Pay Day (Board Game)

Where does all the money go?” – Pay Day

  • Pay Day is a two to six player board game, depending on the version, that involves earning (or losing) money by moving across a board mimicking a monthly calendar.
  • The typical aim of Pay Day is to have the most money and savings in possession by the end of the game, by earning interest and receiving monthly pay, and avoiding mailed bills.
  • Although luck-based in movement, Pay Day requires particular strategic use of money and other finances to be successful.
  • ‘Pay Day’ is also known as ‘PAY DAY’ and ‘Payday’; and has been produced in a number of different languages including Italian, French and Dutch.
  • Pay Day was designed by the American game designer Paul Gruen, and released in 1975, and it was the designer’s biggest hit.

Pay Day, Board Game, Old, Version, Original, Cards, Money, Parker Brothers

  • Pay Day was first produced by Parker Brothers, which later became Hasbro’s property, and is now produced by Winning Moves.
  • There are  number of editions of Pay Day which include the original 1970s one; the 1990s edition; the 2000s ‘Big’ version, which has a customisable game board with interchangeable day tiles; and a 2011 modernised version of the original known as the ‘Classic Edition’.
  • Each edition of Pay Day has had various changes, including board design and layout, different mail and deal card options, and a change of activities on the calendar.
  • The original version of Pay Day featured a savings account, however this feature was removed in the 1990s game.
  • Pay Day was very favoured when it was first released; competing against the sales of Monopoly, although it has not remained as popular.
Pay Day (Board Game), 2015, Wikipedia,
Review of the Pay Day Board Game, 2014, HubPages,


Mahjong requires a great deal of understanding to play due to its complexity.

  • Mahjong is a popular Chinese game that involves the use of tiles in a game of strategy, memory and skill.
  • ‘Mahjong’ is also known as ‘majiang’, ‘mah jong’, ‘ma jong’ and ma cheuk’.
  • A total of up to 144 tiles are typically used in a game of mahjong, featuring depictions of bamboo, circles and characters from numbers one to nine; as well as special symbols from seasons, winds, dragons and flowers.
  • The Chinese word ‘máquè’, was one of the earliest names for the game of mahjong, which literally means ‘sparrow’, however it’s significance is uncertain and other possible names and theories exist.
  • The origins of mahjong are quite disputed and it is possible that the Chinese teacher Confucius designed the game around 500 BC; or the Chinese military invented it in the later 1800s; or it simply grew or was created out of other similar styled games.

Mahjong, Trivia, Invention, Game, Ten Random Facts, Tiles, China, Chinese, Asia,

  • Mahjong has previously had a gambling component that resulted in the Chinese government banning the game in China from 1949 to 1985, and the game was later reinstated without that element.
  • Mahjong became known to the English-speaking world around 1895, and began being imported in  North America in the 1920’s, while the rules of the game were printed in English by various people causing the game to have many variations in the rules.
  • The general aim of the game is to score points primarily by ‘wooing’ or forming ‘mahjong’, which is done by achieving a specific set of combinations of tiles by picking them up, while others are discarded.
  • The first mahjong World Championships were held in Japan’s Mahjong Museum in 2002, and the competition was won by Mai Hatsune from Japan.
  • Generally a game of mahjong is played by four people over a series of rounds, although variants with two, three or even five players, are also played.
A Brief History, 2011, Mah Jong Museum,
The History of Mah Jong, 2011, Mah Jong Sets,
Mahjong, 2015, Wikipedia,



Backgammon is a classic lucky game of skill, or a skilled game of luck.

  • Backgammon is game that involves moving playing pieces around a board according to dice rolls, and is played by two people.
  • The typical aim of backgammon is to move one’s own fifteen pieces, or counters, from a starting point to an end point and then off the board, before one’s opponent does the same with their own set of pieces.
  • The board of backgammon has two sections with six evenly spread elongated triangles, or points, on each side of each section, alternating in light and dark colours, to make a total of 24.
  • Counters are moved around the board in a U-shape, in turns across points using the roll of two dice, and generally a counter is chosen and moved the number shown on one dice, and another counter chosen and moved the number shown on the other, although counters cannot land on a point where two or more counters of the opposition are situated.
  • In 1982, in the United States, a court case about backgammon commenced, the prosecutor stating the game was primarily gambling and should not become competitive, although eventually it was ruled as a game that uses skill.

Backgammon, Board Game, Brown, Set, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Strategy

  • In 1967, backgammon world championships were held for the first time and won by Tim Holland, and were played in Nevada’s Las Vegas, in the United States.
  • The origins of backgammon are uncertain, however a game extremely similar to the modern version was played from the first century AD by Romans and Greeks, and was known as ‘Tabula’, literally translated as ‘table’.
  • The first online real-time server to accommodate backgammon was opened in July 1992, known as the First Internet Backgammon Server, or FIBS.
  • During game play of backgammon, if a counter is sitting alone on the board, an opponent may land on the same space, and as a result send the counter back to the ‘bar’, off the board, so that it is required to re-enter the game.
  • The term ‘backgammon’, or more literally ‘back game’, is said to originate from the Middle English words ‘back’ and ‘gamen’, in reference to the counters that go back to the ‘bar’.
Backgammon, 2015, Wikipedia,
Driver M, A History of Backgammon, n.d, Backgammon Galore!,


Snakes and Ladders

A bit of luck will give you fame in Snakes and Ladders!

  • Snakes and Ladders is a luck based board game with the aim to advance from the lowest square to the highest square by climbing ladders and avoiding snakes.
  • The board of Snakes and Ladders is a grid of squares, often 10 by 10, and the head and tail of snakes and the top and bottom of ladders that are typically pictured on the board, touch two separate squares per object.
  • The number of squares, ladders, and snakes, as well as their positions on the game board, each vary across different Snakes and Ladders boards, however the game is usually played with a dice or spinner, and a playing piece per person.
  • Landing on a snake head in Snakes and Ladders will usually cause the player to move to the respective snake tail, while landing at the base of a ladder will allow the player to move their piece to the top of the ladder.
  • There are numerous versions of the Snakes and Ladders game, featuring other objects to fall or slide down, or climb up, and the game is also known as ‘Chutes and Ladders’, particularly in America, where snakes were replaced with slides.

Snakes and Ladder, Board Games, Ten Random Facts, Trivia, Checkered, Counters, Assortment

  • Snakes and Ladders is derived from an Ancient Indian Hindu game that was possibly played as early as the 100s BC, where the game was used to illustrate the good and bad deeds of life, and was called ‘Moksha Patamu’ or similar.
  • The game of Snakes and Ladders generally features an equal or greater number of ladders than snakes, compared to the Indian game which had more snakes than ladders, and the ladders are or were, generally associated with a positive action and consequence, while the snakes were usually associated with negative actions and consequences.
  • In the late 1800s, the Indian version of the Snakes and Ladders game was introduced to England, and it has been modified over the years to exclude moral or religious perspectives, though some versions have an educational purpose.
  • Milton Bradley recreated the Snakes and Ladders game in 1943, which was popular in Europe at the time, to suit an American audience, renaming it ‘Chutes and Ladders’, with the theme of playground equipment.
  • The player that moves first in the 100-square Milton Bradley version of Snakes and Ladders has a 50.9% chance of winning the game if two players are playing, while a game is completed, on average, after 48 turns.
Snakes and Ladders, 2015, Wikipedia,
Who invented the board game Snakes and Ladders?, 2008, The Times of India,



Chess – a game of complex strategy. What will be your next move?

  • Chess is a strategic game played on an 8 by 8 square checkered board, by moving specific pieces to attack and capture.
  • There are 32 pieces, 16 per player, and six different types of pieces in a game of chess; one king, one queen, two bishops, two rooks, two knights and eight pawns.
  • Chess is a game played by two people that take turns, and only a single piece may move per turn in most circumstances, while legal movements vary across pieces.
  • The aim of chess is to put the opponent’s king in a position where capture is unavoidable during the next turn, a position known as ‘checkmate’.
  • Pieces in chess are usually colour-coded white and black, and white always moves first in a game and is generally considered to have an advantage.

Chess, Board, Game, White, Black, Pieces, Gameplay, Game, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Invention, Setup, Strategy

  • A form of chess was played in Persia around the 600s AD, where it was called ‘chatrang’ or ‘shatranj’, and it is said to be based on a game known as ‘chaturaṅga’ originating from 280 to 550 AD in East India, which featured predecessors of the modern rook, pawn, bishop and knight.
  • Chess reached Europe by the 800s, and alterations to the game were made from the 1200s and continued through to the late 1400s, with notable updates to the rules regarding the pawns, bishops and queens.
  • Englishman Howard Staunton coordinated a chess competition in 1851 in the United Kingdom’s London, and this first contemporary contest was won by German Adolf Anderssen, while the first World Championship occurred in 1886, won by Wilhelm Steinitz from Austria.
  • In its history, chess was used as a way to teach soldiers and knights tactical manoeuvres and strategies for battle, although it is now a game played by children and adults, mostly for entertainment purposes.
  • Through the use of complex computer algorithms, computers have been designed to be able to play chess almost since the birth of the first digital computers in the mid 1900s, while the first computer to beat a World Chess Champion was Deep Blue in 1997, and since then computers have become increasingly difficult for humans to beat.


An Illustrated History of Chess, n.d, Ancient Chess,
Chess, 2015, Wikipedia,


The Game of Life

You cannot get such a more realistic game than The Game of Life.

  • The Game of Life is a board game that somewhat replicates the average life of a person, from college through to retirement, by advancing along spaces on the board.
  • ‘The Game of Life’ is also known as ‘LIFE’, and it generally uses cars as game pieces, with small pink or blue pegs to represent people.
  • The Game of Life is based on the original and highly successful version of the game called ‘The Checkered Game of Life’, which was designed by Milton Bradley, an American lithographer, in 1860, after his print run of presidential candidate portraits of Abraham Lincoln failed to sell, due to Lincoln growing a beard after they had been printed.
  • Milton Bradley’s 1860 version of The Game of Life involved the player advancing across a checkered board to gain points, and it was designed with his own morals in mind, which resulted in negative consequences for spaces depicting suicide, gambling, jail, ruin, poverty and the like.
  • The Checkered Game of Life was overhauled and revamped on its 100th anniversary in 1960, and resulted in the modern style version, The Game of Life, designed by Americans Bill Markham and Reuben Klamer for the Milton Bradley Company.

Game of Life, Game, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Board Game, Spinner, Old, 3D

  • The three-dimensional modern style game board of The Game of Life, first produced in the 1960s, was the first of its kind, and it featured moulded plastic buildings, mountains and bridges.
  • The aim of The Game of Life is to collect the most money by the end of ‘life’, which is generally collected by luckily landing on specific spaces and/or by various choices made throughout the game.
  • The numbered spinner famous in The Game of Life has its origins in the numbered spinning top or teetotum, used to move across the game board in the 1860s version, as dice were considered inappropriate by Milton Bradley, due to their association with gambling, which went against his morals.
  • There have been various updates on The Game of Life over the years, and numerous versions of the game, and while each have their differences, life events that are, or have been depicted in The Game of Life, including marriage, college, having children, suing, insurance and the like.
  • As of 2010, more than 50 million copies of The Game of Life had been sold since 1960, and it had been created in at least 20 different languages.
Edwards P, Why the Game of Life used to have poverty, suicide, and ruin, 2015, Vox,
The Game of Life, 2015, The Strong,
The Game of Life, 2015, Wikipedia,


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