So during Monopoly, my sister decided not to buy a property and it was auctioned. My brother had no more than $300 and I had around $700. He kept raising the bid even though he couldn't pay and I didn't know since he wasn't showing his money.

He backed out after he made me raise my bid to $550, despite him only having $300, and I lost a lot more money than I had to because he tricked me. Is that legal? It doesn't explicitly say in the rules that you can't trick players by bidding more than you have but it feels illegal to me.

(Edited for clarity)

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    May 9 at 21:35
  • You should quote the rules that are confusing you.
    – Dave
    May 9 at 21:48
  • Related (basically the inverse of this question): boardgames.stackexchange.com/q/53998/9999
    – Zags
    May 10 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


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 and can't pay your bid, 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).

Source: excerpt of my own answer to a related question

  • While the rules don't say it I think it is fair to say you can't bid more then it is possible to pay just to cause others to pay more
    – Joe W
    May 10 at 1:27
  • 2
    @JoeW you can but if you win the bid you lose the game
    – Jungkook
    May 10 at 9:45
  • @Jungkook There is a difference between overbidding by mistake and overbidding on purpose to make someone else pay more.
    – Joe W
    May 10 at 12:05

The rules do not say anything about bidding more then you can afford however I think it would be fair to say you can only bid what you can pay. That being said there is also nothing saying you can't sell houses/hotels or mortgage property in order to pay for your winning bid.

In situations like this I think a simple solution would be to require everyone to show how they will pay for their bid when making it. It can either be the needed cash or what will be sold/mortgaged in order to pay for it.


If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder. The buyer pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option to buy it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.

  • Can people explain what is wrong with this answer?
    – Joe W
    May 11 at 19:48

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