Let us imagine a situation when we play Monopoly and one of the players refused to buy a property. It was sent to auction. Auction passed succesfully, but the problem is that the winner cannot pay his/her final bid. He/she does not have enough money. And even selling houses and hotels and mortgaging properties does not help.

What do the game rules say about this situation, is it possible at all? And must players calculate their total amount of money before an auction is started? Thanks.

3 Answers 3


The player who cannot pay has just properly incurred, according to the Rules, a debt to the Bank that cannot be paid. That is the definition of Bankrupt.

If the player is unable to relieve the bankruptcy, then all their assets go to the Bank, which then auctions off all properties to the remaining players, as per the Official Rules for Bankruptcy.

The property originally landed on is part of the Bankruptcy Sale of the Bankrupt player's properties.

Capitalism is harsh boys and girls - no second chances in Monopoly.


As Forget I was ever here states, this results in the winning bidder being bankrupted to the Bank.

As an additional clarification, all funds must be raised before successfully obtaining the new property. So you are NOT entitled to mortgage the new property in order to pay for it.

This is based on the definition of Buying Property from the rules which states:

Buying Property

.... The buyer pays to the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and [then] receives the Title Deed card for that property. ....

  • Other than "Mortgages Unimproved properties can be mortgaged through the Bank at any time." I can find no relevant reference in the Rules; and the simplest interpretation for that quite is the opposite of your claim. Do you have a more specific basis for your claim? Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 23:26
  • 1
    @Forget I was ever here, Updated my response to include relevant quotation from the rules.
    – Lee
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 16:55
  • Perfect; that is clear and unambiguous. I have edited to make clear that this note applies only to purchases through auction. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 16:56
  • P.S. You might check into learning MarkDown - where available (and capable), it makes formatting much simpler than with raw HTML. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 17:05
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    For the case of purchasing by landing on the property, I have added a new question: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/39708/…
    – Lee
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 17:41

Tournament judges may be the best referees for situations like this and even they don't agree on a single interpretation of the rules in this case.

The only area that has not yet been fully defined in tournament gameplay is what happens if a player makes a winning bid and then can not afford to pay it to the bank. Some interpret it as their bid is cancelled and the property goes to the 2nd highest bidder for the amount they bid. Others enforce it where the winning bidder must pay the amount to the bank, even if it causes them to go bankrupt.

Source : Kevin Tostado, Director of "Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story." MonopolyDocumentary.com

Quora.com Monopoly

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