|Alex Borstein (Season 1 Only)|
|“Hollywood” Dave Stann|
|GSN: 7/5/2004 – 1/11/2005|
Celebrity Blackjack was a short-lived gambling game show that ran on Game Show Network. Celebrities played blackjack for their favorite charities. The series premiered on GSN July 5, 2004, and ended its run January 11, 2005. While Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin on Family Guy and former cast member of MADtv) was the co-host for the first season only, Matt Vasgersian hosted both seasons. “Hollywood” Dave Stann was the dealer.
Season 1 Gameplay
Five celebrities started each tournament with $100,000 in tournament chips and played 21 hands of blackjack. Minimum bets were $1,000 and maximum bets were $25,000 for the first ten hands. For hands 11–20, the minimum bet was $5,000 and there was no maximum bet. Double down for less was permitted. All bets throughout the tournament had to be in $1,000 increments. A player couldn't bet the remaining $500 which it would count as an all-in bet when the minimum bet was $5,000. However, a player could use the remaining $500 for insurance. Insurance paid 2 to 1. Blackjack paid 3 to 2. The bets for the 21st and final hand were secret, with each player writing his/her bet prior to the hand being played. The deck included four jokers into the six decks they played with. Whenever a player was dealt with a joker card as one of the first two cards, they would have a choice to replace any card on the table still in play once a player had received their first two cards (meaning, once a hand was stood on, it was no longer in-play). A player could also take the dealer's up card, if they wished.
Caroline Rhea was the champion in Season 1, winning $100,000 for her charities (Much Love Animal Rescue and Project ALS).
Season 2 Gameplay
Gameplay was the same in Season 2, but with exceptions:
- There were four celebrities per table, not five.
- The deck included six jokers instead of four.
- The tournament featured ten preliminary rounds, two semi-final rounds, and a final table. Each preliminary table had four celebrities and each semi-final table had five players that won their preliminary round. The top two finishers from each of the two five-person semi-finals would move on to the Final table for a chance at winning an additional $200,000 for their charity.
- The winner of the preliminary round would receive $25,000 for their charity and move on to the semis round. For the Semis Round, the top two finishers (meaning 1st place would win an additional $75,000 and 2nd place would win an additional $50,000) would move on to the Final table. For the final table, first place won $200,000, second place won $50,000, and the last two still had at least $50,000 to give from the preliminaries and the semis.
- The “five-card charlie” was in effect. If a player had five cards without going over 21, he or she would automatically win the hand.
Jason Alexander was the champion in Season 2. He won $300,000 for his charity.