Card Sharks premiered on NBC on April 24, 1978 with Jim Perry as the host. There were two contestants and each contestant had their own deck of 52 playing cards, and each had to predict whether their base card was higher or lower than the next card. The first contestant to correctly predict all 5 of their cards was the winner of the game. A person could freeze from playing at anytime. Freezing the cards would prevent the challenger from having the chance to play his/her cards. If a contestant predicted a card incorrectly, he or she would have to start all over on the next play of the cards (with new cards) and his/her challenger would have the chance to play the cards. The first person to win two games won the match and the chance to go to the Money Cards for a chance to win $28,800. In the 1986 version, the Money Card jackpot was $32,000.

(Pictures are from the CBS version of Card Sharks that aired from 1986-1989)

To determine who would play their cards, contestants were asked a survey question. Out on the streets, 100 people were surveyed and asked yes and no questions, and the same question was asked to a contestant and they had to predict how many from the 100 said yes or no. Then the other contestant would predict whether the correct answer is higher or lower than the prediction made. (i.e. 100 married men were surved, and they were asked, "Would you want to spend a whole 24 hours of your day with your wife?" How many said yes. The contestant who was asked said, "19" and the other said that the correct answer would probably be "lower." The number of married men who would want to spend 24 hours of their day with there wife is 37. The contestant who said lower was wrong so therefore the challenger would play his or her cards.)

The first contestant to complete their row of cards would win the game, and the first to win two games won the match and the opportunity to play Money Cards.

Norma Brown is noted for being the only contestant to break the bank on any version of Card Sharks!
In Money Cards, a contestant started off with $200 and would start off betting with that money and would predict if their card was higher or lower than the next card. Minimum bet was $50. Contestants would place bets on each prediction. On the CBS/syndication version, contestants could change thier card with one of the three extra cards. One card change per line. After the first line was completed, a contestant received an extra $200 (on the CBS/Syndication version, it was $400). After the second line was completed the contestant reached the last card. On the last card, however, a contestant had to bet at least half of the money he/she earned. On the NBC version, a contestant could win $28,800. On the CBS and syndication version, a contestant could win $32,000.

In 1986, Faith won $29,000 during Money Cards! It was the most money ever won during Money Cards on Card Sharks!
Card Sharks ran on NBC daytime with Jim Perry as the host from 1978-1981. Card Sharks ran on CBS daytime with Bob Eubanks from 1986-1989. Bill Rafferty hosted the syndication version from 1986-1987. Both the CBS and the syndication version of the show offered a contestant who played to Money Card a chance to win a new car. There, a contestant would have to find one of the seven cards that had the word CAR on it. If found, the contestant would win the car. The car game was added to the CBS daytime version in 1987. In 2001, Pat Bullard hosted a short-lived version of the show with a new game format.

Retro Stats

Jim Perry
Bob Eubanks
Bill Rafferty
Pat Bullard

Gene Wood
Gary Kroeger
Bob Hilton (Sub)
Johnny Olson (Sub)
Charlie O'Donnell (Sub)
Johnny Gilbert (Sub)
Jay Stewart (Sub)
Jack Narz (Sub)
Rod Roddy (Sub)

NBC Premiere:
April 24, 1978
NBC Finale:
October 23, 1981
(864 Episodes)

CBS Premiere:
January 6, 1986
CBS Finale:
March 31, 1989
(845 Episodes)