1 9 7 8 – 1 9 8 1 (USA)
1 9 8 6 – 1 9 8 9 (USA)
30 minute episodes
Using a similar device to Family Feud, two contestants learned the highest scoring answer to a question asked of 100 people. One contestant guessed the number of people who responded that way to the survey, and the other decided if the number was higher or lower.
The correct answer won the right to play the card game with the winning contestant receiving a card from a standard deck (no jokers with aces high and deuces low) and predicting whether the next card would be higher or lower than that card’s face value.
Any contestant who called the cards successfully four times in a row won a game, but an incorrect guess put the contestant back to their original starting point and gave a free turn to their opponent.
The first player to win two games got the chance to play a bonus round where they received $200 and a card to use in a second round of higher-or-lower guesses, betting some or all of the $200 on the outcome.
Contestants played three hands on the bottom row, then moved to the middle row to receive an additional $200 and play three more hands. If they had any money left by the time they finished the second row, they went to the top row and had to bet half the amount they had earned to that point.
The result of that final card turn determined the amount of money won by the player.
After a three-year run on NBC with host Jim Perry, repeats of shows from the final year were syndicated in 1982 in the hopes of reviving the series.
Card Sharks did return in 1986 on CBS, with new host Bob Eubanks (Jim Perry was handling Sale of the Century on NBC at the time). A new version – hosted by Bill Rafferty – also aired in syndication in 1986-87.
Jim Perry passed away in 2015, aged 82, after a five-year battle with cancer.
Jim Perry (1978 – 1981)
Bob Eubanks (1986 – 1989)
Bill Rafferty (1986 – 1987)