Chance and Community Chest cards

Chance cards and Community Chest cards are special cards used in the board game Monopoly. The player draws one of these cards when the player's token lands on one of the respectively named spaces on the Monopoly board and must follow its instructions. Once the "Chance cards" and the "Community Chest Cards" are used up, one player must shuffle the cards and put them back to be "reused".

There are sixteen each of Chance and Community Chest cards in the standard editions (U.S. and UK) of Monopoly[1]. Chance cards in the standard US edition (and older UK editions) are dark orange in color, while Community Chest cards are yellow.

The cards first appeared with the development of what became Monopoly in the 1920s. Daniel Layman's Finance board game included Chance and Community Chest cards. The first Monopoly editions, self-published originally by Charles B. Darrow, and later by Parker Brothers, featured a few different cards from the ones printed currently. Editions published between 1933-1935 featured only text on the cards, which is still true of most UK editions, as well as translations based on the UK standard edition. Various illustrations appeared on the cards in the U.S. edition starting in 1935, and the more familiar illustrations featuring the Rich Uncle Pennybags character were introduced in 1936.

Contents


Chance

Changes in the Chance cards in the U.S. editions include:

  • Parking Fine: $15 (now omitted)
  • Pay Poor Tax: $12 (now $15)
  • Pay School Tax: $150 (moved to Community Chest)
  • You Are Assessed for Street Repairs (moved to Community Chest)
  • Your Xmas Fund Matures: Collect $100 (moved to Community Chest)
  • Bank Pays You Dividend of $50 (illustration change from 1936; since 2004, Uncle Pennybags no longer smokes a cigar on this card)

The following cards were introduced by Parker Brothers in 1936:

  • Advance Token to the Nearest Railroad (2x)
  • Advance Token to the Nearest Utility
  • Elected Chairman of the Board: Pay Each Player $50

Cards in the U.S. Standard Edition (the "Atlantic City Edition") which do not appear in the UK Standard Edition:

  • Advance token to the nearest utility. If unowned you may buy it from bank. If owned, throw dice and pay owner a total ten times the amount thrown.
  • Advance token to the nearest Railroad and pay owner Twice the Rental to which he is otherwise entitled. If Railroad is unowned, you may buy it from the Bank. [Two such cards in the U.S. version]
  • Pay poor tax of $15
  • You have been elected chairman of the board. Pay each player $50

Cards in the UK Standard Edition which derived from the 1935 Darrow/Parker Brothers edition and are now omitted in the U.S. edition, or are entirely new:

  • Pay school fees of £150
  • You are assessed for street repairs: £40 per house £115 per hotel
  • "Drunk in charge" fine £20
  • Speeding fine £15
  • You have won a crossword competition. Collect £100

Community Chest

Changes in the Community Chest cards in the U.S. editions include:

  • Everyone Must Donate 10% of His Holdings to You in Cash (one edition only, 1936)
  • Go Back to Baltic Avenue (four editions, omitted in U.S. editions since 1936)
  • Go to Income Tax or Jail (Darrow edition, 1934 only)
  • Advance Token to the Nearest Railroad (2x, later moved to Chance)
  • We're Off the Gold Standard, Collect $50 (1935-1936 only, now omitted)
  • Pay Your Insurance Premium: $50 (omitted in U.S. editions since 1935)
  • Pay a $10 fine or take a Chance (omitted in U.S. editions since 1936)

Certain cards were also moved from the Chance cards deck:

  • Pay School Tax $150
  • You are Assessed for Street Repairs-if this happens you only repair YOUR properties
  • Your Xmas Fund Matures

One further card was introduced by Parker Brothers in 1936: Grand Opera Opening, Collect $50 from each player. The "Second Prize in a Beauty Contest" was also changed in 1936 to an award of $10 from an award of $11.

Cards in the U.S. Standard Edition (the "Atlantic City Edition") which do not appear in the UK Standard Edition:

  • Grand opera Night – collect $50 from every player for opening night seats
  • Life Insurance Matures – collect $100
  • Pay School tax of $150
  • Receive for services $25
  • You are assessed for street repairs – $40 per house, $115 per hotel

Cards on the short-lived U.S. Monopoly game show in 1990:

  • Street repairs due on (property). Owner pays $X.
  • (Color) player gets $X Income Tax Refund.
  • Low player sues high player. Wins $X judgment.
  • Go back X spaces.

Cards in the UK Standard Edition which are derived from the 1935 Darrow/Parker Brothers edition and are now omitted in the U.S. edition, or are entirely new:

  • Receive interest on 7% preference shares: £25
  • Pay a £10 fine or take a "Chance"
  • Go back to Old Kent Road
  • Pay your insurance premium £50
  • It is your birthday Collect £10 from each player

Mistakes

One of the Community Chest cards (later moved to Chance), referring to the train stations says "Advance token to the nearest Railroad and pay owner twice the rental to which he is otherwise entitled. If Railroad is unowned, you may buy if from the Bank."

As shown in the above quote, a typo appears in the fourth last word, saying if instead of it. This mistake has been rectified in later versions.

Also when a card is picked up, it must go back into the deck unless a "Get out of Jail Free" card.

Other editions

Chance and Community Chest cards are customized for other local and special editions. Placenames get changed on customized boards, and the cards are further customized for local currency, though the actual amounts often stay the same. Text on the cards for the special edition boards is changed to reflect the theme of the board.

Second prize in a beauty contest

"Second prize in a beauty contest" is an expression found on a Community Chest card, which reads in full: "You have won second prize in a beauty contest, collect $10."[2][3] The expression has become something of a joke among Monopoly players and is sometimes used for humorous effect in other contexts, for instance being applied to the opposition response speech to the United States' president's annual State of the Union address.[4]

References

  • Passing Go: Early Monopoly, 1933-1937 by "Clarence B. Darwin" (pseudonym for David Sadowski), Folkopoly Press, River Forest, Illinois. Pages 19, 198-206.
  • UK Standard Edition (London) board, copyright 1961, Waddingtons.