action very much at every step. Here, I would discuss about the strategies to help you increase your chance in winning the game.

Strategies and Tips to Win Monopoly

Here are tips to win the Monopoly game where you participate:

Try to develop property aggressively right from the beginning. This is the best and the proven way to win the game. In the beginning, don’t be choosy with the property. Acquire whatever property you can because each one has its value.

Try to target orange and red properties because they have the highest landing rate. Players can win the game faster if they can acquire these two types of properties. They are valuable properties to drive your opponents bankrupt. 

Don’t try to save money. Saving money will not help to increase the same. Invest the money wisely in buying property. Time is a big factor here. The properties won’t be on hold because you don’t want to buy it. They will be gone in the wind, so don’t get late. 

Try to develop three hotels as early as possible, depending on how quickly you can develop the house. The primary target must be to build three houses and three hotels as soon as possible in the game. 

Things Not to Do in the Monopoly Game

If you want to win the game, here are three things you should never do:

  • Never try to save money in the initial phase. Invest it in acquiring properties
  • Never overlook the house rules because doing so will unnecessarily drag the game longer.
  • Don’t be choosy about acquiring properties at the beginning of the game. 

Wrapping Up

As you already read this Monopoly Rules Guide, how did you find each of the parts of the guide?

Do let me know by mailing me at [email protected].

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If you are Looking for any other information related to Monopoly, check this post.

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Basana Saha