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Card Sharks (1978)

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Card Sharks
Premiere April 24, 1978
Finale October 23, 1981
Creator Chester Feldman
Host Jim Perry
Network/Provider NBC
Style 30-minute game show
Company Goodson-Todman Productions
(Suzanne Productions, The MG Company)
Episodes 864
Origin USA

Card Sharks (1978) was a game show that ran on NBC daytime.

Two contestants--one representing red, the other blue--each have a deck of playing cards, and on a rack display, five face-down cards are dealt for each player. A question is posed to the first player as to how many people in a national survey responded to it. The player makes a guess, then the opponent tells if that figure is higher or lower. The correct answer is given; whoever is right controls his/her cards.

The first card in the player's rack is turned up. The player may choose to change the up card. He/she must tell if the next face-down card is higher or lower. He/she may freeze at any time. If he/she is wrong, the opponent plays his/her own card set (he/she cannot change the first card in this instance). A game is won once a player runs the five cards or the opponent fails to turn over his/her cards on the final question (four questions per game maximum). Winning a game pays off $100. Two games wins the match. If a tie-breaker game is required, each player is dealt three cards and plays up to three survey questions.

The champion plays the Money Cards. On a board rack, four down cards are placed on the bottom, three in the middle (first spot empty) and one on top (first spot empty). Staked to $200 of betting money, the first card is turned up, and the contestant may change it and the base card on each line. The player makes a wager ($50 minimum) that the next card is higher or lower. A successful run on the bottom row now places the last card on the second row's first spot and the player gets $200 more to bet with. A successful run places the last card on the top row's first spot and the player must bet at least half of what he/she has that the card is higher or lower. A matching card at any time loses that wager. If a player busts (bets everything at any time and makes an incorrect call) on the first line, then the card on which he/she busts is put up as the first card on the second line. The game ends if the player busts on the second line.

After three years on NBC, the show returned on CBS and syndication in 1986. Another version debuted in 2001 in syndication. And yet a newer version premiered on ABC primetime on June 12, 2019.