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Split Decision

Producer: Richard Reid Productions/NBC
Host: Jim McKrell
Announcer: Charlie O'Donnell
Taping Info: July 11, 1985, probably Los Angeles
Made it to Air: No
Availability: Trading circuit

Split Decision is a question and answer game with the additional twist of a deck of cards. Jim McKrell, the fine host who had trouble finding a game post-Celebrity Sweepstakes, helmed this game that saw players try to organize playing cards to either help their chances or hinder the chances of their opponent.

A toss-up question would be asked, which consisted of three answers, two of which would have something in common. For example, the question could start "Richard Dawson, Milton Hershey and Milton Berle which give a lot of kisses?" The player who answers correctly then draws three cards. The player then places the cards in the end and middle slots of a five card row, with the object trying to give him/herself the largest gap possible between their card and the center card and the smallest gap possible between their opponents card and the center card.

For example, after answering a question, the player draws their first card, which is a three. Since the player is trying to create a large gap, s/he takes that card. The second card is drawn, and that is automatically assigned to the other end spot. For our example, it's a five. And then the common card is drawn, which is a ten. So, the gap for the drawing player is between three and ten and for the other player is five and ten. The player who answers the next tossup question then either chooses to try to fill the gap or pass that to the other player. If the player fills the gap successfully or if the other player fails to fill the gap, they get a point. Three points wins the game and moves them on to the bonus match called "Pot Limit".

"Pot Limit" is a derivative of the Card Sharks bonus game. The player starts out with a $1,000 and wagers as little or as much as s/he wants in trying to guess whether a card will fall in range of two other cards. The deck of cards is stacked with four extra aces, four extra twos and four jokers. The jokers are an instant $1,000 to the bank. Unlike Card Sharks, ties always paid off. After three turns, the player earns the dollars earned plus bonus prizes based on the amount won. In this episode, getting at least $2,000 won you a trip to Paris, $4,000 added a fur and $5,000 added an ugly car.

My one complaint about this game is that it fails the "describe the game in one sentence test." Part of this was necessary to keep the game from looking like a direct ripoff of other games, which was blown when the bonus game was called "Pot Limit" (the bonus game on The Who, What and Where Game). The main game can keep the complications, the bonus game could really be simplified.

From cheesy 80's game show animation land, it's Split Decision.

A wide shot of The Price is Right-esque set.

Jim McKrell asks a question.

And the first set of cards are laid out.

Shot of the first set of cards from the bonus game.

The first Pot Limit hand was a winner, so the chip girl pays off.

This pilot has been viewed 9283 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 12, 2009 14:46 ET
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