Gambit 1990 Pilot
October 20, 1990
Run time
30 Minutes
Bob Eubanks
Susie Fawcett
Studio 55, ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, California

Gambit (1990) was an unsold game show pilot.

This pilot had Bob Eubanks as host and Susie Fawcett as dealer.

Game FormatEdit

Main GameEdit

In this pilot instead of couples, two solo players competed. But the premise of the game stayed the same. 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.

After the first card is shown, two answers are revealed on what's called "The Gambit Screen" and Bob reads a statement. The first player to buzz-in will decide whether 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 freeze 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 misses a question, their opponent wins the game. If they beat the score they get the game. If anybody scores 21, they win the game and the Gambit Jackpot, this time starting at $1,000 and still growing by $500 per match. Each game was worth $100, and the first to win two games wins the match, $200 total and goes to the Beat the House bonus game.

The third game in a match, if needed, is played differently. The champion decides where the first unknown card goes. Then they receive the next card by default. Following this, questions are brought back into play as above.

Bonus Game (Beat the House)Edit

In the bonus round, the winner tries to beat the dealer. They get five chances for cards. Three answers are now revealed, and they have to decide whether statements apply to none, one, two or all three items. If they get a question right, they earn a card. They can continue up to five cards or when they want to freeze. After their hand is set, the dealer begins drawing cards. They draw as long as their total is 16 and below and stay at 17 and above. If the dealer busts or does not beat the player (by having a lesser score or tying), the contestant wins $5,000. But in the player's half of the round if he/she gets 21, they win $10,000.

Orion (which had acquired the rights to the Heatter-Quigley library) was going through financial problems at the time, and the pilot did not sell.


See AlsoEdit

Gambit (1979)
Las Vegas Gambit
Gambit (1985)


Gambit @ Game Show Galaxy
The 1990 Gambit Pilot Page