The Free Parking space is one of the most misunderstood spaces on the Monopoly board – which can lead to many disagreements over the rules. So what does Free Parking actually mean in Monopoly?
Landing on the Monopoly Free Parking space can be a respite from rent or a welcome windfall, depending on the rules you choose to play.
Read on to understand the Classic and House Rules for Free Parking in Monopoly and how you can use them to add a fun twist to the game.
What happens when you land on Free Parking in Monopoly?
According to the official Monopoly rules, when you land on Free Parking absolutely nothing happens. However, many players use a Free Parking ‘House Rule’ whereby all fines are collected in the middle of the board and are claimed by anyone who lands on the Free Parking space.
Such is the popularity of the Free Parking cash rule, that in 2015 Monopoly creators Hasbro added it as an optional rule into the game guide.
As well as this commonly-played Free Parking cash rule, there are a number of other variations that have become popular over the years.
While not everyone deviates from the official rules, these alternative ways to play Monopoly can add variety and a ‘wildcard’ element that keeps the game feeling fresh and exciting. Whichever version you choose, it’s important to always agree on the rules before starting the game to avoid arguments.
Suggested read: 16 Little-known Monopoly Rules That Everyone Gets Wrong
The official Monopoly Free Parking rules
The official Monopoly rules state:
“FREE PARKING”: A player landing on this place does not receive any money, property or reward of any kind. This is just a “free” resting place.
If this seems a little boring, here are some ideas for more Free Parking ‘House Rules’ that you may wish to play instead…
6 unofficial Monopoly Free Parking rules to try
Free Parking Cash Rule
All money paid in fines and taxes from Chance or Community Chest cards, or from paying to get out of jail, is placed in the middle of the board. When a player lands on Free Parking, they collect it all.
This cash pool can be as low as $15 from a speeding fine, but can easily exceed $1,000. This gives the player collecting the money a lifeline when funds are low, or a huge cash injection to help build houses and hotels on existing properties.
As more cash accumulates, the game can sometimes become a race to land on Free Parking and claim the pot of cash.
Some players choose to put used ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ cards into the Free Parking pool. Others return them to the deck after use and only place cash into Free Parking.
Before you play Monopoly with this extra rule, you must also decide whether players moving out of jail are entitled to the Free Parking jackpot or not.
2. Free Parking $100 Rule
When a player lands on the Free Parking space they may collect $100 from the bank.
You can play the $100 Rule in combination with the Cash Rule if you wish. To do this, you place $100 from the bank into the center of the board at the start of the game, in addition to adding any money paid from fines.
When a player lands on Free Parking and claims the reward, you immediately refill the pool with another $100 bill and continue to use it to collect money from fines.
3. Free Parking One of Each Bill Rule
When a player lands on the Free Parking space, they collect one of each bill from the bank.
One $500 bill, one $100 bill, one $50 bill, one $20 bill, one $10 bill, one $5 bill, and one $1 bill adds up to a healthy jackpot of $686.
This is a significant amount of money, so you probably wouldn’t want to play this in combination with collecting fines in the Free Parking pool. If you did that, the game would become much more about luck and less about skill in other areas.
4. Free Parking Pay to Move Rule
When a player lands on the Free Parking space, they have the option to pay $100 to move to any space on the board.
This rule is played in the Monopoly Empire game, but it can make an interesting addition to most Monopoly editions.
Moving to a property that you need to complete your set is a common and usually profitable action to take. If you don’t need a particular property, you may consider moving to the Go space to collect £200.
5. Free Parking Pay to Pass Rule
When a player passes Free Parking without landing on it, they must pay a set amount into the pool. When a player lands on Free Parking, they collect the cash.
With this rule, you may wish to experiment with different amounts. Adding larger amounts is more fun, but it can make the game more luck-based rather than skill-based.
I would suggest starting with paying $20 into the pool each time you pass Free Parking.
6. Free Parking Last Property Rule
The last property to be sold is placed into the center of the board as soon as the penultimate property is purchased. The next player to land on Free Parking wins the property.
If a player lands on the last property while it’s in the Free Parking pool they may not buy it. Instead, they must pay the rent owed for landing on the property into the Free Parking pool.
Should you put money in the middle for Free Parking?
According to the official Monopoly rules, you should not put any money into the middle of the board. The Free Parking space was designed to be simply a rest space where nothing happens.
Monopoly purists would say that the standard rules are fine and there’s no need to change a winning formula. After all, the game has been around for over 100 years and remains one of the most popular board games in the world.
However, many people like to vary their play and while the Free Parking cash rule isn’t the most game-changing variation in terms of strategy, it certainly adds an element of jeopardy knowing your opponent could claim hundreds with one lucky roll of the dice. It also offers a way back into the game for players who have had a run of bad luck.
The main downside to using the Free Parking Cash rule is the frustration that comes from diminishing your opponent’s assets to a few mortgaged properties and a handful of dollars, only to see them strike it lucky and be rewarded with a huge windfall through pure luck.
The Free Parking cash rule also makes the game longer as players are rescued from the brink of bankruptcy.
One of the main reasons why Monopoly haters don’t like Monopoly is that it takes too long. So, if you prefer a quicker game, you should use the standard rules when it comes to Free Parking.
Free Parking rules in different Monopoly versions
Lets take a look at how Free Parking works in some of the many versions of Monopoly…
Monopoly Plus Free Parking
When Monopoly Plus is played on Xbox, PS4, or PC, players have the option to use the ‘Free Parking Cash’ House Rule. The computer calculates how much is paid in fines and awards this money to any player who lands on the Free Parking Space.
As Monopoly Plus is a faster game than playing on a physical Monopoly board, this can be a fun extra rule that adds some excitement to what might otherwise be a relatively short game.
Monopoly Empire Free Parking rules
In Monopoly Empire, any player landing on Free Parking can choose to either do nothing or to pay $100 to move to any space of their choosing.
This introduces an interesting element of strategy, as the player chooses whether to move to the Empire Card space (similar to Community Chest), hop to a property they want to buy, or go straight to the ‘Go’ space to collect their salary.
In Monopoly Empire, the amount of money collected varies depending on the number of billboards owned, so the decision of where to move can be a tough strategic challenge.
Monopoly Electronic Banking Free Parking rules
In Monopoly Electronic Banking, the Free Parking space is simply a rest space. This game doesn’t offer the option to place fines into a pool to be claimed when a player lands on Free Parking.
As Monopoly Electronic Banking is a cashless system, if you wanted to play the Free Parking Cash House Rule, you would have to keep track of how much money is in the pool manually, such as with a pen and paper. The banker could then transfer the appropriate amount to the lucky player’s bank card.
This can be a tedious and manual addition to what should be a fun variation on the rules and for that reason, it’s not recommended.
Suggested read: Monopoly Electronic Banking Instructions
Monopoly Gamer Free Parking rules
In Monopoly Gamer, the official rules state that Free Parking is just a rest space. However, if you want to collect fines in the center of the board and award them to a player who lands on free parking, you can do.
Monopoly Gamer works much the same as classic Monopoly, but the tokens are replaced with Super Mario characters and the bank notes become the sought-after coins from the original Mario Brothers game.
Using the Free Parking cash rule in Monopoly Gamer has the added bonus that a pile of gold coins somehow looks more enticing than boring old banknotes!
Monopoly Here and Now Free Parking rules
The official rules of Monopoly Here and Now state that Free Parking is ‘just a free resting space’. However, if you want to play by a House Rule and collect fines in the center of the board and award them to a player who lands on free parking, you can do.
Rules in Monopoly Here and Now are largely unchanged from the original version; the only difference being that the game is brought into the 21st Century with modern aesthetics and pricing.
The Free Parking cash rule, therefore, works in exactly the same way. With all amounts multiplied by 10,000 compared to the original, players will naturally receive a higher pay-out for landing on Free Parking (but only relative to the amount of money in the game).
What is Free Parking in Monopoly Junior?
Free Parking in Monopoly Junior is simply a free resting space – players landing here simply do nothing.
This version of the game has been simplified to allow younger players to understand, but the Free Parking cash rule can be used at players’ discretion.
The bottom line
There are many different ways to play Monopoly. In a survey conducted by Hasbro, 68 percent of Americans admitted they’ve never read the official Monopoly rules in their entirety and 49 percent said they have made up their own Monopoly rules.
So, just because the official rules state that Free Parking is simple a rest space, you don’t need to follow that if you don’t want to.
Collecting extra money when you land on Free Parking in cash rule can add an extra element of excitement to standard Monopoly play. However, the downside is that it can make the game last longer and it can cause arguments if the rules aren’t agreed before play commences.