In Monopoly, you’ll be spending lots of time buying and selling properties and wheeling and dealing with your opponents and the bank. Just as likely, you’ll be spending some time in the game’s jail. Finding your way out of jail and getting back into the action is part of the fun and joy of this board game.
To get out of jail you can use the ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card found in the Chance and Community Chest. You can also get out of jail free by rolling a double with the dice. Alternatively, you can leave jail by paying a $50 fine before you roll the dice or on the third turn of rolling the dice.
The world-famous Monopoly game can be much fun for the whole family or groups of friends. However, jail time means you’re losing out on opportunities to grow your properties and trade with opponents. For more information on how to get back into action, read more for all the ways you can get out of Monopoly jail.
How Do You Land in Jail?
When playing Monopoly, there are three ways you could end up in jail:
Land On the Space Marked ‘Go to Jail’
Jail is the first corner after ‘Go’. There is also a ‘Go to Jail’ space in one of the other four corners of a Monopoly board game. In the Classic version, Jail will be at the corner between Marven Gardens/Piccadilly and Pacific Avenue/Regent Street.
By rolling the dice, you know how many spaces you should move. As you go around the board, you’re likely to land on the space marked jail one or more times.
Draw A Card Marked ‘Go to Jail’
Within the card piles in Chance and in Community Chest there’s a card that sends you to jail. In the Chance pile, you may get the ‘ Go Directly to Jail’ card while in the Community Chest you may get the ‘Go to Jail’ card. Both these cards work the same.
There are three Chance spaces and three Community Chest spaces you can land on to allow you pick the top card from the appropriate deck. If you draw either the Go to Jail card or Go Directly to Jail card, you move your token to the jail space then return the card to the bottom of the pile.
Roll Doubles Thrice
Rolling the dice determines how many spaces you move clockwise on the board. When a player rolls the same number on both dice, that is, they roll a double, they get to play an extra turn. A second double means a second extra turn. However, when you roll a double a third consecutive time you are caught speeding and are sent directly to jail.
Visit the Jail
You will occasionally land in the ‘In Jail’ space without being sent to jail. Thus, you become a visitor rather than a jailed player. When you land in jail as a visitor, you play your next turn as usual and continue the game. You won’t have to pay any fines or use the Get Out of Jail Free card. If you throw a double on the dice, you get an extra turn just like you would on any other space.
Why You Want to Get Out of Jail
When you’re in jail you can’t freely play. Your moves are limited and so are the deals and actions you can participate in. Thus, you can’t pass the ‘Go’ space and you can’t claim your $200 salary.
When you’re in jail, you miss opportunities to land on available properties which you want to buy. You also miss opportunities to get extra turns by rolling doubles.
However, regardless of being in jail, you can still collect rent on your property, trade properties, take out mortgages, and bid in auctions.
Why You May Want to Stay in Jail
At times it’s beneficial to stay in jail rather than be free to move around. Being in jail is especially advantageous when you’re ahead of the rest in terms of assets or you’re close to bankruptcy and can’t afford to lose too much money.
When you’re far ahead of your opponents, you can simply play a waiting game and watch as they lose money and go into bankruptcy. Some scenarios where you want to stay in jail include:
- When your opponents own most of the property, you risk losing money and going bankrupt by landing on the property they own. Each time you land in one of their properties you may have to pay rent, which diminishes your cash reserves.
- Each time you land on a Community Chest or Chance space, you risk drawing a card which may require you to lose money.
- During play, when you land on the ‘Tax’ space you have to pay the Banker $200 or 10 percent of the value of your total assets. Being in jail means you’re less at risk of landing on the tax space.
How to Get Out of Monopoly Jail
Once you’re sent to jail in a game of Monopoly, there are several ways you can get yourself out of jail and back in active play:
Pay A Fine
You can pay a $50 fine to set yourself free before you throw the dice. You must pay this fine on the first or second turn after you land in jail. You can then move your token to the number of spaces determined by the roll of the dice.
Once you land in jail, you can be free by rolling doubles on any of your next three turns. However, rolling a double when in jail doesn’t give you an extra turn. You simply move the number of steps determined by the dice then it’s the next player’s turn.
Get Out of Jail Free Card
Another way to get out of jail is to use the ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card. You can draw this card when you land on either the Chance or Community Chest spaces.
If you draw the ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card during play, you can keep it face up next to you until you need it to get out of jail. You then use it, roll the dice, then return the card to the bottom of the appropriate pile.
You can also buy from or sell to your opponents. The card typically trades for $50.
Third Missed Turn
You can’t remain in jail beyond three turns. On the third turn if you fail to throw a double on the dice and you don’t have a Get Out of Jail Free card, then you have to pay the $50 fine. If you don’t have the cash to pay the fine, then you will have to sell off one or more of your properties to raise the $50 required.
Lose the Game
If you are in jail and your assets are worth less than $50, then you have to declare bankruptcy and bow out of the game. That is, if you’ve been unable to roll a double, you don’t have a Get Out of Jail Free card, and don’t have the cash to pay the fine.
Once you declare bankruptcy you are out of jail and out of the game entirely. You then have to turn over all you own to any players you owe and to the bank.