Go to Jail Monopoly

In the classic board game Monopoly, one of the squares that players both dread and strategize around is the “Go to Jail” space. Landing on this space or drawing a card with the directive sends a player directly to jail, changing the course of their game. This article delves into what it means to “Go to Jail in Monopoly,” how to navigate the situation, and strategies to avoid it.

What Happens When You Go to Jail in Monopoly?

Landing in Jail:

The moment a player’s token lands on the “Go to Jail” space, they must immediately move to the jail without passing “Go” or collecting $200. This sudden change can disrupt plans, especially if the player is on the verge of completing a property set or is ready to build houses or hotels.

Example: Imagine a player, Alice, who has just acquired two orange properties and is eagerly awaiting her next turn to purchase the third from the bank. However, fate intervenes, and she rolls a number that lands her token in the “Go to Jail” space. Now, Alice must put her property-acquiring plans on hold and focus on getting out of jail.

How to Get Out of Jail in Monopoly

Rolling Doubles:

While rolling doubles is a matter of chance, it’s the first option most players attempt. It’s free and allows the player to move immediately, but it also comes with the risk of rolling three consecutive doubles and ending up in jail again.

Paying the Fine:

Paying a $50 fine is a surefire way to get out of jail, but it can be costly, especially in the early game when funds are limited. Players must weigh the cost against the potential earnings lost from not moving around the board.

Using a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card:

This card is a coveted item that can be a game-changer. Players often hold onto it for emergencies or as a bargaining chip in trades.

Example: Bob finds himself in jail, but he holds a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card. He decides to wait a turn before using it, hoping to roll doubles and save the card for later. Unfortunately, he doesn’t roll doubles, so he uses the card on his next turn to resume his gameplay.

Using a Get Out of Jail Free Card

Strategic Use:

The timing of using this card can be crucial. Some players use it immediately to maintain momentum, while others save it for when the board becomes more dangerous with developed properties.


Players can trade the card to others, often for more than its face value. It’s a powerful tool in negotiations, especially when dealing with players who are frequently in jail or are about to enter a risky part of the board.

Example: Claire has a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card but is low on cash. She trades the card to David, who is nearing the “Go to Jail” space, in exchange for $100 and a promise not to build on his red properties for three turns.

Avoiding Jail in Monopoly

Strategic Movement:

Players can use certain strategies to avoid the “Go to Jail” space, such as counting spaces before rolling and using cards like “Advance to Go” to bypass risky areas of the board.

Example: Emily is three spaces away from the “Go to Jail” space. She has a “Chance” card that allows her to advance to “Go,” which she uses to avoid the risk of going to jail and to collect $200.

Dealing with Jail in Monopoly: Tips and Tricks

Early Game Jail Time:

In the early game, it’s generally better to get out of jail quickly to continue collecting properties. However, if most properties are owned, staying in jail can be a safe haven from high rents.

Late Game Jail Time:

In the late game, players might choose to stay in jail to avoid landing on developed properties, using the time to strategize and negotiate with other players.

Example: Frank is in the late game with few properties left to buy and most of the board developed by his opponents. He decides to stay in jail for his three turns, using the time to negotiate trades and plan his next moves.


In conclusion, the “Go to Jail” space in Monopoly serves as a unique strategic element that adds complexity and depth to the game. It’s a reminder that even in a competitive environment, setbacks can be turned into opportunities with the right mindset and approach. Whether you find yourself behind bars in the early scramble for properties or using it as a respite in the game’s later stages, jail in Monopoly represents the game’s unpredictable nature and the need for adaptability. By understanding the rules, employing smart strategies, and sometimes relying on a bit of luck, players can navigate the challenges of jail time and continue on their quest for Monopoly domination. Remember, in the world of Monopoly, every space, even the dreaded “Go to Jail,” plays a crucial role in the journey to becoming the wealthiest property mogul on the board.

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