There are three ways to end up in jail in Monopoly:
You land on the “Go To Jail” space.
You draw a chance or community chest card that tells you to go to jail.
You roll doubles on the dice 3 times in a row (you do not move forward after rolling doubles for the 3rd time in a row, instead you immediately go to jail).
You’re not in jail when you land on the jail space, you are simply just visiting. You should place your token on the edges of the space where it says “Just Visiting”.
Several players can be in jail at the same time.
There are three ways to get out of jail:
Use the Get Out of Jail Free card.
There are two Get Out of Jail Free cards in Monopoly, a chance card and a community chest card.
You can keep this card with you until you need it.
You can buy one from another player at the price you both have agreed upon.
When you use your Get Out of Jail Free card, you place it at the bottom of the chance or community chest pile, roll the dice, and move your token as normal.
Pay a $50 fine. You can then roll the dice and move your token normally.
If you roll doubles, you are released from jail and can move the number shown on the dice. However, you cannot roll again as in a normal turn.
If you don’t roll doubles, your turn ends. You have a maximum of three attempts to roll doubles (the first attempt is the turn following your arrival in jail).
If your three attempts to roll doubles fail, you must pay the $50 fine.
It is still possible to make money while in jail by collecting rent when other players land on your properties.
It is also possible to sell or buy property, and build houses or hotels when you’re in jail.
In the event that you can’t afford the $50 fine, don’t have a Get Out of Jail Free card, and you’ve also failed all three attempts to roll doubles, you need to raise money to get out of jail. You can do this by mortgaging property, selling houses or hotels, or trading with other players. An example for the latter: You can trade one of your properties for an opponent’s property that’s worth less than the one you’re offering them because then they would have to pay you the difference.
Staying in jail can be a good or bad idea depending on the stage of the game.
In the early game, avoid staying in jail for a long time in order to buy the properties you want, otherwise, the other players will buy them.
Later in the game when most of the properties are owned, players will have the opportunity to build houses and hotels on their properties. This causes an increase in the rents of these properties. Sometimes the increases are exorbitant. For this reason, moving around becomes dangerous because you risk landing on properties with extremely high rents. Staying in jail could therefore be the best option since you will continue to collect your properties’ rents when other players land on them and not have to pay them anything yourself since you’re not moving at all.
There are alternative, unofficial rules you can apply to make the game more exciting. All players must agree on these rules before the start of the game.
Here are some of these rule variations:
You’re forced to stay in jail for only one turn.
While in jail you cannot buy or sell property, nor build houses or hotels.
If you go to jail you are immediately declared bankrupt and out of the game.
If you go to jail you must pay every opponent $100.
When you go to jail all your income is frozen until you’re out and arrive at the Go space.
If you go to jail you must auction off one of your properties.