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Hey! Remember that game show on NBC where the contestants tried to match prizes hidden behind spaces on the board?...No, the other one. It’s “Three on a Match,” a surprisingly obscure game that lasted for three and a half years on NBC daytime. Bill Cullen was at the helm for a game of questions, strategy, and blind luck.

The players are shown three categories and each contestant bids on how many questions 1-4, they want to answer in any one category. Top bid wins, except for two-way ties, where the low bid wins.

The winning bidder selects a category and must answer the number of questions required by the bid. Doing so wins ($10 x number of questions bid by all three players), while failing gives that opportunity to your opponents. The category might also have a bonus of “Double Pot” noted in the question book, but the “Free Box” bonuses used by the series are nowhere to be found.

When a contestant has at least $90, they have the right to go to the prize board. They must purchase boxes classified by color and dollar value until either they run out of cash or they make a match. If they make a match, they win that prize and the money in the  jackpot.

“What cash jackpot?” If you’re asking that, then you’ve seen the series the game is based on. Here’s a difference in the way the game is played. If a contestant goes to the prize board and fails to make a match in just their first three picks, $100 is put in the jackpot, and it accumulates that way until somebody wins a prize. The first contestant to win $5000 in cash and prizes is declared the winner. This usually requires one player to win three games, so playing by the rules on the box, you’re actually in for a pretty long night…not that I’m complaining, since I like the game.

The included material seems just a bit thin. As I said, it’s going to take at least three games, maybe as many as seven, to declare a winner. In that case, 150 categories seems just a bit short. The game board and bid dials are spiffy pieces of equipment, even if they are somewhat cheap in nature. Elements of the actual series that are missing (such as the Free Box bonuses) aren’t really missed, and the game is easily adaptable if you don’t want to use the rules in the box. 

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OVERALL RATING: starstarstarstarstar

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