Payout Table (Label)

The payout table is always a good place to discover information about the history of a punchboard, and make some assumptions regarding the board's worth as a collectible.

Since this board's payout table is on a label, rather than integrated with the overall board design, we can safely assume that it was affixed sometime after the punchboard's original manufacturing date. Punchboards with an integrated design usually command a higher price than boards with labels, but that does not mean that label punchboards are worthless.

When estimating a label board's value, try to determine whether the label was originally intended for use with the particular punchboard you are considering. Some distributors and operators (and antique dealers) were in the habit of slapping any old label or pinup graphic on a punchboard, which can detract from the board's value if the label and board don't appear to match.

On our Odd Pennies board, the label appears to be the proper size, and is fairly consistent with the overall design.

The payout label has special areas at the bottom that designate how many packages of cigarettes would be received by the last punch in each red or white section. Offerring a player a small prize or free punches if he was the one who "punched out" a section was a common tactic by punchboard designers. They were aimed at enticing a player to buy more punches than he normally would, and helped the board to sell out faster. The fact that our payout label mentions red and white sections and has divider lines that correctly separate the punchboard's red and white columns could lead us to believe that the label was intended for use on this particular board. Our punchboard would be somewhat more valuable if that proves to be the case.

There are, however, some inconsistencies in the payout table that warrant noticing. Our Odd Pennies punchboard is a 900 hole punchboard, which is easily established by counting the holes in each section, and multiplying by the number of sections. The board also has the number "900" printed on one of it's rear labels. This would mean that the numbers printed on the tickets in each hole would typically be three didgit numbers between 001 and 900.

If you'll notice on the payout table, the large prizes are awarded to numbers 100 and 300, with lesser prizes being awarded to numbers 600, 700, 900, 1000, 1100, 1800, 2000, 2400, 3000, 3200, 3600 etc. Since the board's has only 900 holes, it is easy to see that most of the board's prizes would go un-awarded, if this were, in fact, a typical 900 ticket board.

Although this board has only 900 tickets, it does have more than 900 numbers... even though there is no way to discern this from the payout label. This particualr style of board has multiple numbers on each ticket. If we were to punch out a hole in each colored section, we would find that there are 7 numbers on each ticket from the red sections (which were two cents apiece), and 15 tickets from each white section ticket (which were three cents each.) That gives us a total of 8700 numbers, more than enough to cover all our winning conbinations.

All things considered, the payout table is consistent with the rest of the board. While it is almost certainly not original, it does appear to be designed specifically for this type of punchboard. The board would be more valuable if it were an integrated design, but it still has its charm and would make an interesting display piece.

Special thanks go to Ed Swanson for clearing up a few misconceptions related to this part of the anatomy section.

1. Punchboard Header
2. Payout Table
3. Section Header
4. Holes
5. "Union Made" Emblem