Monopoly is a classic. If you have never played this game, I recommend you give it a try. It is known for lasting a really long time, which some people could argue is not the best part of the game. Likewise, if you’re already tired of binging television shows and movie series, or your wireless internet provider isn’t up to the challenge of supporting everyone in the neighborhood at once, I say it’s time to binge a board game. Read on for my favorite “house” or unofficial rules to Monopoly that will make the game last longer and your quarantine days seem shorter!
1. “You cannot buy any properties until you have completed your first pass around the board.”
This rule requires each player to roll and make it all the way back to the “Go” space before purchasing any property. It serves the purpose of delaying the start of the game, as well as getting all the players thinking about which properties they really want. Plus you get an extra $200 for passing “Go” before you can even think about spending money!
2. “When you land on the free parking space, you win all the currently accrued fees and fines paid by all players thus far.”
This rule refers to all the fees and fines players are required to pay throughout the game via chance, community chest cards, and get out of jail fines. Any money explicitly owed to an individual (rent) or to the bank (houses for remortgaging fees) are still paid to those entities. However, any fees or fines otherwise collected in a separate pile by the banker are left in the center of the board. Whenever a player lands on “Free Parking” they receive all the money in the center of the board so far.
3. “You may strike whatever deal you please as long as the risk and the reward do not leave the monopoly realm.”
In the original rules, deals can be made between two players in the following way:
Player A trades any combination they please of any properties they own, including ”Get out of Jail Free” cards or Monopoly money they have, in exchange for Player B’s property, card, or money.
These trades can occur at any time as long as both parties consent. With House Rule #3, Player A can offer any of these items, as well as any other benefit they can think of within the Monopoly realm, in exchange for any other benefit Player B can trade in the Monopoly realm.
Some examples include:
Player A trades rent immunity for Player B on orange properties, in exchange for one of Player B’s orange properties that would help Player A complete their set of orange properties.
Player A trades their railroad property to Player B (who holds the rest of the railroad set), and in exchange Player A is paid half the rent Player B earns each time other players land on the railroad spaces.
This rule allows you to get creative, but remember the deals have to exist within the Monopoly realm, so no trading real money, household chores, or “IOU’s” outside of the game!
4. “If you land on a railroad property that you own and you own the railroad property directly across from it, then on your next roll, you can begin counting from the other railroad property across from you.”
This rule only works if you own opposite Railroad properties. You must land on the Railroad property you own, and you must also own the one directly across the board from it. On your next turn, after you roll, you can decide whether to count your move from the Railroad space you are currently on or the railroad space directly across the board. If you choose to move from the other space, you will jump directly to it without passing go or collecting $200.
“House” rules, or unofficial rules, are a great way to spice up your game of Monopoly and increase the playing time of a single game. Remember to never assume before playing that you will play by anything other than the original rules that came with your board game. However, clarifying, suggesting, and agreeing on one or more “house” rules before starting is the most fair and, in my opinion, fun way to start your next boardgame binge session.