(NEXSTAR) — Winter weather is moving in and the holidays are right around the corner, meaning there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a game of Monopoly.
The iconic game, with its various spinoffs, has proven to be rage-inducing for some, but maybe you can avoid some of the spats by changing how you use an often-misunderstood game space.
It’s easy to understand what to do on many Monopoly board spaces. Land on “Chance,” draw a “Chance” card. Land on a property another player owns, pay rent. Land on jail, cross the board and place yourself behind the fictitious bars.
But it’s another corner spot that seems to cause confusion: Free Parking.
Found between New York Avenue and Kentucky Avenue, the Free Parking spot has been a frequent topic of discussion. Reddit users say they’ve used the space as a home for money paid at the hands of a Chance card, the Income and Luxury Tax spaces, building repairs or to get out of jail. Players even mentioned it as one of their top house rules on a post by the official Facebook page of Monopoly.
Unfortunately, none of those methods are listed as an official rule.
According to the rules included in a Monopoly game set released after 2017 (we know it’s a post-2017 game because three iconic tokens were replaced by a penguin, T. rex, and rubber duck), Free Parking is simply a free resting place.
Any fees or taxes are instead supposed to go to the bank.
Hasbro, the publisher of Monopoly, didn’t immediately respond to Nexstar’s questions about why there’s no action required of players who land on the corner lot.
That’s not to say you aren’t playing Monopoly correctly. It’s not uncommon for players to have house rules. Variations may include dealing out properties at the start of the game, changing the amount of money you begin with, or allowing a player to declare bankruptcy and stay in the game.
The official Monopoly rules, however, warn against altering the laws of the game.
“To keep your game short and sweet, don’t use house rules!” a message on one rule book reads. The game’s official Facebook has even called out the use of house rules, saying “What if I told you your house rules are making this game too long” in a post featuring the aforementioned Free Parking space.
In his book “The Monopoly Companion,” Philip Orbanes wrote that the game is designed to make only one person rich — “the winner” — and “so many ‘house rules’ conflict with this goal,” as the Washington Post reports.
This probably won’t stop you from using your own house rules – even Hasbro knows you’re likely to keep playing with them. In 2014, the game maker went as far as to ask fans about their favorite house rules in 2014, promising the winners would make it into the 2015 game guide.
Among those was the “Free Parking, Fast Cash” rule, which sent all taxes and fees collected to the middle of the game board, which could then be collected by the player who lands on Free Parking.
Another common rule you may be breaking? A player in jail can still collect rent, bid on auctions, buy houses and hotels, mortgage and trade, according to the official rules — the “frozen assets” stipulation was overruled in the 2015 house rules edition.
So maybe you’re not playing Monopoly wrong, you just have to find an older version of the game.
Source: Fox 8 News Channel