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According to the Action Card directions on a Double Rent card, it can only be played with a Rent card.

Given that it is the only card that cannot be played alone, does it count against your total cards played count for a given turn (which cannot exceed 3)?

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It counts as two cards out of your three for that turn. Taken from the FAQ monopoly-game.net:

Q - IF I USE A ‘DOUBLE THE RENT’ CARD WITH A STANDARD RENT CARD, DOES THIS COUNT AS ‘PLAYING’ 2 CARDS, OR 1? A - This would count as 2 out of the possible 3 cards you can play per turn.

Additional sources that confirm this:

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that really needs to be in the rules supplied with the game :) –  warren Apr 24 at 19:20
    
@warren This may not be what you want to hear, but the rules do say that you may only play three cards per turn. Your question, sounds like "Have I found an exception to this rule?" The answer is simply "No." –  Rainbolt Apr 25 at 13:43
    
perhaps, then, it just needs to be written explicitly. Especially given you cannot use it on its own. –  warren Apr 25 at 19:04
    
@warren The statement "If a card cannot be played alone, then it must be an exception to the rule unless explicitly stated otherwise." is what we call a non sequitur. The three card rule is not ambiguous. It clearly states that you may play up to three cards per turn. Double Rent is a card. How many cards can you play per turn? Three. But Double Rent can't be played alone. And pigs can't fly. So what? –  Rainbolt Apr 25 at 21:02
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