Stock Ticker is a now out-of-print board
game that was popular upon its release and is still often played
today. There have been several versions of Stock Ticker since its
original 1937 release (below top), but finding the exact release date
is difficult since neither the game box or game contents mention a
copyright date. Each release comes with new box art and redesigned
game pieces, and sometimes the game publisher changes, but the
gameplay is always the same. There have been editions released by
Copp-Clark Publishing, a venerable Canadian publisher, in the 1950s,
1970s, and 1980s, while the 1990s version was published by Canada
Games. There was also a slightly more enhanced version released by
Copp Clark, called Stock Ticker Deluxe, in the 1980s.
The game has six stocks, which in fact are
commodities. These six are gold, silver, bonds, oil, industrials, and
grain. During gameplay all the stocks are identical. Each stock
begins costing a dollar apiece. Players are given starting money of
$5000 and they buy shares in groups of 500, 1000, 2000, or 5000. The
stocks move based on the throw of three dice. The first die picks the
stock that will be affected, with one of the commodities on each side
of the die. The second die determines what whether the stock will
move up, down, or pay a dividend. The third die decides if the
movement or dividend will be five, ten, or twenty cents. For
instance, a roll of Industrials, Down, 20 will move the industrials
stock from its start value of $1.00 to 80 cents. A roll of Grain, Up,
5 would move grain up to $1.05.
Dividends are paid out only for any stocks
that are at or above $1.00 in value. For instance, a five-cent
dividend pays five cents for each share owned. Thus, if a roll is
Oil, Dividend, 10, and you own a thousand shares of Oil at $1.25
apiece you will receive a dividend of $100. Note that the dividend is
not affected by the value of the share, with only the rule being that
stocks worth less than $1.00 do not pay out when a dividend is rolled
If a stock ever reaches $2.00 it splits.
Everyone who owns the stock doubles the number of shares owned and
the stock goes back to being worth $1.00. If a stock falls to being
worth nothing all players lose their investment in that stock and
must return their shares to the bank. The stock is then reset at $1.00.
There are two basic strategies to making
money at the game. The first is to buy whichever stocks are safely in
dividend-paying territory. Using this method, if a stock splits and
returns to the $1.00 value, the owner should sell out and reinvest in
a stock that is safely above par. Similarly, if a stock drops below a
dollar, the owner should sell the shares. This technique relies upon
the rule that any money invested in a stock paying dividends will
earn a greater return than shares that are not paying dividends.
The second strategy is more risky, but can
also be immensely profitable. It involves buying stocks when they are
near the bottom of the board and at risk of being worth nothing.
Since the dice-rolling system moves stocks by a fixed amount, rather
than a percentage of their value, these stocks are very volatile. One
thousand dollars will buy ten thousand shares of a ten-cent stock.
While this stock could move down by ten or twenty and be wiped out,
the most one would lose is a thousand dollars. However, there is an
equal chance that the stock will move up, and a single roll of Up 20
will triple the original investment. The possible return on investing
in a five-cent stock, the cheapest possible, is even higher.
The Stock Ticker game has
six stocks, which in fact are commodities. These six are gold,
silver, bonds, oil, industrials, and grain.