Jimmy Cefalo
Debi Massey
Chuck Reilly
Pilot: 12/6/1989
Syndication (Daily): 9/10/1990 - 9/6/1991
Createl Limited
Fiedler-Berlin Productions
Warner Bros. Television

From the spectacular Trump Castle in world famous Atlantic City, it's time to play (the $100,000 championship on) television's non-stop game of knowledge... TRUMP CARD! And now, here's the star of Trump Card, Jimmy Cefalo!

Trump Card was a one-year game show where three contestants answered questions to fill-up their own bingo-like cards.


The object of the game was to mark off numbers on their bingo card, or in this case, their "Trump Card".

Main GameEdit

Each contestant was equipped with a Trump Card with 15 numbers on them. Player #1's card had numbers 1-15, player #2's card had numbers 16-30, and player #3's card had numbers 31-45. Their job was to fill-up their Trump Card by answering general knowledge questions. Their cards were displayed on their monitors in front of them, while the home viewers saw them superimposed.

Round 1Edit

In round one, the players competed to cover all four corners of their cards by answering questions from four different categories; each category had four questions. One player would choose a category, then a question from that category was asked. The first player to buzz in had a chance to answer. A correct answer covered a corner number on the card, and earned the right to choose another category, but an incorrect answer locked that player out of the next question. This was indicated by the uncovered numbers blacked out on the card. Whenever that happened, the next question came from the next category in line.

The first player to cover all four corner numbers won $750.

Round 2Edit

The object of this round was to complete the entire center line. This time there were four new categories each with five questions. Before that round started, each player was given a very special Trump Card, which was a single card marked with a "T". At any point during the rest of the game, one player can use that Trump Card to stop another player's progress (this was classified as getting another player "Trumped"). A player can only play his/her Trump Card after giving a correct answer. As soon as the card was played, the player whose been "Trumped" had a "T" marked in front of his/her podium in place of his/her Trump Card. To get out of being trumped, that trumped player must answer one question correctly, though there was a 1/2 second delay in buzzing in.

The first player to complete his/her center line won $1,500.

Round 3Edit

In the third & final round, all three players competed to fill-up their entire Trump Card (mark off the rest of the numbers). Jimmy classifies this as a "Flash Round." This time there were no categories in this round, all questions were general knowledge. If any of the players haven't used their Trump Cards yet, they were carried over into this round. The first player to fill-up his/her Trump Card wins the game. If time was up before that happened, the closest non-trumped player to doing so received the money; but if the game ended in a tie, a series of tiebreaker questions were asked for the win. The winner of the game gets an additional $3,000, plus a chance to play the Trump Card bonus round for (up to) $10,000.

The way the payoffs were structured & offered, one player can win up to $5,250.

Trump Card BonusEdit

This bonus game had similarities to the bonus rounds from other game shows, Blockbusters' Gold Rush/Run, The Super Jeopardy bonus from the 1978 revival of Jeopardy!, Catch Phrase's Bonus Game, and Wordplay's Double Definitions Round.

The winning contestant faced a giant 25 numbered square game board. The object of the bonus was to get five-in-a-row in any direction, either across, up & down, or diagonally in 45 seconds or less. To start, the winning contestant pulled a Trump Card from a deck of 25 numbered cards, and the number chosen was immediately covered on the board, in other words it acted as a free space. Should the player win the game without using the special Trump Card, he/she won a bonus trump card choice/bonus free space. Now the player had 45 seconds to get five-in-a-row by answering questions correctly. The winner picked off numbers, and heard questions posed by host Cefalo on each number. A correct answer covered the chosen number, but an incorrect answer or a pass put a block up, and the contestant had to work his/her way around it/start a new route. If the winning player can make a line of five-in-a-row before time ran out, he/she won $10,000. If the winning contestant won with a hat trick in the main game and won the bonus, that player can win a maximum of $15,250.

Towards the end of the run, the endgame payout was altered; getting five-in-a-row between :00-:25 won $2,500, :26-:35 won $5,000, and :36-:45 won $10,000.

Audience GameEdit

During the show, members of the studio audience were each given their own Trump Cards of 15 numbers. Whenever a question was answered correctly, the audience members marked off their corresponding numbers. Meeting the requirements in each round was worth $10, so each audience member can win up to $30.

On the reverse side, there was another board of 15 numbers which will be used for the bonus game. Should the on-stage contestant's free number match the audience member's number on their card, they win an additional half of their winnings (ex: from $30 to $45), but if the on-stage contestant kept their Trump Card and selected a second free number which also match the audience member's number, the audience member's cash was doubled (ex: from $30 to $60). As the on-stage contestant correctly answered questions, audience members marked off the corresponding numbers on their cards. If the audience member was able to mark off three numbers in a row their total winnings were doubled, for a maximum total of $120.

$100,000 Tournament of ChampionsEdit

Toward the end of the show's run, the $10,000 bonus round winners were invited back to play for $100,000. The following changes were made for the tournament:

  • Seven preliminary matches were played and each game was played for a flat $3,000, and there were no bonuses awarded for the first two rounds. The end game was still played for an additional $10,000.
  • In the final match, the two losing contestants received $2,500 and the winner of the tournament received $10,000. To win the $100,000, the contestant had to play the bonus round one final time; however, the $100,000 bonus was not won.


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Score Productions


Based on the British game show Bob's Full House by Terry Mardell and David Moore.


Trump Castle (later called Trump Marina, now called Golden Nugget Atlantic City), Atlantic City, New Jersey


  • The pilot was taped at NBC Burbank. Tapings for the series began July 13, 1990.
  • Donald Trump himself made an appearance on the premiere show.

International VersionsEdit

The following are a list of countries that have previously aired their versions of Trump Card including:

  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom (Country that originated the program as Bob's Full House)


Press PhotosEdit


Trade AdsEdit

Additional PageEdit

Trump Card/Video Gallery


Rules for Trump Card
Trump Card Rules @
The Trump Card Fan Page @
The Trump Card Fan Page @ (archived)

YouTube VideosEdit

A Reconstruction of the Full Theme
An Extended Version of the Opening Theme