Free Parking is a unique card game that fits the mold of a Mille Bornes where players have to be able to move without getting in trouble. You can either get Free Parking as part of a 2-game bundle along with Waterworks or you can get Free Parking by itself. Published by Parker Brothers, this card game spin-off of the enormously popular Monopoly board game is designed for 2 to 4 players with the age range being from ages 8 to adult.
The main objective to winning in Free Parking is to be the first player to accumulate 200 points.
Free Parking contains 90 playing cards which include 38 Feed The Meter cards, 36 Point Cards and 16 Special Parking Cards, 32 Second Chance Cards, 4 Parking Meters and plastic bases, and a card tray.
Insert Parking Meters into the plastic bases and set all meters to 0 so that they read “Violation”. Shuffle the Second Chance Cards and place them face down on the table (and near the tray if the players prefer it). Shuffle all the playing cards together and deal to each player 5 cards face down. Place all remaining cards face down in the draw section of the tray. The player to the left of the dealer always goes first.
Feed The Meter Cards
20, 30, 40 and 60 minute cards will allow players to put the corresponding amount of time on their Parking Meters to avoid violations.
The cards that players need to look out for if they want to score points because with these cards players are allowed to “spend” the time they have on their meters to run their important errands.
Special Parking Cards
There are special cards that will either protect yourself or to hinder an opponent’s progress, and these special cards are divided into these 4 different categories.
There are 4 of his own special cards where you can play against any player whose meter is right on 0 and in violation. That chosen player will then have to choose one of his or her already-played Point Cards from the table and discard it, putting it in the discard tray. This card can be played at any time, and even when it is not your turn. Once you play it you discard it. Even if it’s played out of turn you still take your normally scheduled turn. If you play it on your turn, then that is your turn.
Free Parking Cards
These are played face up on your turn. These cards will stay on the table until your next turn. During that round if another player tries to play Officer Jones on you or if you draw a Second Chance Card that features Officer Jones you will be protected. Even if your meter reads 0 you will not experience any problems as you will get to freely play Point Cards with the Free Parking Card. You use a Free Parking Card and then discard it.
You can play this card on any opponent on your turn, and that chosen player must put his or her meter back to 0 immediately. Once you use this card you will discard it, but you may draw a Second Chance Card afterward.
Talk Your Way Out of It
If you are ever in trouble with your meter and you are about to be in violation of parking, reaching 0 minutes, you can always Talk Your Way Out of It. Playing this kind of card also helps you in getting out of trouble with Officer Jones either by an opponent’s play or by your drawing of a Second Chance Card. Play this card to get away from the pitfalls.
Second Chance Cards
Drawing Second Chance Cards are only optional but they can give you a great amount of help. Drawing a Second Chance Card can also be risky since it can just as easily harm your chances of scoring points as well. Whatever card you draw from this pile you must perform its action. The actions that you can perform from drawing a Second Chance Card include taking a Point Card from your opponent, giving an opponent one of your Point Cards of your opponent’s choosing, and opponent losing a card, or even trading places with an opponent. Trading places with an opponent can either mean trading cards with each other and switching seats at the table.
Progression of Play
In Free Parking your turn will involve you either drawing a card from the tray and playing a card. You can also draw Second Chance Card afterward if you want to. Alternatively you can exchange 3 cards in your hand for new cards from the draw pile and draw a Second Chance Card if you want to.
Free Parking is ultimately a card game where players have to stay on their toes and be aware of what they are playing and discarding. Any pitfalls that players fall into could be the difference between reaching 200 points to win or falling short and losing. If you are falling behind in the race to 200 and you need a lift, then drawing Second Chance Cards would be a great way of getting back in the game. Constantly refilling your Parking Meter, no matter how many minutes it has remaining, appears to be a good strategy when it comes to keeping a steady scoring pace. If you are a fan of Monopoly-related materials then you will love Free Parking.