The Best Classic Board Games – Payday

One of my favorite board games growing up was Payday.  Not the later versions (dreck!), but the original Parker Brothers 1974 release, with the green box and little dollar signs for playing pieces, invented by Paul J. Gruen (who also invented other classic games like Bonkers!, as well as games based on TV properties, such as Battlestar Galactica, and The Six Million Dollar Man: Bionic Crisis.

Payday from Parker Brothers, 1974

Payday from Parker Brothers, 1974

The game is pretty straightforward.  The game board is in the shape of a calendar month. You roll the die and move your token throughout the month.  And just like reality, you’ve got to roll with the punches.  You get Mail – sometimes bills, sometimes junk, and – rarely! – a little bit of cash.  Every so often you get access to a Deal, some which might make you a little extra spending money, some that might make you wealthy – but the deal might go sour, too.  And all the while, you’ve got to manage your money.

Payday 1974 Parker Brothers Game Pieces

Payday 1974 Parker Brothers Game Pieces

It’s a perfect game to play with teens and tweens to help them visualize a typical month of paying bills, collecting a paycheque, and trying to get ahead just a little bit more than the month before.  And it’s all done with a healthy dose of clean, family-friendly humor.  You can play it with as little as two people, and up to six, ages 8 and up.

Payday is a classic board game, and certainly one of the best.  Highly recommended!


15 Responses

  1. I am looking for ther original PayDay from 1974. I am in Keswick Ontario is there anybody around who would sell it to me. Please email me at Thanks

  2. I remember Payday! I used to cheat by temporarily signing my money over to another player so I was “broke” and then playing “Welfare” to rake in the bucks. People wouldn’t play with me after that….lol.

    These days I’m into board games with the family-Spontuneous comes to mind. It lets you sing!

    • I’ve left your ad for your game in the comments section simply because you did it so well. Skill in sending subtle messages about a product should be lauded. Well done!

  3. Do you know the illustrator who did the 70’s design? I’ve wondered for years.

  4. The original 1974 version is far superior:
    1. Player tokens are the $, not just plain standard tokens.
    2. Mail cards are full postcard size.
    3. Deal cards are full size, not business card sized.
    4. Game art is better.
    5. Savings&Loan calculators use pegs, not a pad&pencil.
    6. Quality of materials is higher.

    Just say no to cheaply made re-releases!

  5. Awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out the better versions of a few games to get, if all the updating was really helping or wasting the game instead.

    I loved this game as a kid, but I didn’t have this green version, I had the one that was kinda strange and grotesque looking. The people looked a bit manic and the art was really ’70’s. The front of the box had a guy walking away with a lot of money as people chased him… It may have been the next rebox after the original version. MY QUESTION FINALLY: Do you know if this version is similarly played to the original greenbox one?

    • Is it this one:

      or this one:

      • The second one. White box, big PAYDAY in green in the middle, separating a hoard of really 70’s looking people and a weird looking man in a blue suit walking away, counting his money. (Lady in purple moomoo with large pink poka dots is in the hoard of people).

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  7. […] more indepth discussion of the game’s play can be found in a previous blog entry, titled, The Best Classic Board Games – Payday What’s In That Game Box? deals specifically with the game’s contents, which […]

  8. I LOVED this game in the ’70s. Faster than Monopoly and way more fun than Clue or Life. Wish I could find a vintage set – my folks disposed of our original in the fledglings leaving the nest cull.

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