Monopoly Deal Rules (Explained by Hasbro)

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Monopoly Deal is one of the most confusing Monopoly games there is. I thought that we understood the Monopoly Deal rules well until I played it with a new friend and we disagreed about so much!

The rules that come in the Monopoly Deal box don’t explain what would happen in every scenario, leaving many unanswered questions.

So, to clarify the Monopoly Deal rules once and for all, I got the official answers from Hasbro.

(As a side note, there is a website called MonopolyDealRules.com, but I don’t recommend it as a resource. It was created anonymously by ‘Two Game Enthusiasts’ back in 2012 and it seems that they’ve made up a lot of the rules themselves!)

Monopoly Deal Instructions

In your Monopoly Deal box, you should have an instruction leaflet. If you don’t have that, don’t worry, I’ve scanned mine for you…

Click here to see the Monopoly Deal Rules pdf.

Here’s a very quick overview of the main Monopoly Deal rules…

How to Win

Collect 3 complete Property sets in different colors.

Set-up

Each player starts with 5 cards.

On your turn

1. Draw 2 cards

2. Play up to 3 cards

During your turn you may:

  • add money to your Bank
  • add Properties to your collection
  • play an Action card

3. At the end of your turn, if you have more than 7 cards, discard until you have 7.

Tips & Rules

  • You may not pay a debt with cards from your hand
  • Properties never go into your Bank
  • Change is never given when a debt is paid
  • If you don’t have enough money in your Bank to pay a debt, pay with your Properties
  • You may change the color of your Wild Property cards at any time on your turn

So, now you’ve seen all the Monopoly Deal Rules that come in the box. But, you’ve probably come across some other scenarios that can cause arguments if the official rules aren’t clear.

In this guide, I’ve tried to include rules explainers for every scenario, based on feedback from Hasbro. So, read on for explanations of the rules.

(Don’t be surprised if you discover that you’ve been playing Monopoly Deal wrong! I’d been doing a few things wrong myself before I did this research.)

Setting Up The Game

How many players can play Monopoly Deal?

Monopoly Deal is made for 2 to 5 players. However, according to Hasbro, Monopoly Deal can be played with more than 5 players. To play with 6 or more players, shuffle two packs together and play as normal.

[Source]

How many cards to deal in Monopoly Deal?

To begin Monopoly Deal, each player is dealt five cards. When a player begins their turn, they pick up two additional cards.

You can see this demonstrated in this video by Hasbro at 3.51.

Can you hide your money in Monopoly Deal?

The Monopoly Deal rules imply that your money should be displayed in a way that other players can see how much you have. However, this rule isn’t explicit, so if all players agree, you could place your cash in a neat stack or even face down.

In the Monopoly Deal instruction booklet, the illustration shows the money cards laid out so that the value of each card is visible.

Monopoly Deal cards diagram from official rules

Also, in this Monopoly Deal instruction video by Hasbro, the players lay out their money cards so that the amounts are visible.

However, Hasbro doesn’t explicitly state that your money must be visible in Monopoly Deal.

If we look at the classic Monopoly board game as a comparison, the official Monopoly tournament rules state:

Each player must keep his money on the table. It does not have to be spread out, you
don’t have to disclose how much you have, but you cannot hide your money.

So, if you were to apply these rules to Monopoly Deal, keeping your money cards in a neat stack would be okay.

As this rule isn’t explicit, the most important thing is that all players agree and play the same way.

Taking Turns

Do Action cards count as a turn?

In Monopoly Deal, each Action card counts as one of the three cards that you may play during your turn.

This was clarified by @MonopolyUK, Monopoly’s official UK Twitter account, in the following tweet…

Does moving a Wild card count as a turn?

In Monopoly Deal, players are allowed to rearrange their cards, including Wild cards, at any point during their turn. Moving properties between sets does not count as playing a card.

This question was answered by @Hasbro on Twitter…

Does a Just Say No card count as a turn?

Just Say No cards can be used at any time to refuse an Action card. According to Hasbro, a Just Say No card does not count as one of the cards you lay on a turn.

[Source]

The only way that a Just Say No card would count as playing a card would be if you added it to your Bank.

Is Double the Rent a turn?

In Monopoly Deal, if you play a standard Rent card and a Double the Rent card, this would count as two cards out of the possible three that you can play per turn.

Can you put Property in your bank in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, Property cards must never go in your Bank.

This is written in the official Monopoly Deal rule booklet that comes with the game…

Property cards never go in your bank Monopoly Deal rule

Houses & Hotels

How many Houses can I add in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, you can only add one House and one Hotel to each Property set.

Can you put a Hotel without a House in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, a Property set must have a House before you can place a hotel on it. When you do, keep the House where it is.

The answers to these questions are shown in the instruction booklet that comes with the Monopoly Deal game:

Monopoly Deal House & Hotel Rules

Can you charge rent for both a House and a Hotel in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, if a Property set has a House and a Hotel, you may collect rent for each.

For example, If you have the Blue color set, you would charge $3 for the Property set, $3 for the House, and $4 for the Hotel. This would make a total rent of $10.

Can you pay rent with a House or Hotel in Monopoly Deal?

You can pay rent with a House or Hotel in Monopoly Deal. If the House or Hotel is in your Bank, it will be paid into the other player’s Bank. If it’s with your collected Properties, it will be placed with their Properties.

If the player receiving the House or Hotel card does not have a full set to place it on, they may place it next to their Properties, within their Property collection area.

These rules aren’t explicitly stated by Hasbro, so to work this out, we need to piece together a few of the Monopoly Deal rules that the brand does mention in its official FAQ…

“You can choose to pay:

  • from your Bank (with money or Action cards that you’ve Banked as money),
  • with Property cards, or
  • with a combination of both.”

[Source]

In Monopoly Deal, House and Hotel cards are unique in that they can be used as Action cards (by placing in the Bank) or as Property Cards (by placing in Property Collection Area).

“Whether someone pays you with money or property, the cards they give you as payment must go onto the table in front of you, not into your hand. Put Property cards straight into your property collection and Money/Action cards straight into your Bank.” [Source]

Therefore, you can pay with a House or Hotel card, but these cards must stay either as Money or as Property.

Similar conclusions were reached in forums on StackExchange and BoardGameGeek.com.

This is also confirmed by Hasbro via Twitter with the answer to the next question…

Can you move a House from a Property to the Bank?

In Monopoly Deal, you cannot move Houses or Hotels between the Property Collection Area and the Bank. Once a House is added to a Property set, it remains as Property throughout the game.

Property Wild Cards

Can you steal a Wild card in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, you can use an Action card to steal a Wild card. You may steal the 2-colored property Wild cards or the 10-colored property Wild card.

In the following Tweets, Hasbro confirms that both types of Wild cards can be stolen…

Can you reverse a stolen Wild card?

In Monopoly Deal, if you steal a 2-color Wild card, you may place it whichever way up you like within your own Property Area.

Does the multicolored Wild card have a value?

In Monopoly Deal, the multi-colored Wild card has no monetary value. You therefore cannot use it to pay a debt.

Can you make a full set with only Wild cards?

In Monopoly Deal, it is not possible to make a full color set using only Wild cards. There must always be at least one standard Property card in the set.

Can you have extra Wild cards in a set?

In Monopoly Deal, each Property set should only contain the maximum number of cards for a full set. For example, you can’t have four green Properties in a set as a complete set only requires three cards.

If a player does keep extra cards in their set, above the number for a complete set then, according to Hasbro on Twitter, you may steal any of those cards with a Sly Deal or Forced Deal card.

Paying Rent

How is rent calculated in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, rent depends on how many Properties in the set you own and whether you have a House or Hotel. The rent is the amount shown on a single card in the set, plus £3 for a House, plus $4 for a Hotel.

This diagram in the official Monopoly Deal instructions explains…

Monopoly Deal rent calculation example

When you have more than one card in a set, you just charge the amount shown on one card. So, if you had three green Property cards, you would charge $7, not $21.

Double the Rent

Can you play Double the Rent twice?

In Monopoly Deal, you can play a standard Rent card plus two Double The Rent cards as the three cards for your turn. This would quadruple the rent.

[Source]

Can you Double the Rent on a Debt Collector?

In Monopoly Deal, you can use a Double the Rent card with any Rent card – including the 2-color rent cards and the 10-color rent card. You cannot Double the rent on other Action cards such as the Debt Collector card or the It’s My Birthday card.

[Source]

Just Say No Cards

Can you use a Just Say No card to not pay rent?

You can use the Just Say No card to cancel any Action card that is played against you. This includes Rent cards, Deal Breaker, Debt Collector, Forced Deal, Sly Deal It’s My Birthday, and Just Say No cards.

This is written on the card…

Just Say No card

Can you Just Say No to a Just Say No in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, you can play a Just Say No card in response to a Just Say No card. The first player could then play a third Just Say No card as well, if they wanted.

Can two players use Just Say No cards to avoid rent at the same time?

In Monopoly Deal, if two players both play Just Say No cards, they will both cancel any rent that they owe.

However, if the player who originally demanded rent were then to also play a Just say No card, this would only cancel the Just Say No card that was played first. This is because a Just Say No can only cancel one card, not two.

Can a Just Say No cancel Rent and Double Rent?

A Just Say No card can only cancel one card. Therefore, if a Rent card and a Double Rent card were played, the Just Say No would only cancel the Double Rent. The standard rent would still be due.

Sly Deal Cards

Can you Sly Deal a full set?

As it says on the card, a Sly Deal can be used to steal one Property. You may not steal a Property that’s part of a complete set. To steal a full set, you would need a Deal Breaker card.

Sly Deal card

Deal Breaker Cards

Can you use a Deal Breaker on a set that’s not laid out as a full set?

In Monopoly Deal, a Deal Breaker card can only be used to steal a full Property set. If the cards are laid out as two sets due to a Wild card, they cannot be stolen with a Deal Breaker.

If you play a Deal Breaker, do you also take Houses and Hotels that are on a set?

When you play a Deal Breaker card, you can steal all of the Properties in that set, including any House or Hotel.

Rearranging Cards

Can you rearrange Property during someone else’s turn?

In Monopoly Deal, you can only rearrange Property cards during your own turn. The only exception to this is if you are given a Wild card as part of a Forced Deal. Upon receiving the card you may choose where to put it.

Can you break up a full set in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, if you need to pay rent and only have a full set, you must break it up to pay the rent. According to the official rules, the only way you don’t have to pay rent is if you have no money or properties.

If you want to break up a full set in anticipation of avoiding a Deal Breaker, that’s not allowed. While the rules don’t mention that you must display a full set as such, if everyone kept their cards individually then the Deal Breaker would be redundant throughout the game.

Can you rearrange a set that you stole with a Deal Breaker?

In Monopoly Deal, if you using a Deal Breaker card to steal a full set of Properties with a House and Hotel, you can rearrange them at any point during your turn. They do not have to remain as a set.

Running Out of Cards

What happens when I run out of cards in Monopoly Deal?

In Monopoly Deal, when you run out of cards you must wait until the start of your next turn and then pick up five cards from the draw pile, instead of the usual two.

[Source]

Playing Monopoly Deal on a train

The Bottom Line

Monopoly Deal can be quite a complicated game once you get into it, although the rules list that you get in the box is pretty brief. As a result of this, many Monopoly Deal fans have found themselves searching the internet for answers to settle their arguments.

The taste of deciphering the Monopoly Deal rules was easier when Hasbro published its Monopoly FAQ over at Hasbro.com. This was taken down in 2012. But, thanks to Wayback Machine, I’ve managed to recover the answers to the most sought-after Monopoly Deal rule questions and included them in this guide for you.

Remember, when it comes to game rules, you’ll always want to go to the original source, which is in this case, Hasbro.