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Board Games/Monopoly rules ??


Hello and thank you for being an expert to answer our questions.

My question is about Monopoly, specifically the rules.  

I recently bought Monopoly Electronic Banking edition. I bought this one to simplify transactions so we wouldn't have to deal with paper money and making change and all that time consuming mess.  With the electronic banking version, it's essentially the same game, it just basically uses debit cards to keep track of transactions instead of using paper money.  However, some basic game rules were ambiguous and caused some confusion.  The manual and online rules (even the official tournament rules) didn't seem to provide answers.  Here are my questions:

1) Whether you play with paper money or the electronic banking edition, can other players keep their balances secret?  In other words, if I want to check the balance of another players cash (either paper or using the electronic debit card) can I do that?  Can players shield other players from knowing how much money they have?  Should their money be kept in view to ensure there is no cheating???

2) Now, if a player does not want a property they land on, then there is to be an auction that according to my manual says is open to everybody.  Now, if a player lands on a property and declines to buy it and the property goes to auction, does that mean that the player can participate in the auction to get the property at a lesser price than the price on the board?  

3) If a player chooses a chance or community chest card and it sends them to a property owned by another player, does that mean that they would be required to pay that player rent?  My girlfriend says no, but I say yes, because one chance card says "hop a plane to x property and collect 2m if you pass Go".  Seems to me that if you got a free plane ticket to someone else's property, they would still be expecting rent for occupying space in their property.  

Let me know what you think and THANK YOU!


Hey there Chris,

Sorry for the delay... I'm back from holiday and still getting back into the swing of things.

First off, the official rules for the electronic edition are identical to the tournament rules for Monopoly with the appropriate inflation (E.g. Go in the classic edition is $200 instead of $2,000,000). Therefore, to the best of my knowledge, if the rule applies to one, it applies to the other.

Second, there is a rule in gaming of "If it does, it does. If it doesn't, it doesn't." Which is a general rule saying that if the rules don't explicitly say something, you shouldn't assume otherwise. Naturally that's got exceptions (E.g. nobody says "Dice must be rolled with the hands", but it's considered bad form to put them into your mouth and spit them onto the table). Now, I just want to say that this rule ISN'T obvious, and experienced gamers like myself still make this mistake... so don't worry about it. ;)

So let's talk about your specific questions.

1) Honestly, you've got me stumped on this one. I have not been able to find an "OFFICIAL" ruling on this question... so now I'm really curious and I'm digging around. The closest to an official answer that I can give is that most official digital renditions of Monopoly, including those created by Hasbro, allow all players to see the amount of money owned by other players at all times. I'll keep looking, but I would play that the amount of money you have on-hand is public knowledge and if someone asks, you have to honestly tell them.

2) I looked this one up in the official rules (which I found here:, and I found this statement:

 > Any player, including the one who declined the option to buy it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.

3) Yes, they do have to pay the rent. This falls into that "If it does, it does" category. Nowhere does it say that you don't have to pay the rent and the rules say "When you land on property owned by another player, the owner collects rent from you in accordance with the list printed on its Title Deed card." You landed there, whether from a card being played or the dice rolled is irrelevant.

One final personal note... a LOT of "experienced" gamers say bad things about Monopoly and complain about it. PLEASE DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! I consider myself an experienced gamer and while I'm not personally a fan of Monopoly MYSELF, I have good friends who enjoy the game and I have no reason to say anything about anyone who has a good time with the game. I hope you and your girlfriend have many, many great times playing.

I will, however, emphasize one frequently overlooked rule in Monopoly. The Free Parking place is exactly that. It's a free place to land where you don't have to pay anything or gain any money. I can show you PILES of articles about how folks have modified this rule and how it really detracts from the game overall. While it is tempting, I encourage this... try one game with Free Parking working exactly as it is in the rules, and see what you think. You may be surprised.

Welcome to the hobby and if you ever need more recommendations or have other questions, that's what I'm here for :).


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My expertise is fairly broad on board games. I've been collecting board games since I was old enough to count and have over 700 games in my still growing collection. I spend my spare time playing and teaching games, including doing demonstrations at stores. I don't have much experience with wargames, but when it comes to American games and/or most Eurogames, I can offer advice of the concepts in a game, and what kinds of audiences it might appeal to.


I've been an avid board game player and collector for over 20 years. I own more then 700 board games personally, and spend a significant amount of time both teaching and playing these games.

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science/Math.

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