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Hosts
Fred Dinenage (1975-1983)
Tom O'Connor (1984-1985)
Gary T. Thompson (1995)
Broadcast
Gambit (1)
ITV: 3 July 1975-May 1985
Gambit (2)
Anglia: 1995
Packager
Anglia Television

A game based on Blackjack where couples can win a lot if they play their cards right. This was also based on the American TV series of the same name.

Original SeriesEdit

Main GameEdit

The object of the game was that of blackjack: come as close to 21 as possible without going over (or "busting"). As in blackjack, the cards 2 through 10 were worth their face value; face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) counted as 10 and an Ace could count as either 1 or 11.

The host asked a series of questions, usually multiple-choice or true-false, to two married couples. The couple who buzzed in and answered the question correctly won control of the next card from the top of a deck of over-sized (but otherwise regulation) playing cards. The first card was shown before the first question, but cards thereafter were presented face down.

Once a couple gained control of a card they had the option of adding it to their own hand or passing it to their opponents. After a couple received any card (whether by choosing to take it themselves or by having a card passed to them from their opponents) they could elect to stick if they were in the lead (neither team was permitted to stick when the two were tied), preventing them from receiving any additional cards. This rule prevented their opponents from passing cards to them in order to strategically force them to bust.

Once this happened, the other couple answered questions until one of the following conditions occurred:

Conditions for winningEdit

  • Reaching 21, which not only won the game, but the Gambit Jackpot, which started at £200 and went up £50 everytime it wasn't won, up to the maximum of £500.
  • Having their opponents exceed 21 ("bust"), even if the winners had no cards.
  • Sticking, and then having the opponents miss a question before getting a higher score without going over 21.
  • Having the opponents stick, and then getting a higher score without going over 21.

Each game won was worth £20. The first team to win two games won the match, a total of £40 and advanced to the bonus round.

The Gambit BoardEdit

The winning couple played the Gambit Bonus Board. They faced a large game board with 21 numbered cards. Each card concealed a prize; along with each prize the couple chose, they received a card added to their hand from the deck. They can choose any number from 1-20 (the 21st space offered a choice of star prizes).

The game ended in one of three ways:

  • The couple elected to stop before reaching 21 (especially if they feared the next card would push them over 21 or in some instances, if they won a desirable prize they wanted to keep) and keep all the prizes they've chosen to that point.
  • Going over 21, at which point they lost everything from the board.
  • Reaching 21 exactly, wherein they won a choice of star prizes behind #21 and the prizes selected.

Couples who won a star prize or played the Gambit Board twice retired undefeated.

1995 RevivalEdit

After ten years of non-existence, Gambit came back for an all too brief revival with new host Gary T. Thompson.

After the first card is shown, two answers are put on what's called "The Gambit Screen" and Gary reads a statement. The first to buzz-in either guesses the statement applies to both of them, one (naming that one in the process) or neither. If they’re right they get control of the first card, if not their opponent does. They can keep it or pass it to their opponent. The rest of the cards in the game are not shown. After getting control, the contestant decides where an unknown card goes. If they go over 21 at any time, they lose. A player is allowed to stick their hand when his/her score is 12 or more if they feel they have enough to win or fears that the next card will bust him/her out. That forces the other into solo play where they must keep answering questions to receive cards. They must beat their opponent without busting to win. If they bust or fail to answer a question, their opponent wins the game. If they beat the score they get the game. If anybody scores 21, they automatically win the game.

YouTube LinksEdit

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