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In a two player game of Monopoly a player pays $100 per house where he should’ve paid $50 per house. 30 minutes later, the player puts houses on the property again.

The other player noticed that the first player has paid too much and says those houses are only $50. The first player then wants a refund for his previous purchase.

Should that player be entitled to a refund?

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    Not an answer I can back up with rules but... It's just a game. a mistake was made, let them have their money back and move on! By the rules he probably isn't entitled but do you want gaming to be fun and them want to play games with you again? Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 21:28
  • Without an official rule to say either way, this cannot be answered except with an opinion on which is better, being harsh or being generous.
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 23:46
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    @Nij While we won't have an official answer it is still possible to have a generic answer on how to handle mistakes like this in games in general.
    – Joe W
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 2:43

3 Answers 3

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This question is not about Monopoly, but about gaming ethics.

  • If this happens in an official tournament, then a referee will probably not allow a refund.
  • If this happens in a friendly game, better to be friendly and allow it. The goal is that everybody will have fun. A win due to someone doing a silly mistake is a silly win.
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    What rule places that limit? And if it would prevent you losing now, it's almost sure that doing it correctly earlier would have even greater impact to prevent losing as well.
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 20:24
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    @Nij The rules can't cover every situation and there are good reasons to have a limit in place for how long a mistake can be fixed because it can negatively impact the game if it happens a long time after the mistake.
    – Joe W
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 16:48
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    It doesn't suggest that at all: the rule makers chose to put a limit on that specific action and chose to not put a limit on any other. There simply is no limit.
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 19:37
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    There is just too much variation in each player's mental representation of a game to assume implicit consensus around what "should" happen in a given circumstance. Policy is, at the least, a Schelling Point around which a temporary consensus can be justified.
    – user10478
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 22:06
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    Arguing that you can't fix a mistake because it would change the course of the game is a pretty weak point. The mistake itself has already changed the course of the game directly. Bringing up "tournament rules" as if everyone knows they exist, let alone knows and uses them, in a casual environment, is a red herring. You can't deviate from rules that never applied in the first place! Again, as this answer has said, it's purely down to what the group decides, which should be for the most fun.
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 0:08
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No, because the mistake was made too long ago to be retconned. While the rules don't say anything about overpaying for a house they also don't say anything about getting money back when overpaying the bank. In cases like this it is generally a good idea to limit how far back a mistake can be undone which is generally a turn or two later. In this case the mistake was noted 30 minutes later which means a lot of game play has happened and the time for fixing the mistake is over.

If the mistake had been noted more promptly such as in the next turn or two a refund should be given as long as it will not negatively impact the game based on what has happened since the mistake.

As a note this is a general rule to making mistakes in games and how they should be fixed and doesn't just apply to this situation.

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No. He is not entitled to a refund, as he made the mistake and already paid the money, thus altering the dynamic of the game. (Even if it hurt him more than you.)

Disclaimer: Despite this, there is nowhere in the official rules where it states a passage about refunds, it is generally assumed that when a player makes a mistake (and it hurts his position) and the game proceeds, the mistake is accepted and not reversed as it would affect the latter positions of players in the game.

However, if y'all are playing with house rules, it is plausible to allow him to get a refund if you both agree. This would be a mutual decision however, and not in accordance with the rules of the game.

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    Do the rules say that you can overpay for houses? If they don't, then you've entered an illegal game state. Does monopoly have rules for resolving an illegal game state? Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 21:00
  • Mistakes in games should be fixed when possible though in this case as it was noticed 30 minutes later I think it is no longer possible to fix.
    – Joe W
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 2:42

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