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Subject: Monopoly House Juggling -- is this legal?? rss

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Pete
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Last night my game group played Monopoly. We didn't play with any stupid house rules, like money on free parking or offering immunities or any of that garbage that ruins an already luck-based game.

However, we reached a point where we were at a housing shortage (all 32 houses out on the board) and I owned two monopolies (Purple Baltic/Mediterranean and Orange New York/Tennessee/St. James). I had 8 houses on the Purples and 2 houses each on the Orange.

So on my turns, when I had some money, I would sell a house or two to the bank from the Purples, collect $25 per house, then immediately buy those houses and plant them on the Orange spaces. Other players would object that they should have the option to buy those houses, and that they should be auctioned.

The rules, however, clearly state that you may only buy houses on your turn or BETWEEN players' turns. Therefore, during my turn only I can buy houses, and there is no dispute as to the ownership of these houses...no auction is necessary, and the houses are mine.

Later, I did the same in reverse, plunking down 2 hotels on the Orange spaces and immediately buying the 8 vacated houses down on the Purples again. I cruised to a relatively easy win.

It does seem unfair...I was able to build up to nearly max rents while others were forced to buy houses at auction for inflated prices. But it does not seem to be against the rules.

Any comments?

Pete (is almost certain he read the rules correctly, but might be wrong)
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JOHN TODD JENSEN
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plezercruz wrote:
The rules, however, clearly state that you may only buy houses on your turn or BETWEEN players' turns.


http://www.monopolycollector.com/zrules.html

http://www.gameroom.com/gamebits/RULES/332_Monopoly_Rules.ht...


Neither of these rulesets seem to say anything about when houses or hotels can be bought. My search was cursory, so I have provided the links so you can check and find my error. In addition, there may be a tournament ruleset that is more complete. However, in the absence of any other evidence, it must be assumed that they can be bought by any player at any time. This means that other players are allowed to buy houses during your turn.

Quote:
BUILDING SHORTAGE

When the Bank has no Houses to sell, players wishing to build must wait for some player to turn
back or to sell his houses to the Bank before building. If there are a limited number of Houses
and Hotels available, and two or more players wish to buy more than the Bank has, the Houses or
Hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder.


Therefore, when you sell houses or hotels back to the bank, courtesy would dictate that you ask all the other players whether they were interested, and then if more than one player is interested in buying the assets just returned to the bank, an auction is held.
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Steve Vondra
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We have always used that strategy to provide an assured supply of houses for our own building on more expensive properties. We also forbid trading intangibles like "free hit on X" or "my next 3 positive Chance/Comm.Chest cards". Free Parking has NO $ attached ($500 or Fines)and NO "double pay" ($400) for landing on GO. Most people don't like these rules so I usually get a response of "Let's play something else..."devil
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Seth Owen
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The thing to note is that as soon as you sell the house back to the bank, it's NOT yours any more at that instant, and the other players have the right to demand an auction if they're interested in buying some. There may be cases when it would be a good strategy to decline to upgrade four houses into a hotel because you want to maintain a housing shortage, but you're not allowed to have your cake and eat it too by selling the houses and then immediately buying them back.
Frankly, I don't think it was very sportsmanlike to rely on such a narrow reading of the rule. Given that you admit that it didn't seem very fair you should have been gracious enough to agree to the housing auction and researched the rule later for use next time.
As it turns out, you were incorrect and your "victory" is rather tainted.
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Seth Owen
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Looking at the rules linked above one should note that most of the time the words "at any time" are used when discussing property transactions. indeed, one can buy a property during another player's turn when there's an auction caused by them not buying the property they just landed on. There's another case when players can clearly buy houses during someone else's turn -- when the bankrupt player owes the bank then thebank conducts an immediate auction.
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Moshe Callen
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wargamer55 wrote:
Looking at the rules linked above one should note that most of the time the words "at any time" are used when discussing property transactions. indeed, one can buy a property during another player's turn when there's an auction caused by them not buying the property they just landed on. There's another case when players can clearly buy houses during someone else's turn -- when the bankrupt player owes the bank then thebank conducts an immediate auction.


Exactly. The rules do NOT say one can only buy houses or hotels on one's own turn but rather explcitly states "at any time". Thus your friends are correct.
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Aaron Tubb
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Along with the other responses: I believe the only time you cannot buy houses is the short interval between a player's movement roll and that player's actual movement. (meaning you cannot buy houses on a space the instant that another player moves there, you must buy before the die roll) But besides that small exception, any player may buy houses at any time.
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Chris J Davis
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If it's any consolation, I'm pretty certain that the rules for Monopoly have mutated quite a bit over the years and at one time they did say that you can only buy houses on your turn or between player's turns. Maybe you've got an old edition...? :-)
 
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Laurence Parsons
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bleached_lizard wrote:
If it's any consolation, I'm pretty certain that the rules for Monopoly have mutated quite a bit over the years and at one time they did say that you can only buy houses on your turn or between player's turns. Maybe you've got an old edition...? :-)

That's no consolation! Surely any self-respecting games player scours the internet for the most up-to-date rules errata before each and every occurrence of any game they play? A really serious player would have a laptop beside them, constantly refreshing, just in case there were official errata released during the course of a game. shake
Anyone want to play magic?
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Just call me Erik
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freduk wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
If it's any consolation, I'm pretty certain that the rules for Monopoly have mutated quite a bit over the years and at one time they did say that you can only buy houses on your turn or between player's turns. Maybe you've got an old edition...? :-)

That's no consolation! Surely any self-respecting games player scours the internet for the most up-to-date rules errata before each and every occurrence of any game they play? A really serious player would have a laptop beside them, constantly refreshing, just in case there were official errata released during the course of a game. shake
Anyone want to play magic?


....not with you.
 
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Skyler Luscombe
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I was looking at the "Questions people often ask" insert that is included with a lot of Monopoly games, and it says

Quote:
Must I wait until my turn to buy houses and hotels?

No. You may transact business - such as buying and selling houses - any time on your turn, or between moves by other players


So it sounds as if the OP was correct, although, I just realized now that it may be referring to 'moves' as an action (their own buying of houses or roll and such), and it is no referring to their 'turn' as I originally though. Or it could be referring to the actual roll, meaning if you do an action before your turn, your turn has still yet to begin, and other players may carry out business as well.

In which case, the OP would be incorrect, and what sounds to be more logical is indeed correct. (Other players may buy/auction off the new houses instead of only allowing the OP to re-buy them again)
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sunday silence
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Look first off the original poster cannot be correct: He sold houses back to the bank and bought them again w/o allowing an auction on the basis that: THE HOUSES WERE STILL HIS! Well, duh, no they were not he sold them.

Second: clearly the rule about when you can buy houses/hotels needs serious work. It cant possibly mean that you can buy houses "any time" Otherwise I would wait until you rolled 7 and then I put hotel (or 4 houses) on Boardwalk. That would hardly seem to be what the game is about and no one I know would allow that.

So clearly some sort of house rule or whatever is needed on that part of the rule. What do the tournament rules say about this? (or did I miss it upthread?)
 
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The rules for a building shortage state that when two or more players wish to buy more than the Bank has, the houses or hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder. That's pretty cut and dried. Selling a house from one monopoly which you own and then immediately buying it for a different monopoly (without an auction) when there is a building shortage is illegal.

On the back page of my version of the rules (the 1985 Commemorative Edition), there is a section entitled "Questions that people ask about MONOPOLY Rules." Here is the fifth question:

Quote:
5. Must I wait until my turn to buy houses and hotels?
No. You may transact business -- such as buying and selling houses -- any time on your turn or between moves by other players.

This limitation would prevent someone from building a hotel on Boardwalk after you had already landed on it, or even between your first and second rolls (if you rolled doubles the first time).

I also have a book entitled The Monopoly Companion. A quick search on Amazon shows what appears to be a third edition of the title, published in 2007, although mine is (I guess) the first edition from 1988. I digress. One portion of this book offers greater insight into the rules. It has an interesting explanation for the auctioning of houses:

Quote:
Whenever there is a conflict among players over houses remaining in the Bank, the Banker must auction them off one by one. How much is a house worth? Well, the auction begins at the value of the "cheapest" monopoly in question...A player who buys a house at auction must place it on the monopoly he specified before the auction began.

Lastly, there is a tournament rule listed in the book which states:

Quote:
10. While a Building Shortage exists, players desiring to buy the houses remaining in the bank have priority over those wishing to break down hotels.

According to the book, this last item arose after a clever player tried to "back into" a housing shortage during the 1983 U.S. Championship Tournament by trading in his three hotels for twelve houses.

So, imagine this scenario: you have three hotels on the light blues. There are four houses remaining in the Bank. You want to break down one hotel in order to prevent another player from getting those houses. You sell your hotel, but when you reach for those four houses, someone else declares interest in one. She wins one of the subsequent auctions, and let's say she wins the first one. Only three houses remain. What must you do?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Just as you must build evenly, you have to sell your buildings evenly, too. You cannot have two hotels on two properties, and only three houses on the third. Therefore you would have to sell your other two hotels, and end up with a single house on each of your three properties! Furthermore, you don't get paid for the "phantom houses" you lost in between the hotel and the single house on each property, because you never owned them to sell them back due to the building shortage!
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Simon Lundström
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Beowulf wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Just as you must build evenly, you have to sell your buildings evenly, too. You cannot have two hotels on two properties, and only three houses on the third. Therefore you would have to sell your other two hotels, and end up with a single house on each of your three properties! You also don't get paid for the "phantom houses" you lost in between the hotel and the single house on each property, because you never owned them to sell them back due to the building shortage!

And I thought this game was evil… I knew nothing of the pure red-hot evil in this game.
 
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Zimeon wrote:
And I thought this game was evil… I knew nothing of the pure red-hot evil in this game.

devil laugh
 
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    My family's interpretation of our 1947 edition rules was that you can swap during your turn. It's only if you leave one behind when you're done that it's available. For what it's worth.

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Dan
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Beowulf wrote:
I also have a book entitled The Monopoly Companion. A quick search on Amazon shows what appears to be a third edition of the title, published in 2007, although mine is (I guess) the first edition from 1988. I digress. One portion of this book offers greater insight into the rules. It has an interesting explanation for the auctioning of houses:

I agree with you.

My 70's Edition and late 90's edition rules are nearly identical, and they are not clear about this rule.

But both editions have an identical FAQ box insert where #5 says:
Quote:
Q: Must I wait until my turn to buy houses and hotels?
A: No. You may transact business-such as buying and selling houses-any time on your turn or between (their bold not mine) moves by other players.

I also have The Monopoly Companion (2nd Edition).
In Chapter Two (The Rules Explained) under buying houses, it states:
Quote:
You may buy houses at any time during your turn. You may also buy houses between the turns of other players.

So part of the OP is correct, that you control the buying during YOUR turn for the reasons Beowulf desribes.

But Beowulf also accurately describes the Building Shortage rules also described in the book.

SO, if you initiate the extra houses on your turn when there is a building shortage, then they go up for auction.

Basically the sole purpose of the rule where only you can buy houses during your turn is to protect for someone else buying in the middle of your turn if you roll doubles, or get a card that moves you. But you give up your right if you are selling and buying in a building shortage, which wasn't the intent of the rule.
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John Hathorn
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Quote:
Quote:
10. While a Building Shortage exists, players desiring to buy the houses remaining in the bank have priority over those wishing to break down hotels.

According to the book, this last item arose after a clever player tried to "back into" a housing shortage during the 1983 U.S. Championship Tournament by trading in his three hotels for twelve houses.

So, imagine this scenario: you have three hotels on the light blues. There are four houses remaining in the Bank. You want to break down one hotel in order to prevent another player from getting those houses. You sell your hotel, but when you reach for those four houses, someone else declares interest in one. She wins one of the subsequent auctions, and let's say she wins the first one. Only three houses remain. What must you do?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Just as you must build evenly, you have to sell your buildings evenly, too. You cannot have two hotels on two properties, and only three houses on the third. Therefore you would have to sell your other two hotels, and end up with a single house on each of your three properties! Furthermore, you don't get paid for the "phantom houses" you lost in between the hotel and the single house on each property, because you never owned them to sell them back due to the building shortage!


According to the above rule clarification after the '83 Championship, the scenario you describe couldn't happen.
-Four houses become available and player 1 decides to break down a hotel to get them.
-Player 2 then announces their intention to buy a house.
-Player 1 no longer has the option to break down any of her hotels until player 2 finishes purchasing as player 2's decision to purchase a house has priority .
-If player 1 wants to bid on any of the houses, then she has to have a monopoly available on which to place the house and cannot place it on the any of the properties with hotels.
-Player 1 simply doesn't have the option to break down her hotel until all other players have the option to purchase houses.

By the same token, player 1 should simply be able to preclude any argument at all by saying, "I intend to sell a hotel and place four houses on Vermont. Does anyone want to purchase a house before I do so? No. My sale goes through uncontested."

-Now, it's a different story if player 2 has a hotel they also want to break down devil


As far as the other question about when this can be done goes, I think a definition of "moves by other players" is in order. In my opinion, a move, in it's entirety, is a roll of the dice, an advance of the piece, and resolution of the space landed on (i.e. Chance/Community Chest card drawn, property purchased, rent paid, go to jail, etc.). Move ends there. All purchasing by all players can be completed. Doubles doesn't stop this. The short time between space resolution and new roll after a double is rolled fits this bill as it is still between "moves" of other players.

Now, with this definition the player whose turn it is could, in fact, roll the dice, sell and buy houses hotels without interference from other players, and then move their piece. There can be no "conflict," as stated in the rules ("Whenever there is a conflict among players over houses remaining in the Bank"), because it is not between the "moves of other players," where purchasing is allowed, but, instead, is "any time on your turn."

So the OP's action was legal as long as he did his house swapping during the space between roll of the dice and movement of piece.

I, for one, will be sure to make sure all players are aware of, and agree to, this distinction before future games... IF and when I ever play Monopoly again.
 
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Chris Farrell
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Wow, who would have thought something fairly simple would have caused so much trouble? Interestingly, in the current online/iPhone apps, you can only buy houses during your own turn, eliminating all this weird edge case stuff.

The whole thing makes a lot more sense if you read "move" as "turn", which is often how people understand it. I agree you could rules-lawyer it by rolling the dice, doing your house-building transactions, and then actually moving your piece. I'd recommend being sure everyone is aware of this Anyway, if you say that the person whose turn it is has priority, a lot of problems (and rules) go away and everything is much cleaner (I've always played this way). Contention would then only be an issue after one player has said "I'm done" but before the next player has rolled the dice, which I have to think would be incredibly rare, as it should be. The "auctioning houses" thing seems wholly unsatisfactory and inadequately specified, and the less often it is invoked, the better.

The ruling about being forced to tear down to one house per property if a house is bought out from under you during a tear-down just seems insane and makes no sense. If I want to tear down a hotel the four house either are or are not available. If I lose the right to one or more of them in the auction, they aren't available and I don't see how that forces me to do something insanely self-destructive. This ruling seems to have been enacted for the sole purpose of avoiding housing shortages in the first place. If that's the intent, do the sensible thing and give us more houses, which I think is what the game wants - it seems likely that the 32 houses included are simply what was perceived as enough, and not some sort of cleverly-designed limit that serves an important game function. But no, Monopoly has always had 32 houses, so it always will, regardless of the problems this creates. The online implementations allow you to remove the 32-house limit, and I'd suggest that's probably the best house rule to deal with this rare but problematic situations.
 
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sundaysilence wrote:
Look first off the original poster cannot be correct: He sold houses back to the bank and bought them again w/o allowing an auction on the basis that: THE HOUSES WERE STILL HIS! Well, duh, no they were not he sold them.


You focused in on the wrong part of the original post - that was the effect, not the cause. His basis wasn't ownership, but turn mechanics. His basis was the (implied?) rule that the other players are never given the legal opportunity in the game to buy the houses he sells, because houses can't be bought by others during his turn and they are not still in the bank by the end of his turn. The question here is whether or not that rule actually exists; since this is Monopoly, good luck with that.

For the record, it scares me, on a fundamental level, that a game THIS old and THIS popular STILL has holes in the rules Mack trucks could be driven through, and yet there are tournaments held for it. There is something seriously wrong with this. - ZM
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Robert Stewart
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As far as doing stuff between rolling the dice and moving the piece goes, I would rule, vehemently, that there is no opportunity for game actions between releasing the first die as part of your roll, and your piece landing on the space to which it moves. The physical act of moving your piece is purely a human convenience to keep track of the current game-state more easily.
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