Pay Day is a board game originally made by Parker Brothers (now a subsidiary of Hasbro) in 1975. It was invented by Paul J. Gruen of West Newbury, Massachusetts, USA, one of the era's top board game designers. It was Gruen's most successful game, outselling Monopoly in its first production year.
This article is based on the 1975-era rules. For rules on the revised 1994-present Pay Day, try the following link.
The object of the game is to have the most money at the end of the game. The length of the game is predetermined by the players. The game board is in the form of a calendar month, with each day (space) having a different event resulting when a player lands on that space. A typical game is three or six months (although any number can be played).
The game is played with game board, one die, six playing pieces, play money (denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500), 16 "Deal" cards, 79 "Mail" cards, and a "Savings and Loan Calculator" (or a "Savings and Loan" pad).
Each player starts with $325 (or one $100 bill, two $50's, three $20's, four $10's, and five $5's). One player is selected to go first. Players roll the die and advances their playing piece from 1 to 6 spaces as indicated on the die. The player follows the instructions shown on the calendar space on the game board. There are 31 days in a Pay Day month.
Deal and Mail cardsEdit
If a player lands on either a "Deal" or "Mail" space, they will then select the appropriate card from the top of the specified deck.
The player has the option of purchasing the "Deal" for the cost indicated immediately or returning the card to the bottom of the deck. (One may take out a loan to pay for the deal.) The "Deal" is held until that player lands on a "Buyer" space at any time during the duration of the game. A "Deal" card has no value if it remains unsold at the end of the game. Whenever a "Deal" is purchased, all players have an opportunity to win the "Commission" indicated on the "Deal" card. Each player in turn rolls the die, with the highest roller collecting the "Commission" from the bank.
Special Mail cardsEdit
- Lottery Ticket
- If a player gets a lottery ticket in the mail, that player can cash in the value of the ticket only if that player lands on the Lottery Draw space during the month they receive it in the mail. After the end of the month, if it is not redeemed, it becomes void and must be returned to the bottom of the Mail pile.
- If a player's loan, plus loan interest due, plus bills are greater than their total amount of cash, they are in debt. That player may bet up to $100, then if that player rolls a 5 or a 6, they collect 10 times the amount bet; otherwise, the amount bet goes into the pot.
Each player in turn, starting with the player who landed there, moves their token back one space and follows the instructions as in a regular turn. If a player's game piece is on the "Start" space when another player lands on "Daylight Savings", they simply collect another $325 and leave the game piece on "Start." The "Daylight Savings" process takes place only once on any turn and should not be repeated if a player lands there as a result of another player having landed there first.
All players must contribute to the town election. If a player does not have the cash, they must withdraw from their savings, or take out or increase a loan. The next player to roll a 6 during the course of the game wins the Pot (including any "Swellfare" money that may already be in there).
Each player has the option of placing $100 on the board. All poker game participants roll the die. The highest roller collects all of the money.
Savings and loansEdit
- Players may start or add to their savings only on Pay Day. Players may withdraw all or part of their savings only on Pay Day (if the player wishes to withdraw at another time, they must pay a $50 fee). A player receives 10% interest on the balance in his/her savings account every time he lands on Pay Day. For easy calculation of interest on savings or loans refer to the Interest Table. A player may have either a savings account or a loan, but never both at the same time.
- A loan may be taken out or increased at any time in $100 increments. A player must pay 20% interest on his/her outstanding loan balance every time he lands on Pay Day. In addition to paying the interest, a player may pay off part or all of their loan on Pay Day. Loans may not be paid off at any other time during the month.
As the name indicates, Sweet Sunday spaces have neither an award nor a penalty, just a space to "rest".
Stop here, regardless of additional counts on the die. When you reach "Pay Day," go through the following steps in this order:
- Collect monthly wages of $325.00.
- Collect 10% interest on any savings account, or pay 20% interest due on any outstanding loan.
- Pay all bills received during the month and place them in the discarded mail stack. If a player does not have enough cash, they must withdraw money from their savings account. If one does not have a savings account, then that player must take out or increase a loan. The banker must show these changes in that player's section of the savings and loan calculator.
- OPTION: One may pay off all or any part of your loan in $100 amounts. A player may remove money from their savings without paying a fine.
- Discard any unused Lottery Tickets. At the end of the last month of play you must also discard all "Deal" cards.
- Have the banker note what month that player is starting. Place their game piece on the "Start" space unless they have finished their last month of play. If continuing, they will start off again on their next turn.
The player who finishes the game with the most money (cash plus savings minus loans) is the winner.