When going bankrupt in Monopoly the rules state that you must either turn over to that player all that you have of value and retire from the game if going bankrupt thanks to another player, or turn over all assets to the Bank if going bankrupt thanks to the Bank.

Versions of the game with Rules for a Short Game state that after the second player goes bankrupt:

Each remaining player then values his/her property.

  1. Cash on hand
  2. Lots, Utilities and Railroads owned, at the price printed on the board.
  3. Any mortgaged property owned, at one-half the price printed on the board.
  4. Houses, valued at purchase price.
  5. Hotels, valued at purchase price including the value of the three houses turned in.

The richest player wins.

This mentions nothing about Get Out of Jail Free cards.

  1. Despite being a sell-able item, do these not have "value"?
  2. If not, do these get returned to the board after a player retires from the game with one or both in their possession?
  • 1
    They have value from the fact that they take the place of the money that you would pay to get out of jail when you don't roll doubles.
    – Joe W
    Feb 2, 2015 at 15:52

6 Answers 6


The rules do not explicitly tell us what happens.

But it makes sense to say that they have 'value' and that they are transferred during bankruptcy.

  • 6
    Agreed. They have value in as much as a player may be willing to offer money for them (how much depending on the context, of course), but zero face value - that is, they can't be sold to the bank and count for nothing when survivors tot up at the end of a short game. Feb 2, 2015 at 15:41

The "face value" of the get out of jail card is $50. The "time value" is probably less than that, because not everyone will be willing to pay $50 today to save $50 at some indefinite point in the future.

In a two player game, the creditor doesn't "have" to accept such as card as legal tender. But if things are so bad that the $50 represents "survival," you're probably going to lose anyway.

In a multiplayer game, there is likely to be a third party that will want to keep you in the game (so that the landlord won't get all your property) who can "reasonably" pay $50 for a get out of jail free card.

In some games I've played, there is a house rule that says that you can sell the get out of jail free card back to the bank for $50 by putting it at the bottom of the chance or community chest pile. That formalizes a "value" that doesn't exist under the official rules.

  • 5
    That house rule basically removes the Get Out of Jail Free card from the game - why would anyone keep the card instead of just getting the $50? Mar 18, 2016 at 8:38
  • @Matt: In essence, the house rule gives people $50 just for drawing the card (rather than removing it from the game). Like "bank error in your favor, $200." The rest of the answer gives the nuances for when the house rule doesn't apply.
    – Tom Au
    Mar 18, 2016 at 14:01
  • 1
    I've seen Get out of Jail sell for > 50 dollars. Gotta be a strategic thing.
    – Joshua
    Sep 22, 2016 at 15:18
  • Also consider that anytime you're in jail, you have a chance to get out for free by rolling doubles. You have a 42% chance of rolling doubles at least once over 3 turns, which is all you need to get out of jail free under your own power. So, a get out jail free card only saves you $50 in 58% of the cases you're in jail, making it worth, on average, $29. Apr 6, 2020 at 16:52
  • @NuclearWang: That's why the "time value" of a $50 card is less than $50. Because you may be able to "push back" its use 42% of the time.
    – Tom Au
    Apr 6, 2020 at 17:51

If the player to which you defaulted wants it, then it has value to him. Since it is a transferable item, he should therefore take possession of it.

I've looked at numerous definitions of value and assets. As something useful that can be transferred to settle debts, Get Out of Jail Free cards easily match both definitions.

I can't find any basis to support your position that only items having a guaranteed sale cost are considered to have value.

Besides, they do have a "face value". The price to get out of jail is normally $50.


The Get Out Of Jail Free card does not have a 'face value', but it does have intrinsic value, in so far as somebody may be willing to buy it from you.


I have always played they get returned to the deck from whence they came, in the event of bankruptcy to another player.

And, of course, in the event of bankruptcy to the bank, they also go back into the deck.

This seems to be one of the few undefined points in the Monopoly rules - arguments for turning them over to the player who bankrupted you and for returning them to the deck, in my opinion, are equally valid.


I'm sure there's something in the rules allowing you to sell Get Out Of Jail Free cards to other players. Hence they must be transferred to another player if they bankrupt you. But they don't have a "face value" as such - they are worth $50 to someone in jail and $0 to anyone else; hence they are not counted in scoring for the quick game.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .