5 Monopoly Jail Rules That You Must Know (2022 Guide)

Monopoly Jail Rules

What happens when you land in Monopoly jail? Although Monopoly jail rules vary depending on how the house plays the board game, there are still some things that you can expect when you find yourself in jail in Monopoly on one of the board’s least favorite corner spaces.

There are a few ways that you can get out of jail in Monopoly, but there are also times when staying behind bars can be strategic for play. This list of rules will help you be a much better player and come out on top, regardless of whether or not Officer Mallory captures you or how much money you have.

Going to Jail

You’re going to jail. Now what? When you get sent to jail, you have to go right there, even if you’re on the other side of the “Go” square. One of the primary Monopoly rules is that you don’t get to collect $200 of money for passing Go. Getting sent to jail is also the end of your turn, even if it is your first turn in the game.

There are four different ways that you could wind up behind bars in Monopoly. The first way is by rolling doubles three times in a row. On your third doubles roll, you will find yourself immediately moved to the jail cell. The only exception to this rule is if you’re throwing doubles for your utility payment on the Chance card that reads “Advance to the nearest Utility.”

You can also land on the “Go to Jail” space on the board or pull a Community Chest or Chance card that sends you to jail. Once you’re in jail, you can buy or trade property or negotiate with other players in the game. You just can’t move around the board anymore.

Monopoly Jail Rules
Monopoly Jail Rules

What Happens When You’re in Monopoly Jail?

The game moves on just like before when you go to jail, except you can’t go around the board. Although it’s unlucky to get sent to jail early in the game, it can be advantageous and even strategic later on.

The Game Moves On As Usual

Don’t worry! Even if you go to jail, you can still collect rent, sell houses, and negotiate with your teammates. All other players have to pay the same stated rent on your properties too. You just have to do it all from behind bars, or you can get out of jail free by following the steps in our next section. 

With One Exception

You can’t move around the board. This limits your ability to buy property or cash in on a more lucrative Chance or Community Chest card. You can still collect rents, trade properties, sell property, and continue the ordinary course of business in the usual manner while in jail in Monopoly. 

Just Visiting

It’s not uncommon for players to land on Monopoly Jail while making their way around the board. If you find yourself in this position, simply scoot off to the side and put your piece in the “Just Visiting” part. It’s not the same as landing on the jail space, and you can leave jail without paying a fee.

At your next turn, you can freely move your piece and continue along with the game; you don’t have to throw doubles or worry about paying. The player who is just visiting immediately moves forward.

Monopoly Empire Jail
Monopoly Empire Jail

Also read: Monopoly Empire Rules, Strategies and Ultimate Guide

Getting Out of Jail

There are a few different ways that you can get out of jail. Remember, it might not be advantageous to leave the comfort of your jail cell, especially while playing later in the game. Assess your personal situation and make the right move.


Just like rolling doubles can get you into jail, they can also help you get out of jail. You still get to roll the dice when you’re in jail, although you won’t be able to move your piece in most instances. The exception is when you luck out with doubles throw.

Once you land in jail, you have a maximum of three turns to roll lucky doubles and make your way out. Unfortunately, if you don’t roll doubles by your third attempt, you have to use another method to break free after your third turn and failed attempt. After that point, you will have to pay the $50 fine.

If you do manage to roll doubles and end your jail sentence early, you get to move the designated number of spaces. You don’t get to roll the dice again as you would normally do, though.  

“Get Out of Jail Free” Card

If you find a “Get Out of Jail Free” card in either Community Chest or Chance, hold onto it for a rainy day. As the name suggests, these cards can get you out of Monopoly Jail. 

You can also sell your “Get Out of Jail Free” card to other players who might find themselves behind bars who aren’t lucky enough to have thrown doubles and have to pay to get out of jail.

$50 Fee

If you haven’t squirrelled away a “Get Out of Jail Free” card and aren’t lucky enough to roll doubles, you can always pay for your release. Pay the bank $50 to get out of Monopoly Jail. Once you’re out, you can take a turn and continue moving around the board.  

Bartering To Get Out of Jail

You may find yourself in the unpleasant position of being in jail with no money to get out. However, if you haven’t been able to roll doubles, don’t have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, and don’t have a spare $50 to pay the bank, you still have a few more options.

Check your house rules to see if you can barter with other players to get out of jail. For example, some rules specify that you can trade, sell, or mortgage your property to get a little bit of extra cash for a rainy day. If you have nothing to barter, you’ll have to declare bankruptcy and forfeit the game or stay in jail forever.  

Go to Jail Strategy

Sometimes going to jail isn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, it can be downright advantageous if you time it correctly. If you own a lot of property and it’s near the end of the game, you should relish your time behind bars.

Since the game still moves on even if you’re in jail, you will be able to collect on all of your different properties. The beautiful part is that you won’t have to worry about paying any other players. Instead, you can sit in jail for a few turns and wait it out.

Think about where you are in the Monopoly game. Do you have large chunks of mortgage property or all of the properties in a certain color group? If so, save your $50 and “Get Out of Jail Free” cards and simply ride it out. 

Monopoly does not allow you to be a lifelong jailbird though. If you roll doubles, you need to get out of jail. If you stay in jail for three consecutive turns, you will need to pay the $50 to get out of Monopoly jail, or use your Community Chest or Chance card.

House Rules To Pay Attention To

There are plenty of different house rules that can come into play during a game of Monopoly. Some house rules minimize or maximize the amount of cash that you start off with for a long or short game. Others pertain to how much property you can accumulate.

When it comes to Monopoly jail, there are a few standard house rules that you’d be wise to learn before you roll the dice. One rule pertains to your assets and property. Under this rule, you’re prohibited from collecting rent, mortgaging property, or getting paid for utilities while you’re behind bars. 

Whether or not this rule is implemented could make all of the difference in your strategy.

Some house rules require all players to chip in to free the one person who is in jail. This rule can work in your favour earlier on, or if you’re broke, and not be so good later. On the flip side, you might have to fork out a ton of cash if you land in jail. Some house rules require the jailed player to give each participant up to $100.  

There are plenty of other rules, including some that disqualify you from the game if you land in jail and others that say you have to auction your assets while you’re behind bars. Learn what house rule governs your Monopoly board if you want to win the game.

Wrapping It Up

Going to jail in Monopoly is all about strategy, and going to jail can be a big part of your overall playing plan if you play it right. Understanding the complete rules is imperative to beating your opponents and coming out on top. Then, all you need to do is figure out the right strategy, and you’re all set!

Also read: 4 Easy Monopoly Costume Ideas

Tom Wilson

I love Monopoly! I've been playing it since I was 10 - now, with decades of experience I have decided to put everything I know about Monopoly, online!

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