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Lifespan:July 1974 - September 1976 (Not covered), April 1978 - June 1980, September 1987 - September 1988
Host: Alex Trebek, Wink Martindale
Models: Ruta Lee, Elaine Stewart, Leslie Uggams, Linda Kaye Henning, Becky Price, Lauren Firestone, KC Winkler, Crystal Owens
Announcers: Kenny Williams, Dean Goss
Produced by: Heatter-Quigley Productions (1978-80), Merrill Heatter Productions (1987-88)

Front Game Rules

Trebek's dice table Two players competed. The host would read a question, and players buzzed in for control. If correct, that player had control of the dice, but if incorrect the other player won control. A player with control could roll the dice themselves or force their opponent to roll them. Wink's dice table
Trebek's number board The game board is composed of three columns, each with three numbers from 1 to 9. After rolling a pair of dice, the player had to knock numbers off the board that added up to the number rolled. For instance, if a player rolled a 9, that player could take off the 9; the 7 and the 2; the 6, 2 and 1; or any other combination that adds up to 9. When all three numbers in a particular column are removed, that player gets a group of prizes attached to that column, which the player wins if s/he wins the game. Wink's number board

If a player rolls doubles, s/he gets an "insurance marker," which keeps a player in the game in case s/he rolls a number that cannot be knocked off. A player wins the round by either removing the last number on the board, or if his/her opponent rolls a number that can't be knocked off the board. The first player to win two games wins the match and advances to the bonus round.

End Game - "The Big Numbers" (All versions)

Trebek's Big Numbers The player now has to knock off the numbers 1-9 on the board, like in the front game. Doubles still earn insurance markers. The player earns $100 for each number knocked off, and $10,000 for clearing the board. (In the '78-80 version, the grand prize was $5000 cash and a car.) Wink's Big Numbers


In what is considered to be one of the biggest urban legends in the fandom, it is believed that Alex Trebek hosted the final 1980 episode of High Rollers under the influence. After considering some of the things he said during the course of the finale (Which included "Seven-ahhh!", "Stayin' alive with the Bee Gees", and "Many moon come - a niner"), it would hardly come as a surprise to us if it turns out he was sloshed during the last show.

Loogaroo Looks it Over

H-Q took their Gambit idea to the dice table, and wound up with a game that was actually better than Gambit. The Prize columns emphasized a more daring element to the competition, as it tempted players into knocking off small numbers to clear a column. Trebek (while sober) and Martindale both did a respectable job hosting.

There's one fault in each version that needs exposure, though. Near the tail end of the Trebek run, it appears that the prizes were swiftly becoming junkier and junkier. The prizes went from paintings and color TVs to African masks and musical dolls. And let's not forget the $10,000 fishbowl. The Martindale run suffered from horrible pacing - having different prizes for each game plus the mini-games occasionally played basically ground the show to a near halt. Some matches that were continued from the last show didn't even finish during the next episode!

Card Sharks (Trebek's version)

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 2 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 0 pts.
Total Score: 7 pts.

Card Sharks (Wink's version)

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 0 pts.
Total Score: 8 pts.

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