Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 2 Episode 3

Cutting Cards

Aired Unknown Apr 21, 1990 on HBO

Episode Recap

Veteran gambler Reno Crevice returns to one of his usual gambling haunts after a year's absence. He doesn't find any of his regular playing "victims", but he does find Sam Forney, another veteran gambler and Reno's most hated rival. They both hate each other - so much so that Sam suggests a game with the bet being that the loser has to leave town and the state.

They start with dice...but both roll double sixes. Reno suggests upping the ante: Russian roulette. Sam happens to have a revolver in his car.

Reno sets the chamber and spins it. They go back and forth until it looks like Reno is going to get the live chamber. Reno, however, isn't willing to quit. "Mark these words well in your mind, because they're my very last ones: I don't want it said that Reno Crevice didn't have the b*lls to do it." He pulls the trigger - nothing. The bullet is a dud. Reno promptly accuses Sam of cheating - rigging the gun with dead ammo. Sam ups the ante further by suggesting "chop poker" - a poker game where there is no ante, no pot. If a player loses a hand, the other gets to chop off a piece of the loser with a cleaver.

Some time later, Reno and Sam are sharing a room in an asylum. The game of chop poker - and their relentless desire to beat each other - has reduced them to limbless torsos playing checkers, moving the pieces with a piece of gum attached to their noses. In an additional ironic twist, the two men who once made a bet because they hated each other...are now sharing a room together.
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