I am playing a game of Monopoly. One player lands on a property, but chooses not to buy it. I bid first. Another player bids for a higher amount. The rules state that the banker immediately gives the property to the highest bidder. Can I say a higher bid right now even though I've already bidded? There was nothing in the rulebook about it. Thanks!

  • 7
    "I think this is a very unfair rule...if he has a lot of money he'll obviously do a much higher bid" Welcome to Monopoly. Pretty much the whole point of the game is to become rich so you can have an unfair advantage over the poor and drive them to bankruptcy.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 22:09
  • I recall playing an official computer adaptation in the late 90s that allowed multiple bids, but don’t have anything to back that up unfortunately. Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 23:56

5 Answers 5


If you can't bid more than once in an auction, then you would want to go last. But everyone can't do this.

The standard auction procedure is to sell to the highest bidder. So if someone tops your bid, you have the right to top their bid. Until one person runs out of money, or otherwise gives up bidding. Then the bank is supposed to give the property to the highest final bidder. This is in the interest of the seller, because they get the highest possible price.

If, however, you are using a "one bid" rule, then it should be a secret bid. Everyone writes down their bid on a piece of paper and exposes it simultaneously, so that no one has an advantage by knowing what others bid and reacting to it.

  • Correct, a one-bid auction will just turn into people sitting around waiting for someone else to bid first. This could be fixed with a blind bidding system where all bids are revealed simultaneously, however. Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:14
  • Or players could bid in turn order. Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 3:41
  • 1
    Ever hear of a Dutch Auction, Tom? That might be a nice wrench to throw into the works of this question. Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 4:14
  • @ForgetIwaseverhere: I learned about this process 30 years ago, and barely remember it. I wouldn't want the responsibility of explaining it to others.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 4:19
  • @Acccumulation Except bidding in turn order is a huge disadvantage to those closer to the active player. They can either overbid to prevent others from topping their offer, paying more than they would want to or need to, or underbid, which lets others bid above them. If your'e suggesting the bids continue in turn order around the table until no one raises more, this mitigates the issue but still isn't perfect.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 17:21

The rules say only "auction it to the highest bidder", which means that your group has to agree on what from of auction to use. The form you are using, where each player has only one bid, suffers from the fact that everybody wants to be the last bidder, and nobody wants to be the first; so there will be a lot of waiting around watching each other. "Only one bid, clockwise starting with the person who landed on the space" is a possibility which advantages the person to the right of the start; "as many bids as you like, each higher than the last" is commoner, giving even more advantage to the richest player. The important thing is that you agree a rule before the game starts.

  • The richest player has an advantage in any auction situation, Even if it is single bid clockwise and if they are the first to bid, they can almost guarantee a win by bidding higher than anyone else is likely willing to pay, or guarantee it with a bid more than anyone else can pay, though this becomes detrimental to the rest of their game.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 17:25
  • @Andrew: Welcome to capitalism; the lesson of the game. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 17:26
  • @ForgetIwaseverhere Yes I know the original game was intended to teach how bad and broken capitalism was. It still does that some what, though the message is lessened when people don't follow all the rules as they are in the game, this rule for instance has been ignored in every game of monopoly I have actually ever played or seen played.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 17:28
  • @Andrew: My youngest daughter, at twelve, proudly beat her old man and older brother in a straight-up game according to the official rules. We took lots of pictures, and 6 years later she was a school-girls provincial champion curler. I handicapped myself when the kids were little, until they chose to remove the handicap. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 17:34
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    @ForgetIwaseverhere I don't see the connection?
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 17:35

It wouldn't be much of an auction if you only had one chance to bid. While it doesn't say it in the rules the auctions will follow standard auction rules where people bid back and forth until no one is willing to bid higher then the current bid. Once that happens the player with the highest bid wins the property. Note that this can also mean the property goes for less then face value.

Also if you are not winning you should remember your last bid as it is possible that the player who won the bid actually can't afford what they bid.


a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each item, until there are no higher bids and it is sold for the most money offered:

  • 2
    "It wouldn't be much of an auction if you only had one chance to bid." Not sure I agree, many games (eg, Medici, Ra)use a 'once round' auction rule where each player either increases a bid or passes. It creates an interesting dynamic where you know you can only bid once and forces players to make more meaningful bids. You can also have blind auctions where each player make one secret bid and the winner is the highest. What you describe (the dutch auction) is just one of many styles. A problem with this game is the auction type isn't defined in the rules. Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 21:30
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    @MildlyPerilous That isn't an auction but a bid since the very definition of an auction which I also included is multiple rounds of bidding
    – Joe W
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 23:19
  • 2
    the definition at dictionary.com/browse/auction?s=t just says the highest bid. What I'm saying is not all auctions have to allow players to make multiple bids and that these auctions are tactically different. Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 11:15
  • @MildlyPerilous The one I pulled was more specific and I will point out if you ever watch any type of auction related show on tv there will never be only one chance for someone to bid. And outside of games I highly doubt that you will find anyone who thinks an auction is just bidding once and hoping you don't get outbid. Not to mention when you consider the age of Monopoly you have to consider what they meant with the auction rule.
    – Joe W
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 16:01
  • @JoeW There are different auction systems that don't. The "one secret bid" can sometimes extract a HIGHER value than an open bid system, because you have outbid competition without knowing their range. My wife is a professional antique dealer, and we go to a lot of auctions. When you're the only one that wants an item, you get it for dirt cheap - if we had to put what we were actually willing to pay and only got one bid, we'd spend a LOT more at auctions!
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 22:55

As other answers indicate, Monopoly doesn't provide specific rule for the auction and most groups allow many increasing bids. This can lead to long auctions with bids increasing by just a dollar. I asked how to shorten the typical auction, and have provided my own recommendation which is to require a 10% increase for each bid.

As you have experienced, your group's one bid rule creates a huge advantage for the last bidder, who presumably would only need to add $1 to the 2nd to last bid to win. Since your group is used to one bid auctions, my +10% method could be adjusted to a +50% or 100% minimum increase. Requiring later bids to significantly increase greatly reduces the advantage of going last.
Not sure how your group has resolved the issue of who gets to/has to bid first and/or last. The ordering of who bids will still be important, adjusting the % increase required shifts the advantage to earlier bidders.

  • So just don't futz around with these Stupid Pet Tricks, I mean House Rules, and just hols a standard New York Auction which is what most people naturally think of when they hear the word "auction". The group will waste more time discussing and finalizing these "house rules" than would ever be lost running auctions in a game. Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 7:41

Have always played all auctions as multiple bids allowed, the highest bidder winning the auction,{Generally agreed by all players}

but cash only. {ref.Hasbro.Inc.(c)2012;Heading. Buying Property "...the buyer pays to the bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property"}

If a player bids more than they can pay in cash, no fund raising allowed, the auction starts again with this player excluded.{ House Rule circa 1974}

This is our family/house rules from Waddingtons UK rule book,{ John Waddingtons distributed MONOPOLY under licence from Parker Brothers, in the UK, from 1930's} laid down by our mother, Christmas 1974.

I hope this edit is useful in explaining my 1st attempt in answering a question

  • This does not add anything to the question that was not covered in other answers
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 21:25
  • I disagree - this answer brings up cash only, which is not mentioned elsewhere, and also perhaps cites a rules source ("Waddingtons UK rule book"?). It isn't a good answer yet in part because it's unclear what's actually being sourced from official rules vs house rules, but I wouldn't delete it quite yet without giving them a chance to clarify. Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 2:19
  • just edited original post, hope this helps.
    – phil h
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 20:52
  • been researching. found several editions of monopoly rules.
    – phil h
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 20:31
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    To address the original question @Curious Kid, both the above rules[PB1935] and[W1972], state under the Heading 'Banker' to 'Select as Banker a player who will also make a good auctioneer'. In my opinion the role of a good auctioneer is to secure the highest bid possible, which under a single bid auction would not necessarily attain this, thus suggesting a multiple bid auction as the intended rule of play.
    – phil h
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 23:43

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