Game Shows Wiki
Jack Barry
Johnny Jacobs
Unsold Pilot for CBS Daytime: 11/16/1975
Barry & Enright Productions

"These three windows will determine the fate of these two players, as they challenge each other in knowledge and daring on Double Cross! Now, here's the host of Double Cross, Jack Barry!"

Double Cross was a game show pilot produced by Jack Barry for CBS in 1975. Some elements of the game would be reused in The Joker's Wild, Play the Percentages, and most obviously Bullseye.

Main Game[]

Two contestants competed, each having selected a favorite category before the game.

The game board consisted of three hexagonal windows. The window on the top displayed a random category, and the two windows on the bottom displayed dollar amounts from $10 to $100, which were added to a pot.

The player in control "spun" the game board by squeezing two crossed rods together. After each spin, the player could decide whether to answer questions in the displayed category for the sum of the values in the "money windows" or spin again for as many spins as it takes, in hopes of getting a better category, with money sums added to the pot, which will (eventually) become the main value for each question. However, if a cross appeared in either of the bottom windows, the player lost control of the board and all the pot money accumulated to that point. If a cross never appeared and when the player in control does decide to play a category shown in the "category window", then Jack posed multiple choice questions under the selected category to the player in control. Answering the questions correctly added the value to his/her pot. If at anytime the player missed a question, s/he lost all the money in his/her pot. That's why to prevent this from happening, s/he always had the option to stop and back the money after each successful question. Either way, his/her turn will then be over, and his/her opponent will then take a turn. By the way, when spinning, if a "double cross" appeared (a cross in both money windows), the player in control lost all the money both in the pot and in his/her bank.

The first player to score $1,000 or more won the game. If the first player reach the goal of $1,000, the second player was given one last turn in order to catch up, with a cross or a mistake along the way, giving the game to the first player.

The winner of the game, kept the money and advanced to the bonus round, which could be worth more than $4,000.

Bonus Round[]

The champion is allowed five spins in which to accumulate $1,000 or more in order to win a special prize (in the pilot, a trip to Africa). As in the main game, the player stops the windows by squeezing crossed rods together.

The two windows on the bottom still display random dollar amounts, but the top window now displays surprises that would either help or hinder a player such as "add $300" or "this spin is zero". A "double cross" in the surprise window lost all the money, which was why the player has the option to stop and take the money after any spin.


  • Given the timeframe of this pilot, it is believed that Double Cross was CBS' attempt to make amends with Barry after attempting to replace The Joker's Wild with Spin-Off and later Give-N-Take (which ended less than two weeks after this pilot was taped) without actually returning Joker to the schedule.
  • The format of continuing to answer questions at the risk of losing the money or stopping and banking the money became the "Fast Forward" category in Joker when it returned to the airwaves in syndication in 1977.
  • The idea of each player selecting a category before the game was incorporated into the main game of Play the Percentages for the second part of its run.
  • The layout of the game board was inverted for Bullseye, with the hexagonal windows changed to circular ones.


Main - "Pressure Cooker" by Keith Droste


CBS Television City, Hollywood, California


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