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How to Play Monopoly with House Rules

Updated on October 21, 2012

What are house rules?

Do you put money under Free Parking? How many houses give you a hotel? What if the bank runs out of money? And how much money do you start with? Things called house rules messes with the game. It makes the long game of Monopoly longer, and messes up the game. I’m going to tell you about these house rules, and how they screw up how we play Monopoly. House rules are rules changed from the normal instructions to fit the players' needs.

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Free parking money?

Free Parking is one of the most commonly argued-about space on the board. Some people put $500 in it to start off the game; some people keep $200 or any other value of money it through the game. Even though it’s a nice surprise to land on it, the game becomes much longer. The thing is, it’s just what is says- a free space. Feel free to keep putting money in it if the game has a time limit- say, one or two hours- because the game has a set time limit. But, if you’re playing a true game of Monopoly, stay away from the bonus money.

Do you put money under free parking?

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Other house rules

Now for some quick rules- you buy four houses, and your fifth is a hotel. The hotel doesn’t cost extra, just the same price as a house. For a shorter game, make a house rule that you buy three houses, and your fourth is a hotel. And if the bank runs out of the $15,140 it starts off with, the banker can “mint” more by writing the money on a slip of paper. Lastly, you start off with $1,500. Another common house rule is to start off with more money, but again, this makes the game longer. One last house rule is LANDING on GO. Some people think, because it says, “Collect $200 salary as you pass go,” they don’t collect salary until they actually PASS Go. This isn’t true. If you land on go, you collect your salary as normal, according to the official rule book.

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You shouldn't use house rules in a traditional game...

House rules, although fun, make the game of Monopoly longer. Free Parking, hotels, and starting money are the most mooted rules in Monopoly. Keep in mind, ‘official’ games are played exactly by the rule book, no house rules allowed. A traditional game could go on for more than three hours or more if played using house rules that put more money in play.

...but they are fine in a timed game.

Feel free to use them when playing with family or friends. They are great for timed games, but not so great for real games! If you use them in a timed game, I believe it adds an element of luck, which is fun if you aren't playing traditionally anyway.

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