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Casino


Producer: Merrill Heatter for King World
Host: Ron Pearson
Assistants: Tanya Meme
Taping Info: April 16, 2002 at KTLA for GSN
Other Pilots: This was marked as #3.
Made it to Air: No, but the 2008 GSN show Catch 21 is heavily based on this format.
Availability: A Two minute demonstration of the game's graphics is available on the Entec Systems web site.

Gambit was a show that was one of three long-running staples that joined the CBS lineup together in September 1972 along with The Joker's Wild and The Price Is Right. However, it was the shortest-lived of the three, dying out in 1975 and having a one-year 'Las Vegas' run in 1980. An attempt to revive with Bob Eubanks failed in 1990. In 2002, with card games being hot, maybe it was time to try again, albeit with a new name. Ron Pearson, whose career pretty much consists of playing cops on sitcoms, is your host. Tanya Memme, currently the host of A&E's Move This House, is your dealer.

The major difference between this show and the prior Gambit incarnations is that the game now starts with three players. Also, each player is dealt a starting card. After the initial card, players are asked trivia questions. If a player buzzes in and answers the question, the player is awarded $100 and is shown the next card and decides whether to keep or pass the card. A player may also ask for a 'freeze question' after receiving a card, which if answered correctly then freezes the player. Once all players have either frozen or busted, the round is over, with the highest non-busted score considered the winner of the round and earning an extra $1,000. If a player got to 21, an extra $2,100 was awarded.

Round 2 was played like Round 1, except the point values were doubled, and the player in last place was eliminated from the game once the round was over. The third round was played with the remaining two players for $300 per question and $3,000 for the round. The winner moved onto the bonus game.

In the bonus game, the player was playing for an additional three prizes. Each prize was staked with a card, and a player was given three cards to place towards any prize, and could earn up to four more by answering questions correctly. Once a prize's card total got between 18 and 21, the prize was won. However, a bust on any line stopped the game and caused a loss of all prizes earned. A player could also stop the bonus game once one prize was won. An extra $2,100 was awarded for 21 on any of the three prizes while a bonus of $100,000 was given for three 21's.

Overall, a fun little game. Nothing obnoxious, and the bonus game was very innovative. Of course, in the 21st century, fun little games are not allowed, so this show didn't make it to GSN's schedule, while Cram and Friend or Foe did. The prize budget may have also been a little to rich for GSN's taste.

This pilot has been viewed 8168 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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