In the official Monopoly game rules, the Free Parking space is just that—a place to hang out for a turn where nothing happens, good or bad. That hasn't stopped players from adding house rules that change the value of landing on this space.
House Rules for Free Parking
Many Monopoly players prefer to use a house rule that puts either a set amount of money or all money paid to the bank into a Free Parking jackpot that is won by a player who lands on the Free Parking space. This rule makes the game run longer and be more luck-driven than skill-driven.
There are plenty of variations in the house rules. All players should agree which (if any) variation is used before beginning the game. Some of the possible variations include:
- The simplest house rule places a $50 or $100 bill under the Free Parking spot and replenishes it whenever it is "won."
- Some players prefer a graduated payout beginning at $1 and moving up one bill increment each time it is claimed to $5, $10 and subsequent amounts.
- Whenever a Chance or Community Chest card requires a fee, it is paid to Free Parking rather than the bank.
- Whenever a player pays a Jail fee, Income tax or Luxury tax, the money goes into the Free Parking pot for the next player who lands on the space.
- Whenever a player must pay money to the bank for any reason, he instead pays it to Free Parking.
- If there is no money in a Free Parking pot, the player who lands on the space receives $100 from the bank.
Why Not Use Free Parking Jackpot House Rule?
Winning Monopoly is all about possessing properties—not about who acquires the most money. A high-value Free Parking jackpot interrupts the money flow of the game. A jackpot rarely gives losing players a sufficient advantage over property owners to win, but it drags out the game as the losing players slowly pay out all the jackpot to the owners of properties they land on. Using a high-payout Free Parking space house rule causes the game to drag on to an inevitable conclusion.
House Rules and Broken Rules
Monetizing the Free Parking space isn't the only rule that is altered or broken by house rules. A few of the most popular deviations from official rules include:
- One house rule allows players to lend money to other players. The official rules prohibit this.
- There is no need to go around the board once before you can purchase properties. That house rule just extends the length of the game.
- When a player decides not to purchase a property he lands on, the official rules declare that every player can bid on the property. But most monopoly players don't know this rule, so they routinely play a house rule that prohibits bidding.
- The rule is that landing on Go pays $200. Any other value is a house rule.
- In the official rules, when a player bankrupts another player, he receives all the bankrupt player's remaining assets. In reality, most players just turn their properties into the bank, where they can be resold. This vastly extends the length of the game.
- Being in Jail isn't a major problem in the official rules. You can still buy and sell properties, collect rents, and buy and sell houses and hotels. If you play with rules that say that you cannot do any of those things while in Jail, you're playing by a house rule.