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The Monopoly Game Rules Everyone Has Been Playing Wrong

Monopoly is one of the rare board games that erupts families and implodes relationships, all for a little fun in paper money capitalism. We are all okay with it, so long as we are the one who owns Boardwalk, because rules are rules. But it seems there is at least one rule that many people do not know, which drastically changes how the game is played.


There is an auction rule no one is playing.

Monopoly expert Ruben explains that when a person lands on any available property, and they choose not to buy it, it automatically goes to auction.

"IT. IS. IN. THE. RULES."

Just to be sure, we turn to the official rulebook:

Whenever you land on an unowned property you may buy that property from the Bank at its printed price. You receive the Title Deed card showing ownership; place it face up in front of you.

If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder. The buyer pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option to buy it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.

This significantly speeds up the game.

You can also sell property to other players without auction.

The rulebook states:

Unimproved properties, railroads and utilities (but not buildings) may be sold to any player as a private transaction for any amount the owner can get; however, no property can be sold to - another player if buildings are standing on any properties of that colour group.

But there is a catch...

Any buildings so located must be sold back to the Bank before the owner can sell any property of that colour group. Houses and hotels may be sold back to the Bank at any time for one half the price paid for them.

That's right. You only get half of your money back. It's like real life - think of it as depreciation of value.

Speaking of real life lessons...

Mortgages come with interest!

Once more we return to the rulebook - those fine print instructions it seems so few people take the time to actually read.

In order to lift the mortgage, the owner must pay the Bank the amount of the mortgage plus 10 per cent interest. When all the properties of a colour group are no longer mortgaged, the owner may begin to buy back houses at full price.

There is an additional rule about mortgages that makes them a bit more complicated, and a little less fun. If you buy a mortgaged property from another player, you either have to pay off the mortgage plus the 10 percent interest right away, or pay the 10 percent interest now and then another 10 percent later when you finally pay off the mortgage. That's double the interest!

How do these rules make you feel?

Capitalism at its finest, in a board game.

Others already knew the auction rule, and are more shocked others did not.

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h/t: Hasbro, Twitter,