Vintage TV: Card Sharks

8 comments on Vintage TV: Card Sharks
1 minute

It was a simple high-low card game, played out on TV for everyone at home. But it was good fun, and it always reminds me of my grandmother. It was Card Sharks, and it aired on NBC from 1978 to 1981.


My grandma used to tell me stories of her grandfather, a sign painter by trade and, according to her, a brilliant poker player. While her dad and his buddies played, she’d serve the drinks and empty the ashtrays — and watch her daddy carefully, trying to figure out his secrets.

Maybe it was her close study, maybe it was genetics, but Grandma had an almost supernatural ability to know which card was next in any deck. When I’d visit my grandma, we often watched game shows together. When Card Sharks came on, she watched especially closely. And frequently, when a contestant would be sitting on a four of hearts and holler “Higher!” — Grandma would holler right back, “No! It’s a black two!” You would have done well to lay bets on those exclamations, because she was almost always right.

Here’s the first ever episode of Card Sharks, from 1978.

From my collection, here’s the Card Sharks theme “in the clear,” as they say, meaning you’ll hear the whole theme start to finish without any voiceovers.

By the way, if you ever encounter me in a poker game, I warn you: my grandma taught me how to play!


8 responses to “Vintage TV: Card Sharks”

  1. J P Cavanaugh Avatar

    Wow, had not thought of this one in forever. This was a few years beyond the prime years of my childhood gameshow watching, but with a college kid’s schedule, I would see it occasionally.

    Poker was never my game, maybe it takes too much concentration?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Truth be told, you won’t catch me in a serious poker game. I like a friendly, low stakes game though!!

  2. Christopher Smith Avatar
    Christopher Smith

    We used to have very similar show here in the UK called “Play Your Cards Right” original run from 1980 to 1987 I believe it was
    based on the same format as “Card Sharks”

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Sounds like it would have been!

  3. Kevin Avatar

    I actually have a better recollection of the later version of this show, that ran from 1986 to about 1989 on CBS daytime. Bob Eubanks hosted, wish it had stuck around longer.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Ah yes, I do remember that version, and one hosted by Bill Rafferty. To me, the original is the best!

  4. Sam Avatar

    Man, I must be old, because even as a kid, I remember this show and this host!! :-)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I remember it like yesterday!

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