The 1975 Parker Brothers game "Payday" tasks players with out-earning the opposition through shrewd money management and more than a little bit of luck. Players roll a die to move their game piece around the board, trying to buy items of increasing value while avoiding getting the dreaded bills in the mail. The player who earns the most money after a predetermined number of months wins the game.
Determine how many "months" the game will last. Each trip around the board (or calendar in game terms) is one month in game time. A game of two to four months is the most common time frame.
Shuffle "Deal" and "Mail" cards separately and place them face down into separate stacks near the board.
Choose a banker and have him pass out $3,500 to each player--five $100 bills, two $500 bills and two $1,000 bills. Choose another player to be the loan record officer. Select a player to roll first, with play continuing clockwise around the board.
Roll the die and move the appropriate number of spaces on the calendar. Read the instructions on the space you landed on and follow them. If you roll a six you get any money currently in the jackpot.
Draw the number of "Mail" cards listed on the mailbox flag if you land on a mail space. Some cards, such as moneygrams, require you to act immediately. Place the required amount of money in the jackpot. You should place the rest of the mail cards face up in a stack near you. Some mail cards do not affect play, but if you get a bill in the mail you will have to pay up on pay day.
Draw only the top "Deal" card if you land on a "Deal" space. Pay the bank if you want to buy the item listed on the card. Discard the card if you do not wish to buy the object. If you later land on a "Found a Buyer" space you can sell the card back to the bank for a profit.
Take out a loan at any time. You may need a loan from time to time to pay off bills or to purchase items on the deal cards. The loan record officer should record all loans made by players.
Stop on the payday space even if the number you rolled would take you past this spot. Collect a $3,500 salary from the bank and pay back all or part of loans with 10 percent interest in $1,000 increments. Pay off your bills and discard them. Move your token back to the start space.
Determine the winner after each player completes the required number of months to end the game. Add up each player's cash total and subtract the amount owed on outstanding loans. Any unsold deal cards still in play have no value at the end of the game. The player with the highest net worth wins.
A veteran of the newspaper industry, Johnny Kampis has worked as a freelance writer since 2005. His articles have appeared in various publications including "The New York Times," "Atlanta-Journal Constitution" and the "San Francisco Chronicle." He currently serves as an editor of poker-based "Rounder" magazine and writer for the Alabama football publication "Crimson" magazine.