Avoid common Monopoly mistakes to master the short and long game

How to gain early control and a lasting edge in Monopoly (part 7)

Ken Palmer
4 min readJun 28, 2021


When playing with friends and family, I prefer to avoid house rules. It just makes for a better experience.

Now, I’m not here to bash house rules. I want you to understand how a house rule will change the game. How you can adapt to win.

Let’s look at the most common Monopoly mistakes and house rules.

1. Don’t roll again when you land on a Utility

This mistake stems from the wording on the original Chance card. The “Advance token to nearest utility” card contains this line:

IF OWNED, throw dice and pay owner a total ten times the amount thrown.

When you land on a utility, the multiplier is the number you rolled to get there. You should not roll again to set that multiplier. The instruction to “throw dice and pay” only applies when Chance sends you to a Utility.

For example, your opponent owns both utilities. You roll a nine and land on Water Works. Don’t roll again! You owe that player $90.

2. Free Parking payouts

Here’s the most common house rule — give players free cash when they land on Free Parking.

In middle school, we put Luxury Tax, Income Tax, and fees from Chance and Community Chest cards into a pile on the board. When a person landed on Free Parking, that lucky player collected all that cash. Sometimes we’d even start that kitty with an extra $100 or $200.

This house rule turned Free Parking into a lottery ticket.

Adding money to Free Parking makes Monopoly take longer to finish. Why? Because it keeps more money in circulation.

See part 5 in this series for more on Free Parking.

3. Myth: You can’t collect rent while in Jail