Monopoly Auction and More Rules You Probably Don’t Know


Monopoly is the classic board game that has many rules that most people don’t use.  As a matter of fact, most people don’t even know a lot of these rules.  Believe it or not, the game actually plays better when the original rules are followed as oppose to the rules that have been adapted through the years.

Why the Auction Rule Isn’t Applied

There are a couple of reasons why the auctions rules are not utilized during game play.  The first reason is because Monopoly is being played with children.

The concept of an auction and bidding for property is often a little too complicated for kids to grasp, so it is just easier to omit this rule all together.  This reasoning makes a lot of sense.

The problem then compounds when the kids get older and they do not read the rules so the game continues to be played without auctions.  By the time these young gamers finally learn about the auction rule they convince themselves that the game is better without auctions.

Other reasons given for not applying the auction rule include: it will only slow down the game and that players prefer to not have to buy a property in order to prevent their opponents from attaining it.  So it is easier to decline a purchase and just move on.

Auction Rule Misconceptions   

There are many misconceptions associated with Monopoly rules that are not clearly understood.

These misconceptions include:

  • Applying these rules will make the game last longer
  • If we change how we play Monopoly it won’t be as fun
  • Changing the rules will make the game less strategic.

However, the facts do no support these misconceptions.  The truth is that when these rules are applied the game plays quicker, it is more fun, and the game becomes much more strategic.

Auction Properties that are Not Purchased

The first rule that is often overlooked, or purposely not followed, is that when someone lands on a property and decides not to purchase it then the property goes up for auction.

Facilitates Quicker Game Play

One of the common complaints about Monopoly is that it takes too long to play.  This is a main reason it is hard to find enough willing participants to play. 

Often times the only time Monopoly makes an appearance is when there are enough game players gathered together for a night or two, like family getting together for Thanksgiving.

When every property becomes available immediately, by way of auction, then Monopoly can pick up momentum much more quickly.  Simply implementing this rule makes that game come to its ultimate conclusion much quicker because all available Monopolies are able to be traded for, owned, and maximized.

All Monopoly Players Can Get a Fair Start

Why would anyone choose to not own buy a property when they land on it?  The first reason may be because they just don’t have enough money to buy it.  Early on in the game half of the players may always find themselves on available property

The other half of the Monopoly players is only finding the Chance, Community Chest, and the corners.  When this happens they can never get into the game and are ultimately “sitting ducks”, unless the auction rule is used.

By using the auction the fortunate players cannot simply decline a property and wait to get it later when they have more money.  These players are forced to decide if they want to use their limited resource to make another purchase or allow someone else to buy it.

Listed Property Prices Are Not a Guarantee

Lower Prices

One of the great things about strategically using the auction is that it is possible to get property at lower than the listed price. 

This often happens when many players’ finances are too thin and they are unable to force bids up against their opponents. 

Sometimes even if you are the person who lands on the property and you are interested in buying it you may choose to have it put up for auction.  If you know that no one else can afford it then using the auction will allow you to get it for a steal.

Higher Prices

In circumstances where more than one player is having a difficult time obtaining any property early in the game they will be desperate to get something.  The next properties that come up for bid will most likely cause a bidding war and it will sell for more than the listed price.

When this happens players have to determine if the property will ultimately give them enough leverage later on to stay in the game; and if their calculations are incorrect then this will ultimately result in a quick bankruptcy.

Players that are getting the property they want may land on another property and decline to buy it knowing that others are willing to pay too much.  So, in this way, competitors may choose to use the auction strategically as a process to win the game.

Auction Properties After Bankruptcies

Another rule that is not usually followed is the auctioning off the property of bankrupt players.

Usually these properties are placed back “up for grabs” for the next person to land on them, but that is not the way it was meant to be.

After a player goes bankrupt all of their houses and hotels are taken off the board and their property is sold via an auction.   

From a strategic stand point this will most likely benefit the strongest player on the board, assuming they have enough cash to push everyone else off the bids.  However if these players are property rich and cash poor then this is an opportunity for other player to turn the game in their favor.

Proper Way to Hold a Monopoly Auction

There is nothing terribly special with the process of holding the auction, just a few simple rules.

When a property comes up for auction, whether a player declines to purchase or a player goes bankrupt, the banker holds the auction.

There is no minimal bid so the starting price will always be $1 and the property will goes to the highest bidder and the price is binding.  So if a player bids more than they have they can unintentionally bankrupt themselves during the auction.

The auctioned property cannot be mortgaged by the highest bidder in order to complete the purchase.

Important Note:  All players can participate in property auctions – this includes the banker, any players who may be in jail, and the person who originally declined to purchase the property in the first place.

Auction Strategies

Always Buy Property

One of the mistakes players make when playing Monopoly is that they believe they need to have money on hand to pay their bills.  Owning property instead of money is more important.

If you eventually find yourself in a situation where you cannot pay a bill this is great.  Why?  Because it creates an opportunity to make some deals.  Perhaps in exchange for not paying rent you could work out a property exchange with this competitor. 

This is especially good when you land on a property of someone who is hard to negotiate with.  They will most likely want to deal with you now because they feel like they need to benefit since you landed on their property.  Use this opportunity to get a hold of St. Charles Place, Virginia Ave., or States Ave.

Also be willing to part with Boardwalk or Park Place.  These properties have a high perceived value which you can use to your advantage.

Bid on All Auctions

Just like you want to buy all of the properties when you land on them, you also want to bid on all of the properties that go up for auction.

Do not worry about trying to collect the Monopoly that you want by being lucky enough to land on all the spaces before you opponents do. 

In order to get a Monopoly you will most likely need to get the Monopoly by working out some sort of property trade; and the only way you can do this is by owning property that other people want.

One Trip Around the Board

There is an idea that the first time around the board is designated as a free trip in which no property can be purchased.

The reasoning behind this rule is that the person who is going last has an opportunity to get to the front of the pack by rolling higher numbers then the first few players.  And this allows a fair opportunity for everyone to get to the properties regardless of the order of play.

Now, this is just one extra trip for everyone around the board and it may not add too much time to the game, but it does give most players an extra $200 before properties are purchased.  Although some unlucky souls will collect bills and taxes during this free trip; and this creates financial imbalance to all players before the properties go up for sale.

Both the order of play and the financial inequity can be remedied by simply implementing the Monopoly Auction.

Free Parking Rule

Another Monopoly House Rule that a lot of people implement is the Free Parking Lottery.  Often times the money that is collected through taxes, fess, and other expenses are often placed in the middle of the board. 

Then when a player lands on the Free Parking space they take the money. 

In addition to this, another variation of this house rule requires the bank to start this pot with $500 after the money is collected.  This makes the Free Parking Lottery even greater.

Fun (Now or Later)

I’ve played Monopoly with this rule and it is certainly a lot of fun when you are the fortunate player to land on this property and you all of sudden get a windfall of money.  At first glance you may be asking, what is the big deal? And why are you even concerned about implementing a fun little “lottery” rule?

The main problem with this rule is that it introduces a lot of “unearned” money into the game and the amount of this money depends on how frequently players fall on the Free Parking spot.

Remembering that one of the major complaints about Monopoly is that the game just takes too long to play it is important to understand that this seemingly harmless Free Parking lottery is a main culprit.

Players who should go bankrupt a long time ago never do because they continue to collect “unearned” money which allows them to continue to pay their bills, thus lengthening the game.

So if you want to have fun in the future and find willing participants in your next Monopoly game do away with the Free Parking rule and quickly bankrupt players as designed.  This will ensure that your next Monopoly game won’t go all night long.

Monopoly Strategies

After implementing the auction rules and eliminating the Free Parking lottery you will find that Monopoly doesn’t play as long as you are accustomed.  Now that the Monopoly game playing time is more manageable you will find it easier to convince friends and relatives to sit down for a normal game of Monopoly.

The next step that you may want to take is to learn more Monopoly strategies to help you win your next game.  To learn more about these strategies read our article 9 Strategy Tips for How to Routinely Win Monopoly.

Monopoly: The Mega Edition

Monopoly was created in 1934 and has been around for over 80 years.  The original game still holds up after all these years, especially if you follow all of the boxed rules.

However, over the years there have been and endless amount of Monopoly variations released in order to keep the game fresh and relevant.

If you like the auction rule and want to play a Monopoly game that takes auctions to the next level then I would recommend Monopoly: The Mega Edition.  This Monopoly variation has an actual auction space on the board.

3 thoughts on “Monopoly Auction and More Rules You Probably Don’t Know

  1. This article gives so much more information than similar blogs, and it’s very helpful to me. Will be returning to see more writing from you! is it okay to share this?

  2. I used to play a real estate game as a child with the neighbors I believe it was a parker brothers game pre dating monopoly. One had to bid on property as players landed on them. You had to have a property on 4 sides before buying a second on a side. houses could be bought and I think 5 was the limit no hotels and each player had a max number of houses so there were a lot more intricacies then monopoly. Any idea what the name of the game was? Also would love to find ultimate risk for computer I lost mine but cannot find one

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