Two players compete. A total of three hands were played. In the first hand, 16 cards were put up on the board. Four of them were revealed momentarily to the players. Then, one player picked three cards. If a pair was made, that player kept those cards and continued to search for more. That player kept control until s/he refused a card, at which point the other player started picking. When one player's hand was complete, the other player had to fill up his/her hand with whatever cards s/he picked at that point.
The second round took on a few different varieties. Sometimes, a duplicate card was hidden among the board, making five of a kind possible. In other cases, four sets of four of a kind were hidden on the board (in this case, cards were not revealed to start the round). In the third round, at least one Joker was placed on the board, which acted as a wild card.
After a hand was finished, players earned money based on their cards. Pairs earned $20 each, Three of a Kind was worth $50, a Full House (a pair + three of a kind) won $100, Four of a kind was worth $200, and $300 could be won if the player had five of a kind. Also, the person with the best hand at the end of each round won $50. After three hands, the player with the most money won and advanced to the bonus round.
End Game Rules
The bonus round was played in three stages. In the first stage, the player was shown 4 playing cards for 4 seconds. Then, s/he drew a card from those that hostess Basaraba was holding, and won $50 if s/he could remember which number that card was behind. At that point, the second stage was played, with 8 cards being revealed for 8 seconds. Succeeding in this part won $500, and a chance at $5000 by memorizing 12 cards for 12 seconds.
Super Pay Cards! was taped in Montreal, Canada.
After the second round, an audience game was played, with someone being shown 8 cards for 8 seconds and trying to guess which number a particular card was behind. Winners received such glamorous prizes as flash cameras and crockpots.
Mary Lou Basaraba, the hostess of the show, is known among the fandom as one of the most eerie personalities of the genre.