When Dealer's Choice debuted in syndication in 1974, the host was actor Bob Hastings, who never hosted a game show and it definitely showed since his delivery was a lot like a carnival barker. Fortunately, the producers fired him after a few weeks and replaced him with Jack Clark, a much better host who kept the show moving and was a lot more natural than Hastings. He also had good rapport with the contestants and the studio audience.
Since a lot of you haven't seen Dealer's Choice, it was a show that featured three contestants chosen from the audience who played various gambling games. Each contestant began with 100 chips and in the first game they could bet up to 10 chips on a parlay in games such as "Any Pair Loses" or "In Between". They could win up to 160 chips or lose their initial 10. Round two varied from show to show with a maximum bet of 25 chips. Round three was always "Blackjack" with a 50 chip maximum bet. A player who go blackjack was paid two to one. The final round was the "Last Chance Round" where contestants could bet any of their chips on the final game which was usually "Wheel of Chance" or "Dealer's Derby". An earlier game had contestants bet on the total of five cards. Whoever had the highest number of chips won the game and got to roll the Bonus Dice. Win or lose, each player selected a prize from the Slot Machine.
In the bonus round, a contestant rolled dice with money amounts from $50 to $200. But one side of each die had a spade. The object was to accumulate $1000 without rolling a spade in order to win a bonus prize. If the spade came up, the game was over and the money was lost.
The one thing that stood out for "Dealer's Choice" was the opening shots of the Las Vegas Strip. It was the first game show to be taped in that city. Let's not forget Jane Nelson, the show's assistant who brought glitz and glamour to the proceedings.
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