The get out of jail free card is a Chance and community chest card in the board game, Monopoly. The beginnings of Monopoly can be traced as far back as the early 20th century.
The earliest version of the game was known as The Landlord’s Game and it was designed by an American, Elizabeth Magie, and first patented in 1904 but existed as early as 1902.
She had created the game initially to illustrate the economic repercussions of Ricardo’s Law of Economic rent and the Georgist concepts of economic privilege and land value taxation, which sound like rather difficult concepts for a game.
Despite this, a series of board games that centred on the concept of buying and selling of land and the development of that land were developed by various people from 1906 through the 1930s. By 1933 there was already in existence, a board game that was very similar to the current version of Monopoly being sold by the Parker Brothers and its related companies through the rest of the 20th century, and into the 21st.
The game involves people moving around the Monopoly board according to dice throws. The tiles players land on properties that can be bought. There is also a marked corner of the board that represents the Jail.
The Jail can hold players and cause them to lose their turn until certain conditions are met. The character on the square that represents the jail is “Jake the Jailbird”. Players can end up in this space by landing on the “Go to Jail” tile, throwing three doubles in a row, or drawing a “Go to Jail” card from Community Chest or Chance chest.
If a player is not “sent to Jail” but just reaches the space marked jail in the ordinary course of play, the player is “Just Visiting”; he, therefore, incurs no penalty, and moves ahead in the usual manner on his/her next turn; in this case, the Jail space is considered a ‘safe’ space, where nothing happens.
Consequently, a player can get out of jail through one of three ways;
- Rolling a double with the dice
- Paying to get out of jail BEFORE throwing the dice for either the first turn or the second turn in Jail
- Using the get out of jail free card.
The Get Out of Jail Free card is one of the Chance cards and Community Chest cards which are special cards used in Monopoly. There are sixteen each of Chance and Community Chest cards in the standard editions (U.S. and UK) of Monopoly.
A player draws one of these cards if their token (player on the board) lands on one of the respectively named spaces on the Monopoly board. the player is required to follow the instructions on the card after which the card can then be returned to the bottom of the deck.
When holding a Get Out Of Jail Free Card
If a player has a Get Out Of Jail Free Card, they can be freed from jail immediately to continue playing without having to pay a fee if they choose to use it. When it is used, it must be returned to the deck it was taken from.
The card can also be sold by the person who has it to another player for a price the two agree on. That price is often equal to or less than $50 since that is the amount a player would have to pay to leave jail ordinarily.
When making up your mind about using the Get Out Of Jail Free Card note;
A player can actually buy and erect houses and/or hotels, sell or buy property, collect rent, participate in auctions and deal with other players even though in Jail.
A player sent to Jail cannot collect $200 salary in that move since, regardless of where his/her piece is or of the path of the board, he/she must move his/her piece DIRECTLY into Jail. A player’s turn ends when he is sent to Jail.
A player cannot remain in Jail after his/her third turn while in jail. Immediately after throwing the dice for their third turn, if the player does not roll Doubles, they must pay the $50 fine, after which they then come out and move forward from Jail the number of spaces shown by the roll.
The Get Out Of Jail Free Card has escaped the boundaries of monopoly and has become a part of pop-culture where it is used as a euphemism for easily getting out of a bad situation. So next time you are in a fix, we hope you have a Get Out Of Jail Free Card at your disposal.