The Get Out of Jail Free card has to be one of the most famous aspects of Monopoly and the term has even crossed into general use outside of the game.
But, if you’re wondering what the card actually does in the game and what you can use it for then keep reading and you will learn all that there is to know.
How does a Get Out of Jail Free card work in Monopoly?
As the name of the card suggests, the Get Out of Jail Free card allows you to leave the jail without paying a fine, and you can do so straight away. Without one, you have to throw a double or pay a fine to get out of jail.
Having the Get out of Jail Free card is very useful if you find yourself incarcerated as you can simply play the card and continue to play as normal.
Without the card, you must try to throw a double with the dice to get out of jail. If you’re successful, you can immediately leave jail and forward the number of spaces on the dice. But, even though you rolled a double, you don’t get an extra go this time.
If you’re not lucky enough to throw a double on your next three turns, you must pay a $50 fine to get out of jail. So, as you can see, having a Get Out of Jail Free card will give you extra turns and save you money.
When can I use my Get Out of Jail Free card?
When you get sent to Monopoly jail, your turn then ends. You have to wait until your next turn to use the Get Out of Jail Free card, pay the fine, or attempt to roll a double.
A Get Out of Jail Free card can be held and used at any time during the game. The card becomes most useful if you get sent to jail as this is when you can play the card. It can also be valuable if one of your opponents wants to buy it from you.
Apart from when you are sent to jail, the Get Out of Jail Free card is of no real use unless you are lucky enough to have another player try to buy it from you. If this happens you must weigh up their offer against the potential cost if you get sent to jail later in the game.
Can you buy a Get Out of Jail Free card in Monopoly?
You can buy a Get Out of Jail Free card from one of the other players if they have one and are willing to sell it to you. There is no set value for the card, you will have to agree on a price with the opposing player.
There can be some tactics involved with this negotiation since it is likely that your opponent will demand a higher price if you have actually been sent to jail. You may want to try and buy it once they have drawn it but before you need it.
Of course, while you might get a lower price you may end up not needing it and have wasted some cash. Or, you might get to sell it back to them for more when they are sent to jail!
At the end of the day, the fine to pay to get out of jail is only $50. So you don’t need to spend much time negotiating over the price of a Get Out of Jail Free card, as there are much more valuable trades to be made.
Can you sell a Get Out of Jail Free Card to the bank?
The Official Rules of Monopoly do not allow for you to sell the Get Out of Jail Free Card to the bank, but you are allowed to sell the card to another player if you can agree on a price that suits you both.
Some people play with their own house rules that allow you to sell the card to the bank for $50 and place it at the bottom of the Chance or Community Chest pile.
This house rule gives the card a formal value that isn’t on the official rules. This can also be factored in when a player is forced to hand over their assets when bankrupt.
I hope that this post has helped to clarify the role that Get Out of Jail Free cards play in the game of Monopoly. They are one of the best-known features of the game but they don’t actually have a huge impact on the game and having one or not is unlikely to affect who wins the game.
Of course, no one wants to be sent to jail in Monopoly, but it’s not the end of the world if you are. Sometimes, it can even be the best place to be as you’ll be safe from landing on other players’ properties, yet can still collect rent when they land on yours!
What would be really useful would be to use a Get Out of Jail Free card in a real-world sticky situation. Well, actually, you can! Albeit only very occasionally. Check out this post to see the times when you can use a real-life Get Out of Jail Free card.