This page lists events that occurred during the CBS series from its debut in 1986 until its demise in 1989.
- January 6: Series debuts on CBS, replacing Press Your Luck in the 10:30 a.m. time slot.
- No X indicators to show who won a game were present. At that time, little light bulbs on the base (ala Jeopardy!) indicate who won a game.
- Models Lacey Pemberton and Suzanna Williams wore the same white uniforms with blue and red vests respectively until October 24, 1986. This was similar to the red & blue jackets with bow ties at the beginning of the 1978 run.
- Money Cards rules allowed a player to change three cards anywhere on the board - this would only last one month.
- When a contestant busts on the Money Cards, the on-screen display reads "$0".
- January ##: Perhaps the shortest Money Cards in the CBS run, a contestant busts twice and ends the Money Cards after only three card reveals.
- January 20-24: The show gives away over $90,000 in cash this week. This may have prompted a rule change in the Money Cards for budget reasons.
- February 3: a visually-impaired contestant named Susan starts her run on the show.
- As of February 3, $0 Money Cards wins now display as "BUST" instead of "$0" as of this week.
- As of February 3, X indicators for game wins first appear this week.
- As of February 3, contestants can only change one card per line in the Money Cards.
- On February 7, a contestant bets all of her money higher than a queen in the Money Cards and wins.
- As of February 17, the opening theme is updated, and used for the remainder of the series.
- On March 24: Faith becomes the biggest Money Cards winner in all incarnations of the show, winning $29,000 in a single playing of the Money Cards, overshadowing Norma Brown's maximum $28,800 win in Jim Perry's run in 1978.
- On May #, Mark Goodson makes a cameo appearance, and recites a poem.
- As of May ##, until sometime in October, still images of Money Cards winners started being shown prior to commercial break after Money Cards.
- July 4 was the first nationwide pre-emption of Card Sharks, this time due to the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty coverage. Every game show, except for Press Your Luck, was pre-empted that day.
- July 7-11 was the first Young People's Week of the series.
- July 14 was the first show with the audience poll questions involving ten individuals.
- August 25-29 was Young People's Week II.
- On August 25 and 26, future Baywatch actress Kelly Packard makes her appearance.
- As of August 25, audience polling groups now share a common occupation or belong in a certain group of people.
- On September 2, the lowest non-$0 win at this point, Gayla wins only $100 on the Money Cards.
- As of September ##, the contestant's face in the Money Cards is shown in a diamond instead of in a circle.
- As of September ##, the money cards scoreboard uses a dark red color scheme instead of a deep orange color scheme.
- From October 13, until sometime later in 1987: members of the audience polling group start wearing nametags, which have a yellow background with black letters.
- On October ##: Bruce, the only contestant in a wheelchair, starts his run.
- On October 27, Version 1.0 of the car game, with seven numbered cards and three jokers in the Money Cards deck, debuts.
- Educated guess questions also debut today, though until December 12, answers could be no more than 99.
- Starting on October 27, the models start wearing different outfits instead of the traditional uniforms.
- On October 29: Jeff is the first contestant in the CBS series to win a car.
- On November 4, a contestant named Bob Eubanks makes his appearance. The host's reaction is priceless!
- December 1-5: Young People's Week III airs, and kids play the bonus game for a trip to Hawaii instead of a car, and are awarded with two free jokers; thus there are two more in the Money Cards deck.
- December 12-18: Educated guess questions now allow for answers greater than 99 as of this week, and for this week only, contestants write their guess on a card, similar to panelists writing their responses on Match Game.
- December 19-25, Christmas decorations are prevalent.
- As of December 19, on the educated guess questions, a contestant's numeric guess appears in chyron text appearing digit after digit on your screen.
- As of December 19, the infamous losing horns are now heard on the car game if the car is not won.
- December 28, 1986-January 2, 1987: Young People's Week IV starts and continues into the beginning of 1987.
- January 19-23: Young People's Week V airs.
- On January 21, a bizarre educated guess question about the models' combined weight is asked, and the models dare Bob to be weighed!
- January 29 was the start of a car game losing streak, which lasts for 25 playings for a car.
- February 2-13, educated guess answer reveals appear to have a flipping animation effect, similar to the passwords appearing on the screen on Super Password.
- February 16-20: Young People's Week VI airs.
- As of February 16, educated guess reveals revert back to to the original format, first used on December 19, 1986.
- February 17-18 is future child actress Kellie Martin's run on the show.
- As of February 23, Lacey and Suzanna start doing model poses in the car game, similar to what Barker's Beauties do on The Price is Right. This would only be present if a car was being offered.
- On March 4, an educated guess question involved an audio clip.
- On March 10, after a 25-game losing streak, a car is finally won.
- April 13 was the first show with no Money Cards and no car game being played, due to a match consuming the entire episode.
- May 4 was perhaps the only time an educated guess question was used as a show's first question.
- May 7 was the first of a small number of educated guess questions in the Eubanks run where the models had to identify as many varieties of a certain thing in 30 seconds. The timer sound was previously used most recently in Body Language.
- May 15 was the first time an educated guess question had an answer of zero.
- On May 26, a contestant bets all her money higher than a queen, but unlike on February 8, 1986, she loses.
- On June 5, 1987, when the car was won, the marquee with the word "CAR" flashing around the winner had four instances of the word "CAR" appear on each of the top and bottom rows of the marquee instead of three, and the text was made smaller. The marquee would revert back to the usual version the next time the car was won, on June 18.
- A contestant named Sheri won two cars on June 26, and on June 29 she won her third car. This woman may be the only contestant on the CBS run to accomplish each of these feats, and the last time three cars would be won by a contestant until the pricing game "Triple Play" on The Price is Right in the early 2000s.
- As of July 8, educated guess reveals start using abbreviations, which have a Helvetica font to start. The first abbreviation used is "yrs." (years).
- It is believed that from July 7 up to and including July 15, seven episodes were pre-empted due to coverage of the Oliver North testimony.
- August 3 to 7 was Young People's Week VII.
- As of August 12, when the closeups of contestants' faces are shown one after the other prior to commercial breaks, the horizontal bar used as a transition was changed from blue to white, but is still narrow.
- August 26 was the first episode with the flashing light border seen behind the week's featured car. The background the computer-animated cards are dealt on in the intro is still green.
- August 31-September 4 was Young People's Week VIII.
- As of September 21, the green background during the intro was made transparent to show the feature car of the week. To accompany this change, the opening spiel is modified. Gene Wood gave redundancy on that day, but was fixed by the next day.
- As of October 23, a $32,000 chyron graphic appears during the opening, and has a black 3D effect, and blinks a few times.
- As of October 29, teasers for the following week's audience polling group start appearing after a commercial break. These would occur only on Thursdays and Fridays.
- November 23-26 was Young People's Week IX.
- Sometime in December, educated guess answers when revealed on your screen have a pastel-green border.
- Sometime in December, the font on the educated guess reveal is updated to a Clarendon-style font for very large numbers.. Helvetica font would be used for smaller numbers, but sometimes such reveal could involve a small Helvetica number followed by a word or abbreviation in Clarendon font.
- December 21-31: Young People's Week X and XI, with the bonus game played for a holiday gift package, consisting of a trip to Hawaii, a bumper pool table, a portable keyboard, a computer, a pair of bicycles, a VCR, and a sailboat
- December 28-31: Bob Goen makes a series of cameo appearances to plug the short-lived game show Blackout, which premiered the following week.
- Sometime in January, the $32,000 chyron graphic during the intro now has a red 3D effect.
- Sometime in January, was the second time a contestant has $16,000 on the Big Bet row, and nearly wins the maximum $32,000 cash in the Money Cards.
- By February 15, the audience polling group's members' name tags are updated. Its background has changed from light yellow to white, plus the text color is now blue instead of black, and the tags are now hexagon shaped instead of revtangular.
- By February 22, the $32,000 chyron graphic is now animated, with each character flipping in simultaneously, then blinking a few times, then flipping out simultaneously.
- As of February 29, the tiebreaker rules are changed to a one-question sudden death game, where both base cards are shown before the winner of the question decides what they want to do.
- March 28-April 1 was Young People's Week XII. The "WIN!" card from Christmas 1987 are still used, though the bonus prize reverts back to just a trip to Hawaii the next time Young People's Week airs. They revert back to the "HAWAII" cards by July 1988. The $32,000 chyron graphic with the black 3D effect returns for this week only.
- On March 29, Bob announces to the world that Lacey Pemberton is pregnant. Lacey may be the first and only Card Sharks model among all incarnations to go on maternity leave.
- June 6-10: Ray Combs, the host of the new version of Family Feud makes a series of cameo appearances to plug Family Feud, which premiered on CBS four weeks later.
- Starting July 4: In an attempt to reboost ratings, the car game was updated to involve a question involving the week's audience polling group, and contestants were required to register his/her answer on the range board (a scale with numbers 0 to 10, with a blue diamond to move the marker on his/her guess). This format was based on the "Judge the Jury" segment on the 1979 game show Mindreaders. This new version may have been designed to be a cost-cutting measure, due to a reduced prize budget from declining ratings by that point. Plus, it is believed that the car was won less often in this format.
- July 11-15 was Young People's Week XIII. It is the earliest known episode with a dark blue banner with "YOUNG PEOPLE'S WEEK" (including quotation marks) displayed in Helvetica text. The banner is shown briefly at the very beginning of the show in front of the Hawaii trip skin before it disappears as the computer-animated dealing of the cards began.
- July 11-15: The seven numbered cards make their final appearances this week, since this week of episodes was taped before the range board car game debut episode was taped.
- On July ##, Probe was the first contestant to win the car on the range board car game.
- It is believed that August 5 was Lacey's last show before her maternity leave.
- From early-August until December 9, guest models start appearing while Lacey is on maternity leave.
- November 21-23: Earliest-known Young People's Week with the range board bonus game, with the rules modified so that young contestants could win the trip to Hawaii if exactly right or off by one ($500 bonus is eliminated for this week only). It is unknown if this was Young People's Week XIV, or XV if there was a Young People's Week in August or September.
- December 9 was the last episode with guest models filling in for Lacey.
- On December 12, Lacey returns from her maternity leave.
- December 19-30: Christmas decorations prevalent during this two-week period.
- January 20 was the last nationwide pre-emption of the series - this time, due to President George H.W. Bush's inauguration coverage.
- By sometime in February, since the show is confirmed by this point to be cancelled, the final Young People's Week winner was brought back to finish her run by playing the Money Cards and playing for a trip to Hawaii, despite not being Young People's Week.
- March 31: Final episode aired on CBS. During the final playing of the car game, the Young People's Week rules would apply, with the $500 bonus being eliminated, and the contestant would win the car if exactly right, or off by one.