California Split

Synopsis: A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of desperation, he pawns most of his possessions and goes to Reno for the poker game of a lifetime. A film set mainly in casinos and races, as the two win and lose (but mainly win), get robbed, and get blind drunk.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Robert Altman
Production: Columbia Pictures
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

A new game starting, five draw.

Five and ten draw. Get in the game

starting with R.B., J.L., L.B., S. G...

Five and ten draw. Get in the game

starting with R.B., J.L., L.B., S. G...

R.M., R.P., G.C., G.W., B.F., and J.B.

Five and ten draw, get in, the game's

starting. Come right in. Five draw.

L.B. five draw. Five and ten draw. L.B.

Feeling lucky?

All right, sir.

Double T.

Hello, Bill.

- Put you on at five?

- Put me on at ten.

On at ten.

Poker has been around for a long time.

It sure has.

But it isn't like this anymore.

The saloon has been replaced by this...

with a game that can be played in comfort

and with full confidence in the management.

And here is the man who is responsible

for that confidence: Mr. Murry Shepherd.

Welcome to the California Club,

where your pleasure is our business.

It has been said that nearly everyone

in America understands poker...

or wants to.

It is one of America's most popular games.

And since you have shown

an obvious interest by coming here...

we have prepared a short film

to teach you the fundamentals...

of the game as we play it here.

Service is our only commodity.

This film is part of that service.

The object of the game is to win the pot.

- Hope I remember that.

- There are two variations of this game:

- High draw. The highest ranking hand wins.

- Don't give me that.

- Low draw...

- There's my baby.

... where the winning hand holds the lowest

possible ranking combination of cards.

As you enter the club, the reservation

and game board is located in the card room.

You must stop here and tell the boardman

of your game preference.

He will enter your initials on the board...

and you will be called

and directed to a table by a floorman.

The floorman puts the games together...

interprets and applies the rules of poker.

His decisions are final.

C. W. ten blind. C. W. in the coffee shop.

C.W., ten blind.

C.W., double his money.

The management of the club

has no financial interest in any game.

There is no house deal.

Each player plays for himself.

And each in turn acts as a dealer.

When you are seated at the game,

you'll be asked to pay a rental fee...

which will be collected thereafter

at the beginning of each half hour.

B.D. ten blind. B.D., ten, twenty low.

You must have a full buy-in

when you are seated to begin playing.

Chips must be purchased from the chip girl.

The buy-in is determined

by the limit of the game you choose to play.

You must ante before you receive cards.

The ante is placed

on the number directly in front of you.

The number is also your seat number

at the table.

What do you do, Lew?

I'll call.

Acquiring the knowledge and skill

to play card games such as poker...

is a social asset.

To make the most of this asset...

it is simply good judgment

to be wanted at the card table.


Don't be a spoilsport now.

- Who's the bettor?

- $20 to you. Me.

You're so pretty I'm going to fold.

- Is everybody out?

- That's it.

You mean I've got a goddamn six

and everybody's out?

This depends even more on good manners

than upon the skill of the player.

The following principle should increase

one's popularity as a card player.

I need one little, teensy...

Sit erect.

- Maintain a quiet bearing.

- Come on, get on with it.

Come on, sweetheart.

- Avoid nervous habits.

- $40.

I have a seat for you. Now come on in.

During the game, avoid conversation

regarding matters not relating to the game.

I'll just have to call you.

An appearance of awkwardness

and clumsiness...

I didn't think you were that good.

... gives a bad impression

of one's ability to play.

Wait a minute.

What do you think you're doing?

What do you mean, "wait a minute"?

You said it was good.

No, I said that I didn't think

that you were that good. I got a seven-four.

When a hand has gone very well for you,

don't talk about it.

The film you've just been viewing cannot

instantly make you a good poker player.

The more skilled you become,

the more pleasurable you will find the game.

- I had a feeling...

- Next year.



- I call.

- Well, I'll raise the raise.

- Goodbye.

- I'm out.


And one more time to you.

What a pot.

- Another $20, huh?

- The table is so slow.

- You wanted one of these.

- Go ahead, I call.

- Cards?

- Pat.

Pat. Very interesting.

Come on.

Do you mind picking the cards up

and dealing them the regular way?

You did stay pat? You are pat?

Come on.

Wait a second, lady.

I got a big decision to make here.

I'm gonna let you break me down.

I'll let you break me down. Two cards.

- Two beauts.

- That's very nice.

- Oh, my!

- Great catch.

- Hey, pal, that card's dead.

- What are you talking about?

- The card went off the table. It's a dead card.

- You're absolutely right, chief.

My gratitude

for your knowledge of the rules...

except the card never left the table.

The card went off the table, it's a dead card.

Did you see that card go off the table?

- I didn't see nothing at all.

- It's stupid of me to ask you.

- What about you? Did you see it?

- All I see is the time passing.

- Pop, did you see it?

- Nothing.

How much you bet?

Somebody must have seen it.

- Kenny, this is ridiculous.

- I want to change my table.

- What's the problem?

- The problem is the card went off the table...

and hit the floor and he won't give it up.

There's nothing to give up.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Joseph Walsh

Joseph Walsh is an actor and the screenwriter of California Split. more…

All Joseph Walsh scripts | Joseph Walsh Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "California Split" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 May 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    California Split


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.