[[caption-width-right:160:Doesn't that jack of hearts remind you of [[WesternAnimation/WackyRaces Dick Dastardly]]?]]

Creator/MerrillHeatter-Bob Quigley GameShow which premiered on Creator/{{CBS}} in 1972, on the same day as ''Series/TheJokersWild'' and ''Series/ThePriceIsRight''. Two couples played blackjack while answering knowledge questions asked by host Wink Martindale. Very few episodes are known to have survived.

Martindale returned as host of the successor series, ''Las Vegas Gambit'', on Creator/{{NBC}} in 1980-81 (following a 1979 pilot). A decade later, Bob Eubanks was the host of a ''Gambit'' pilot for Creator/{{ABC}} in 1990, with solo contestants and a different question format; ABC rejected it in favor of a ''Series/MatchGame'' revival. GSN attempted a revival in 2002 with three solo players and Ron Pearson as host under the name ''[[http://www.usgameshows.net/x.php?show=Casino Casino]]'', but turned it down for ''Series/{{Cram}}'' and ''Series/FriendOrFoe?''

With some slight tweaks, the essence of the ''Casino'' format finally made it to Creator/{{GSN}} from 2008-11 as ''Catch 21''. The show was hosted by [[Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir Alfonso Ribeiro]] and marked the return of not only ''Gambit'', but Heatter, who had not gotten a game on the air since ''The Last Word'' ended 18 years earlier.
!!GameShowTropes in use:
* BonusRound:
** The Gambit Board, where the winning couple picked numbers for prizes or cash, and was given a card after each pick. The couple could stop whenever they wished, as going over 21 would forfeit the prizes they had uncovered, but hitting 21 in any way won a growing cash jackpot plus a new car (on the original series) or $5,000 cash (on ''Las Vegas Gambit''). This format was used for the entire CBS run and the first five months or so of the ''Las Vegas Gambit'' version (though for that version, the board had three numbers eliminated).
** The 1979 pilot had "Gambit 6-Ball", where you played a giant skee-ball board, with 6 balls and tried to get two balls into up to 4 holes for various prizes. Roll into an Ace or Jack hole, you get a car. Lighting up all the letters in "GAMBIT" won $10,000. There were also two empty spots which made you lose a ball.
** Around May or June 1981, this was changed to the ''Gambit Galaxy'' [[note]]a renamed Big Numbers, the ''Series/HighRollers'' bonus round[[/note]]. The objective was to, through rolls of two dice, remove the numbers 1-9 from a gameboard; successfully doing so won the Gambit Galaxy (an accruing prize package), while a bad roll a number that couldn't be removed from the board ended the game with [[ConsolationPrize $100 given for each number that had been eliminated]]. Rolling doubles awarded an insurance marker; if the couple hit a bad roll, they could turn it in and keep playing.
** The 1990 pilot had a "beat the dealer" game; the contestant gets five chances for cards by answering questions. Once they get the cards (up to five, or less if they chose to freeze), the dealer begins drawing cards; if the dealer busts by getting more than 21, or by being unable to beat the contestant, the player wins $5,000. If they managed to get a 21 during the question half, they get $10,000.
** ''Catch 21'' used three hands with one card dealt to each and the contestant directing the subsequent cards to any column they wanted. If they got a card they didn't want to play, they could remove it by spending a Power Chip earned during the front game (one for each round won, plus one for winning the game, for a maximum of four), but doing so meant they were required to play the next card drawn (or use another Power Chip). Getting a 21 awarded $1,000 for one column, $5,000 for two columns, and $25,000 (sometimes $50,000) for all three columns. Busting in any one column at any time ended the game and caused the contestant to lose any money earned during the bonus round, though the player could choose after playing a card to stop and keep their current winnings. This was imported from the ''Casino'' attempt, where it had a potential top prize of $100,000.
* BonusSpace:
** The Gambit Board often included hidden spaces that gave the players a chance to win extra money in different ways, as long as they didn't bust.
** Beginning in Summer 1975, the show instituted a special rule where any couple who hit a two-card 21 at any time won a $10,000 bonus.
* GoldenSnitch:
** A score of 21 was an instant win, awarding the Gambit Jackpot (see below)
** Also applied to ''Catch 21'', minus the ProgressiveJackpot. However, from Season 2 onward there was a bonus prize awarded to the first player (if any) to make a 21 in the main game.
** Round 3 of ''Catch 21''. The first two rounds were played with ScoringPoints, at 100 per question and 500 for winning the hand. The third round wiped the scores of the last two players, and the winner of that hand (no ScoringPoints here) won the game. A player could get totally [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomped]] in the first two rounds, but as long as their other opponent got curb-stomped worse (100 points vs. no points at all, for example), the guy who barely survived to Round 3 could win with one correct answer at just the right time.
*** You didn't even need a correct answer as long as you could pull a 21 off your opponent's freeze. You read that right: once one player froze, the other player was dealt cards with no more questions asked until they won or busted. This only applied to ''Catch 21'', though in ''Gambit'', you had to continue answering questions to keep getting cards; one wrong answer lost the round.
* Personnel:
** TheAnnouncer: [[Series/TheHollywoodSquares Kenny Williams]] on the CBS and NBC runs, and [[Series/{{Pyramid}} John]] [[Series/BrainSurge Cramer]] for the 1990 pilot; ''Casino'' and ''Catch 21'' didn't have one.
** GameShowHost: [[Series/TicTacDough Wink]] [[Series/{{Debt}} Martindale]] on the CBS and NBC runs, [[Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir Alfonso]] [[Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos Ribeiro]] for the GSN era. [[Series/TheNewlywedGame Bob]] [[Series/CardSharks Eubanks]] hosted the 1990 ABC pilot, and [[Series/ShoppingSpree Ron Pearson]] emceed the ''Casino'' attempt.
** LovelyAssistant: Elaine Stewart (Mrs. Merrill Heatter) on the CBS run, Beverly Malden and later [[Series/SaleOfTheCentury Lee Menning]] on the NBC run, Mikki Padilla on ''Catch 21''. Susie Fawcett held the role in the 1990 pilot, and it was Tanya Memme for ''Casino''.
** StudioAudience
* ProgressiveJackpot: As stated, the Gambit Jackpot- get a 21 in the front game, get $500 plus $500 for every show (every game on ''Las Vegas'') not won. This was also picked up in the endgame when the Gambit Board was in use.
** For the Big Numbers/''High Rollers'' endgame, the ''Gambit Galaxy'' would be the top prize- $5,000 in cash, plus lots of prizes (growing every day).
* {{Whammy}}: Going over 21 meant you automatically lost the game/match, and at the Gambit Board, meant you forfeited whatever prizes you had picked up. In the "Gambit 6-Ball" endgame, there were two "Dead holes" that made you lose a ball; for the "Gambit Galaxy" endgame, making a bad roll without an insurance marker.
* CelebrityEdition: One episode of ''Catch 21'' featured a reunion of Alfonso's co-stars from ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' -- James Avery, Tatiana Ali, and Karyn Parsons -- as contestants.
* CheatersNeverProsper: The finale of ''Las Vegas Gambit'' had a couple who tried to take advantage of Wink failing to hear their answer to the question "From what direction do the east winds blow?" They initially responded "west to east", after which Wink asked them to repeat the answer; the couple, knowing they had given the wrong answer, tried to take advantage by changing their answer--however, the judge ''did'' hear the original response and signaled to Wink, who immediately ordered them not too kindly to "say what you said", to which the couple did. (Fortunately for this team, their mess-up came at the start of the game in which this occurred.)
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: During an episode of the GSN era, one contestant was caught between a rock and a hard place in Round 2 Player 3 froze with a 20, making 21 the winning score. The middle player had 19 and the first player had 16. The middle player drew a 5 and had two choices bust himself, eliminating himself from the round and holding out a hope that Player 1 busted as well, or give the 5 to Player 1 so his 16 becomes 21. Player 2 busted himself and Player 1 wound up getting a 5 '''anyway''', getting 21 and eliminating Player 2 from the game. Poor guy had no chance.
* HistoryRepeats: Alfonso later went onto host ''Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos''- the previous host, Tom Bergeron, had also hosted a revival of a Heatter-Quigley game show (''Series/TheHollywoodSquares'').
* LargeHam: Alfonso Ribeiro was ridiculously hammy.
* LongRunner: The GSN era ran four seasons, a rarity for them most of their games tend to stop at two seasons.
* LuckBasedMission:
** In the bonus round of ''Catch 21'', there was nothing to back you up if the cards failed you and you ran out of power chips.
** The front game of any version counts--since only the first card of each game was shown, winning a question meant having to choose between taking a card of random value or giving it to the opponent. Taking the card is only safe if the couple has a score of 11 or lower (12 or greater had a possibility of busting); giving the card away gave the opposing couple a chance at a good hand (which could immediately be frozen)
* ObviousRulePatch: On ''Gambit'', couples that had cards given to them could immediate freeze despite not winning the immediate question beforehand. On ''Catch 21'', barring hands of 21, players could only freeze after winning a question and taking the immediate next card.
* PorkyPigPronunciation: Wink once had some difficulty telling a couple they had received a copy of the ''World Book Encyclopedia''.
* ProductPlacement: The power chips on ''Catch 21'' were sometimes sponsored early on by Burger King. Often, the contestants said (and were likely instructed to say) that they would "have it their way" when using them.
** In one of the episodes with the BK power chips, the question "If your husband is wearing undershorts marked ''Home of the Whopper'', which fast food restaurant did they most likely come from?" appeared in Round 1.
* TransatlanticEquivalent: A [[http://www.ukgameshows.com/ukgs/Gambit long-running one]] on Creator/{{ITV}}, from 1975 to 1985 (outlasting ''both'' American runs); since it was from Anglia (the people behind the 1970s/80s UK ''Series/SaleOfTheCentury''), it had a far smaller budget, though compared to ''Sale'' it wasn't the butt of jokes as much. Fred Dinenage served as host until 1983, with [[Series/TheCrossWits Tom O'Connor]] taking over for the final two years (Dickie Davies of ''World of Sport'' fame hosted the unseen pilot). The show came back briefly in 1995, albeit in the Anglia region only; for that revival Gary Thompson hosted and the format was taken from the unsold Bob Eubanks pilot.
* TitleDrop: You don't hit 21 on ''Catch 21'', you "catch 21 exactly".
* VivaLasVegas: ''Las Vegas Gambit'' was taped at the Tropicana Hotel.
* WhoWritesThisCrap: Not stated directly, but Wink would often come across a question that was incredibly silly.
** A question regarding the Creator/MarlonBrando film ''Film/{{Sayonara}}'':
-->'''Wink:''' Marlon Brando starred in the 1957 film ''Sayonara'' as an American officer in love with a Japanese girl. Now, in Japanese, does the word ''sayonara'' mean "I love you", "good-bye", or [[RuleOfThree "tablecloth"]]?
-->'''Mr. Brown:''' Good-bye.
-->'''Wink:''' That's right. ''([[{{Beat}} pauses]], then tears up a card)'' I'm gonna tear that one up. I'm never gonna run across that one again. You know, I've been breaking up at some of these questions. The guys have been working overtime, haven't they? Yes.