Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:40 PM
It depends what you want it to look like!
The basic approach would be to light the table from above only, making sure that light doesn't spill onto the background. But there are a million variations of this depending on the size of the table, the contrast you want, the amount of fill you want on their faces, any edge light you may need, etc.
Some kind of soft box large enough to cover all the actors, and skirted on the sides would give you a relatively soft illumination of the whole table, but still give contrast on the underside of their faces and hands. Another approach might be more like the typical "interrogation room" setup with a small, strong source pounded down into the center of the table, and let the actor's faces be lit by bounce from the table and whatever soft spill comes off the edge of the beam from above. This approach is a little more dramatic as there's a bright hotspot in the center of the table, and the actors move in and out of light as they move around. There are also some dynamic bounces and shadows as they move the cards around.
But if this is less "drama" and more "reality TV" where capturing the action is more important, then you may want to use separate key lights for each of the players, a little farther away and more frontal to get the light more into their faces. You could use something like 4 4x4 Kino's, one opposite each player and far enough back to do double-duty as a backlight for the opposite player.