Alfonso Ribeiro
Mikki Padilla
GSN: 7/24/2008 - 7/1/2011
Merrill Heatter Productions
Scott Sternberg Productions

Catch 21 was a blackjack-themed game show on GSN similar to Gambit; the title itself is a pun on the best-selling novel Catch-22.


Main GameEdit

Three contestants competed in a game of blackjack with questions (à la Gambit). The object of the game was to make a blackjack hand total 21 (hence catching 21), or come closer to 21 than the other contestants without going over. Anything over 21 was a bust and eliminated the contestant from the round.

The First Two RoundsEdit

Each round started with dealer Mikki Padilla dealing three cards to the contestants (one for each contestant). Then host Alfonso started reading toss-up, multiple choice, general knowledge questions (In Season 1 only, the multiple choice answers were shown on the screen). The first contestant to buzz-in got a chance to answer. A correct answer won 100 points, but an incorrect answer gave the opponents a chance to answer; if another miss occurred, the question was thrown out (unless there were two or three choices left; when that happened, the last contestant got a chance to answer).

The player with a correct guess also won the right to see another card dealt by Mikki. When the card was revealed, the player in control had a choice to make. The contestant could either keep the card and add its value to his/her hand or pass it to one of his/her opponents in an attempt to bust that player. When a player exceeded 12, liked his/her hand total and was in control, the contestant could "freeze" (the player also had that option after getting the question right). Ties were not allowed: once a player was frozen on that number, the number was his/hers. If there was only one contestant left playing, no more questions were asked; only cards were dealt.

The winner of the round was the one who caught/drew to 21, was the last player standing after the others had busted, or was the only player still playing and had exceeded the frozen score. The winner would also receive an additional 500 points and one Power Chip to be used in the bonus round. Starting in Season 2, if any player caught the first 21 of the day's show, he/she also won a bonus prize. On celebrity shows, if any celebrity player caught the first 21 of the day's show, he/she also won $500 for his/her charity and a bonus power chip.

The two players with the highest scores moved on to Round 3, and the third-place player was eliminated from the game. If there was a tie for second place, the two contestants played a high card tiebreaker. Each contestant decided to either see the first or second card in the deck to be shown; highest card won. An ace was always high.

Round 3Edit

The third round was played the same as before, except that points were no longer awarded for correct answers or winning the round. The player with the best hand won the game, $1,000, one more "Power Chip", and the right to play for $25,000. Starting in Season 2, another "Power Chip" was earned for winning the game.

Bonus RoundEdit

In the bonus round, the winning contestant faced a board with three columns. Each column was given one card to start. Then dealer Mikki dealt more cards one by one. On each card, the winning contestant had to place that card on a hand. Along the way, if the contestant saw a card that he/she didn't like, he/she could turn in a Power Chip to throw that card out. Whenever a Power Chip was used, another card had to be played. In Season 1, the contestant could earn up to three Power Chips, and starting in Season 2, the contestant could earn up to four Power Chips (five in case of celebrities). The idea was to catch a 21 exactly. Doing so in a single hand was worth $1,000. Doing it twice was worth $5,000. Catching a 21 in all three hands paid the contestant the top prize of $25,000. If at any time the winning player busted on any hand, the bonus game money was lost, but the $1,000 (and the prize if it was won) from the main game was not at risk. To prevent this from happening, after each safe card, the winning player received the option to stop the game and keep whatever he/she won in the round in addition to the main game cash; the contestant only earned the right to stop when a Power Chip was not used recently.

During the week of June 1, 2009, the grand prize was upped to $50,000. One contestant managed to win it.


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Super Sonic Noise


Merrill Heatter


Hollywood Center Studios


Press photosEdit

Additional PageEdit

Catch 21/Quotes & Catchphrases