Getting a cash windfall for landing on "Free Parking"? Yeah, not an actual rule, sorry! You"ve definitely been playing Monopoly wrong.


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Ah yes, Monopoly. It’s one of the few games that the very mention of its name can result in awful flashbacks to the last time your cousin threw a tantrum and flipped the board over.

You are watching: Monopoly can you collect rent in jail

However, while it’s not being used as an example of how to foster family bonding, Monopoly is rather well-known for its litany of rules that no one pays attention to.


In fact, think about it, when was the last time that you decided to pull Monopoly out of the closet, only to preface the next hour’s arguments with some light reading of the rules, courtesy of the Parker Brothers?

As it turns out, there’s actually quite a lot of interesting info contained in there, including, y’know, how to actually play the game.

However, years of being ignored have lead to a vast amount of widely-accepted ‘house rules‘. So therefore, it might shock you to learn that…

You don’t need to lap around the board before you start buying:

We’ve all been there. From the very first second you roll the dice, the chances are good that you’ll on a desirable property (or railroad, I won’t judge) that you want to buy.

“Sold!” you cry to the banker, only to have ol’ Rory Rules tell you you’re one full rotation away from becoming a property mogul. Turns out, that’s absolute bunk.


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Yep, nowhere in the rules does it say you need to do a full lap before you start buying up big. So next time you roll that dice to start the game, you can rest assured knowing your little iron playing piece is in prime position to become some big-shot landlord right from the get-go.

Landing on ‘Go’ doesn’t double your earnings:

We can probably imagine how this one came to be. Your second-cousin Scott was probably playing with a younger family member, only to see a pretty ingenious way of making bank. “Oh, you see, landing on ‘Go’, that’s pretty special, so I’ll need to double my earnings. I swear; no foolin’!”

Yeah, nice try, Scott, but you’re sticking with $200. Nowhere in the rules does it say this is a thing, in fact, nowhere in the rules does it stipulate you ever get more than $200 from the ‘Go’ square in any imaginable situation.

You can collect rent in jail:

There you are, the big property tycoon, filling all your purchased properties with those luscious red and green plastic pieces when suddenly you become a jailbird.

The other players are probably wiping the sweat from their brow, knowing they can take a trip into the expensive side of town (uh, the board) without breaking the bank. Uh, yeah, about that…

That’s right, according to the rules, your playing piece might be in jail, but your bank account is certainly still active. At no point do you lose the ability to accept money, so your fellow players might want to keep on their toes as they approach your collection of hotels with caution.

The British royal family has a strict rule against playing Monopoly because "it gets too vicious."

— UberFacts (
UberFacts) January 3, 2019

Not purchasing a property you land on doesn’t end your turn:

This one is less of a house rule and more of a way to speed the game up. As we all tend to agree, once you land on a property, you’re given the chance to buy it. However, if you decide that you don’t want to buy that bargain-basement blue property next to ‘Go’, your turn is over, right? Wrong!

In fact, if you pass up that once-in-a-lifetime offer of board game realty, it’s actually supposed to go up for auction.

That’s right, apparently the Parker Brothers decided that the best way to keep a game like this going is to actively introduce more money-motivated competition and yelling into the rules.

Let’s just be fair, this is one official rule we won’t blame you for ignoring.

You don’t get a huge windfall for landing on free parking:

Who actually follows this rule? Well, as a nine-year-old me once found out, apparently everyone not in my family.

Yes, this house rule suggests that any money that is set to go to the bank actually gets set in the middle of the board, and the lucky player that lands on free parking reaps the benefits. Turns out that, yep, that’s all wrong.

Imagine for a second that every time you found a free parking spot in your neighbourhood, someone showered you with money, no questions asked. In addition to the worrying legal ramifications of such an event, it’s also pretty unlikely.

Sure, we get this is a game, but considering the harsh realities of renting, landlords, and family fighting that Monopoly already includes, we think a bit of realism isn’t too much to ask.

You can go to jail for rolling three doubles in a row:

On paper, this rule sounds like the ramblings of a drunken punter after a night out. But as it turns out, the Parker Brothers PD are well within their rights to take you to the slammer for such an intriguing offence.

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So, what’s the deal? Well, if you throw down doubles, you get yourself an extra turn, and doing the same again scores you a third turn. However, in the eyes of the powers that be (y’know, the rules), rolling doubles three times in a row means that you’re “speeding”, and should rightfully be shipped off to the slammer.