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I only have $5. My opponent lands on an un-owned property and put it up for auction. Can my opponent make a starting bid of $10 on this auction even though that is more money than I have?

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    Can you clarify what you mean by "auction it for 10 dollars"? Does that mean they started the bidding at 10 dollars, or that they bought it for 10 dollars at the auction?
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 22 at 14:46
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    Properties are auctioned by the bank, not players. Does your question need an edit to clarify the situation you're discussing or have you been playing differently?
    – Dancrumb
    Jan 22 at 18:20
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    @Dancrumb "Properties are auctioned by the bank, not players" sounds like the property owner can then bid too - effectively setting a minimum price. Hmmm. Jan 22 at 20:07
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    @chux-ReinstateMonica, there's a subtle but important difference. The starting bid (from the bank) can be ignored. If nobody makes it, the bank will HAVE to go lower. If the opponent is bidding and "setting a minimum bid", they HAVE to purchase at this price. Small, but important if cash is short all around
    – Dancrumb
    Jan 23 at 1:09
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    @chux-ReinstateMonica I would say that "the bank" is the property owner; but its only way of communicating is via the rulebook (the player acting as Banker is just an employee of that bank, following those rules). The rules state there is no minimum, so that is the bank's starting bid. Bids from other players are all bids to buy the property, not to retain it, regardless of whose dice roll triggered the auction.
    – IMSoP
    Jan 23 at 17:57
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This is definitely allowed, and a good tactic to leverage a cash advantage.

There is no minimum or maximum price for an auction. The rules state:

Bidding may start at any price.

There is no "the bidding will start at $10". There is just "bidding is open". Once the auction begins, a bid by any player sets the minimum price for the auction at that bid. Your opponent could easily bid $10 on the property, forcing you to either let them have it for $10 or bid more than you have in cash. You could bid first, say starting the bid at $5, but that doesn't meaningfully change the situation, as they can just respond by out-bidding you at $10.

You may bid more money than you have in cash, but you are still obligated to pay it if you win the auction. This may be a reasonable play if you can afford it by mortgaging property and/or selling houses, especially to drive up the price for your opponent. But be careful not to bid more than you can pay after mortgages and sales, as if you win the auction you go bankrupt. In particular, if you bid more than you can afford, you opponents can all just let you win the bid, at which point you go bankrupt and the property you just bought would go up for auction again (in addition to all your other properties).

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