Paul Hanover (1973–1975)
Art James (1981–1982)
Mary Lou Basaraba
Broadcast (CTV)
9/14/1981 – 4/23/1982
Nicholson-Muir Productions
Champlain Productions

Two contestants (male vs. female) competed in a classic game of poker.

Pay Cards! (1973-1975)Edit

Three players, faced a board of 20 hidden cards and attempted to build a high poker hand.

Five Card DrawEdit

In rounds one and three, the first player would call out three cards to reveal. If a pair or three of a kind came up, the player must keep those cards. If not, the player may either keep the cards or turn them back. If the cards were kept, that player called out a fourth card. If the cards were refused, control passed to the next player in turn, who would then turn over three cards. If a player kept a card, that player may then turn over another card and either keep it or refuse it.

After two players have each completed a five-card hand, the remaining player must complete his/her hand by keeping whichever cards s/he revealed.

At the end of each round, the players were paid as follows:

Payout Hand
$10 Each Pair
$30 Three of a Kind
$50 Full House
$100 Four of a Kind
$150 Five of a Kind

The player with the best hand at the end of each round received a $50 bonus. After the first round, Art asked one player to locate a specific card among the remaining five for $20.

Wild Card RoundEdit

This second round was played similarly to round one, but with a few "wild cards" hidden on the board each with a photo of the celebrity guest. These cards allowed for a player to make Five of a Kind and thereby earn $150.

If time ran short, each player must complete their hand immediately.

The player with the most money at the end of the game played the jackpot round.

Jackpot GameEdit

The player would attempt to memorize twelve cards and their positions for twelve seconds. The celebrity guest would then spin a wheel which determined which card the player must locate on the board. If the player could recall where that particular card was located on the board, he or she would win a bonus prize.

Super Pay Cards! (1981-1982)Edit

Two contestants (male vs. female) competed, and faced a board of 16 playing cards instead of 20. At the end of the third round, the player with the most money won the game and advanced to the bonus round for a chance to win $5,000. The losing player received a copy of the show's home game in addition to whatever money they had earned.

Five Card DrawEdit

Four cards were revealed to the players at the start of the round before being concealed. The player in control selected three cards and attempted to build the best possible five-card hand with them. If a pair or three of a kind was revealed, the player automatically kept the three cards and tried to build the hand. As before, the player selected a fourth card and could keep it or refuse the card and pass control to their opponent. The process repeated with the fifth card. This continued until one of the players completed their five card hand, forcing their opponent to select cards to complete their hand without having the opportunity to refuse any of the cards.

As in the original version, players received money based upon the rank of their hand.

Payout Hand
$20 Each Pair
$50 Three of a Kind
$100 Full House
$200 Four of a Kind
$300 Five of a Kind

Also as in the original version, a $50 bonus was awarded to the better hand in the round.

Round TwoEdit

Round two was played in four ways.

  • Four-of-a-Kind – Four sets of four-of-a-Kind were on the board, making it possible for both players to receive $200 in this round.
  • Seven Card Stud – Mary Lou presented each player a choice of two sets of two cards to see for themselves and placed the cards in front of their podiums. The players used their own two cards and built their hand in the same method as the first round. The two extra cards were not revealed to their opponents until both players kept all five cards.
  • Two Three Four Five – One set of cards had a fifth duplicate in addition to two sets of pairs, a three-of-a-kind set and a four-of-a-kind set.
  • Strategy – Three cards were revealed at the start of the hand and remained exposed for the entire round. The players took turns calling off two additional cards and selected two cards from the five showing to add to their hand. Each player on their turn called off one card and selected one from the four displayed to complete their hand.

Wild Card HandEdit

The Wild Card Hand was played similar to round one but with jokers shuffled into the cards to make a hand of five-of-a-kind possible.

Bonus RoundEdit

In the first phase of the bonus round, the champion was given four seconds to memorize the location of the four cards. After four seconds, the cards were concealed and the champion selected a card from a deck Basaraba was holding. If the champion correctly recalled the location of the hidden card they won $50.

The second phase involved memorizing eight cards for eight seconds. Correctly locating the selected card increased the champion's winnings in the bonus round to $500. If the champion reached the final phase, twelve cards were presented for twelve seconds and the champion won $5,000 for selecting the correct card.

If the champion made an incorrect guess in either the first or second phase, they forfeited the chance at $5,000 but could win the lesser amount from that phase with a second guess. The cards reshuffled and displayed again for either four or eight seconds depending on the level. The champion kept the $500 from the second phase if they made a mistake on the final phase.

Audience GameEdit

Basaraba asked a member of the studio audience to study eight cards for eight seconds, then pick one of those eight cards from her hand, The audience member won a prize (e.g., a small appliance) if they could recall where that card was located on the board.


The Super Pay Cards! version was taped in Montreal and also aired in the US.

This version featured a musical theme that was a remix of the theme to the earlier American game show Spin-Off (not to be confused with the 2013 Mark Burnett Canadian game show of the same name).

The original Pay Cards! board game by Whitman was released in America only in 1969.

A board game of this version (Super Pay Cards!) was published in 1981 and was plugged on-air (given to the losing contestants); however, there was no evidence it was ever mass-released.


Based on the American game show of the same name