What Happens When You Run Out of Money in Monopoly

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A game of Monopoly ends when only one player is left with cash. But what’s the procedure when each player runs out of money?

Before you can retire from the game, there are a few things to consider, like selling houses and hotels and mortgaging properties. As the game will likely carry on without you, you’ll also need to consider whether your assets go back to the bank or to another player.

Monopoly money

In this guide, I’ll explain as simply as possible, exactly what happens when a player runs out of money in a game of Monopoly.

When you go bankrupt in Monopoly:

  • If you go bankrupt to the Bank, all properties owned by the player are auctioned immediately. Any houses/hotels on those properties return to the bank
  • If you go bankrupt to another player, all properties transfer to that player. Houses and hotels are first sold to the bank to pay as much of the debt off as possible
  • The new owner must pay 10% of any mortgaged property values to the bank immediately.
  • They can then either unmortgage the properties immediately or wait and unmortgage them later (paying 10% interest again)

What happens if you run out of money in Monopoly?

If you run out of money in Monopoly you should mortgage your properties and sell your buildings and any Get Out of Jail Free cards. If you still cannot pay your debt then you are bankrupt and out of the game.

Mortgage values are half the price of the property as shown on the Title Deed cards. You can sell houses and hotels back to the bank for half of what you paid for them.

Another option to avoid bankruptcy is to trade with other players. So, if you have a property that would enable someone else to complete a full color set, now’s probably a good time to hand it over in exchange for a stack of Monopoly money.

Suggested read: Monopoly Trading Rules & Strategies to Win

What happens when you go bankrupt in Monopoly?

If you’ve mortgaged your properties and sold your buildings but still can’t pay your debt, you are bankrupt and out of the game. If there are still two or more players left in, the game will continue. According to the official rules, Monopoly ends when the last player is bankrupt.

What happens to a bankrupt player’s assets depends on who caused the player to go bankrupt; whether they are made bankrupt by another player, or by the bank.

Going bankrupt to the bank

If a player goes bankrupt because they cannot pay a debt to the bank (maybe they landed on Luxury Tax, for example), then they would have the return all assets to the bank and retire from the game. The bank will then immediately auction all properties (but not buildings).

Going bankrupt to another player

If a player goes bankrupt because they cannot pay a debt to another player, they must sell all houses and hotels back to the bank, give all properties to the player they owe, and retire from the game.,

If any of the properties are mortgaged, the receiving player must immediately pay the bank 10% of the value of each mortgaged property.

The new owner may choose to keep the properties mortgaged or unmortgage them. If they keep the properties mortgaged but decide to unmortgage them later, they must once again pay 10% in addition to the price of unmortgaging.

If you’re the player benefitting from a bankrupt Monopoly player, I’d recommended unmortgaging the properties immediately if you have the cash available.

Even if you don’t build on them straight away, this opens up even more opportunities to charge rent to any remaining players, and you can quickly find your cash levels going up again.

Can you borrow money in Monopoly?

In the game of Monopoly, a player cannot borrow money, either as an IOU from the bank or from another player. The game ends when all players except one have run out of money, so borrowing money would only cause the game to last longer than it should.

Borrowing money is one of the most common Monopoly rules that people get wrong.

If you need to borrow money in Monopoly, the only way to do it is by mortgaging properties.

What happens if the bank runs out of money?

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with a player running out of cash, but that the bank has run out of banknotes. Imagine that you pass Go and want to claim your $200, but there just isn’t that much left in the bank. This scenario is quite rare, but it can happen.

Modern Monopoly games include $20,580 of Monopoly money. But older sets that were made before 2008 included just $15,140. Running out was quite common, especially with a larger number of players.

According to the official Monopoly rules, if the bank runs out of cash, you are permitted to make more banknotes and add them to the bank. You can do this on scraps of paper, or if you have a printer handy, it’s easy to print out some ready-made Monopoly money templates.

You can get free printable Monopoly money here.

To summarize

When a player runs out of money in Monopoly, they need to work out if they can raise the cash, or if they are bankrupt.

First, the player must sell houses and hotels back to the bank for half of the purchase price. Mortgaging or trading may then be an option to raise further funds.

If a player owes the bank and cannot pay, all of their assets are returned to the bank. Any properties are then auctioned to the other player.

If a player is bankrupt to another player, they must hand over all of their properties. The receiving player must pay a 10% fee on any mortgaged properties and choose whether to unmortgage them now or keep them mortgaged for later. If they choose to unmortgage later, they must pay a further 10%.

Jenni Fielding

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Monopoly Land - an unofficial fan site. She has been a huge fan of Monopoly and has been playing the game for over 30 years. She is a stickler for the rules and loves to find vintage Monopoly sets in second-hand shops.