Australian Game Shows Wiki
Ugly Dave Gray
Card Dealers
Kerrie Friend & Adele Bailey
Play Your Cards Right
Play Your Cards Right Australia
Seven Network: 1984-1985
Grundy Organization

Play Your Cards Right is based on the popular and formerly long-running British game show of the same name, which in turn was based on the U.S. format called Card Sharks, two married couples competed for control of a row of oversized playing cards by answering poll questions posed by the host and then guessing whether each card is higher or lower than the one that proceeds it.


Main Game[]

Two married couples competed against each other. Each team was assigned a row of five oversized playing cards. Each contestant had a standard 52-card deck; the ace ranked highest and the deuce (two) ranked lowest. The champion played the red cards on top, while the challenger played the blue cards on the bottom. In case of two new teams, a coin toss was used to determine who played red and who played blue.

Hi-Lo Toss-Up Questions[]

Before playing high/low with the cards, the teams must first answer Hi-Lo Toss-Up Questions; all of which were based on a poll of 100 people and designed to test the contestants' ability to judge human nature. After hearing the question, one couple guessed how many out of 100 people said a certain answer (usually yes or no), then the other couple guess whether the actual number is higher or lower than the number the first couple gave. When all said & done, the correct number was revealed and if the second gave the correct higher or lower answer, they play their cards first; but if not, then the first couple played theirs first.

Playing the Cards[]

At the cards board, the object of the game was to work their way across the board, simply by predicting whether each card is higher or lower than the proceeding card. At the start of the question winners' turn, the couple was shown their base card and must decide whether to play that card or change the card by covering it with the next card from the top of their deck. In either case, the controlling couple started calling off higher or lower. Each correct call moved on to the next card, but at any time the controlling couple called a card wrong, they lose their turn and all the cards they revealed back to the original base card (pairs were considered wrong too and they used the same "You get nothing for a pair, not in this game" catchphrase used in the show's UK counterpart) and the opposing couple got to play their cards but without the option to change the base card. So to prevent this from happening, the controlling couple can choose to freeze and protect their position (thereby making it their new base card) after each correct call and not give their opponents a free chance. The opposing couple also have that choice should play go to them. Another question was played when a couple froze or if both couples called wrong. The first couple the reach the end of the board won the game.

Sudden Death[]

There were four questions in each of the first two games with the last question being the "Sudden Death". In the Sudden Death situation, the couple that won the question had the option to play their cards (and changing their base card if they want to) or pass control to their opponents. If the controlling missed a card, the opponents win the game, otherwise the controlling couple won the game.


The first couple to win two games wins the match. If there's a tie at one game apiece, a tiebreaker game occurred but with three cards that time and a maximum of three questions.

The couple that won the match earned the right to play the Money Game.

Money Game (Money Cards)[]

The Money Game board consisted of seven cards on three rows; three cards were dealt on the bottom two rows, and only one was dealt on the top row. The winning team's first base card to begin the bonus game was dealt from the deck after the seven cards were placed. At the beginning of each row, the winning couple was given the option to change a base card if they don't like it. The winning couple was given $50 to start with and used the money to bet on each card with for each higher or lower prediction. Bets always had to be in $10 increments. A correct prediction added the wager, but an incorrect prediction lost the wager. Betting it all was classified as "The Lot".

After completing the first row, or if the contestant "busted" (lost everything on that wager), the last card was moved onto the second row and the couple was given another $50 and had to play three more cards. Surviving those three cards went the last card on the top row, known as the "Big Bet". If the couple busted prior to reaching the Big Bet, the game ended. Upon reaching the Big Bet card, the couple was required to wager at least half of their money. The most a couple could win is $7,200.

$3,600 $7,200
$450 $900 $1,800 $3,600
$50 $100 $200 $400


More Screencaps[]

Opening Titles[]

Dave and the Girls[]

The Set[]

Production Companies[]


While the title and gameplay was based on the UK version hosted by Bruce Forsyth, it's set was based on the U.S. version from 1978–1981 hosted by Jim Perry on NBC. Also, like the American version, it used the rollover format, meaning a game could be interrupted at the end of the show and had to be continued on the next show.


Information about the show and its host

YouTube Videos[]

Brief clip from the show
Full Episode
Partial Episode
Montage of game show clips including Play Your Cards Right