Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
Bill Rafferty was the host of the TV game show, “Card Sharks”, for one season. The hosts you probably remember most were Bob Eubanks or Jim Perry. No matter who the host was, the game basically remained the same in format.
Two players vied for control of their red or blue cards by answering trivia questions and trying to get nearest to the percentage of people that answered the same way. For example a question might be:” Out of 100 students surveyed, how many said they cheated on a final test”? If the answer was 50%, the first contestant might have thought it would be 38%. The second contestant would then have to guess if the figure was higher or lower. Whichever contestant was correct in their guess was in control of the cards.
On the board, the first card would be dealt face up and the other five cards would be dealt face down. The object of the game was to guess correctly if the next cards to be turned up, one at a time, would be higher or lower than the card before it.
Whichever contestant was in control of the cards could either play their turn or pass; making the other person take a possible unwanted turn. The person in control could change their face up card if they didn’t like the one they saw. Should a player not have been in control of the board, such as when the “in control” player passed their turn; they had to play the board with whatever card was up.
If you were in control and a card came up that you weren’t sure about, perhaps any card from 5 – 10, you could freeze. That way you didn’t have to start at the beginning when it was your next turn. You only had to start where you left off.
We’ll take a trial run right here and go through a hypothetical scenario that you might encounter in the main part of the game. Let’s say a King was up on the board as the starting card. You would most likely say the next card would be lower.
Now, let’s say that a 5 showed up with the next turnover. You may want to freeze there and hope for control of the cards after the next question so that you could change the card and hope for a 2, 3, a high face card or an Ace.
You could also be shot down if you guessed higher or lower and the next card turned over was a card of the same rank. That was a tie, and in that scenario, it would be the same as guessing a wrong “higher or lower” status.
When one contestant won two games they were considered the winner and got to play the money cards in the same scenario to win money. They were given three rows of cards to get through, and they were always allowed to change the card at the beginning of the row.
Money had to be bet on your choice of higher or lower when playing the money cards part of the game. You could win big or you could lose it all. Most people bet conservatively unless it was a 2, 3, King or Ace to play against.