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Dreams and Nightmares - November 3

As you can probably guess, the announcement of Bob Barker’s retirement has thrown the game show world into a tizzy. People from all forms of the entertainment industry have been praising Barker, and deservedly so. My personal story was that Bob was a guest speaker at an event for Game Show Congress a few years back, and despite the fact that he was in the middle of taping sessions, he spent almost double the time there that he was allotted for. Every story that I have heard from him has been that he is a class act, and that all of the praise that has been extolled upon him has been well-deserved.

In order to honor the legacy of both Barker and the show that he has helmed for over 35 years, I want to create my dream show – the show with the pricing games that I would want to play if I was a contestant. I will also create the nightmare show – the one where even if I play the games right, the odds are against me or there’s no guarantee that I would win. This schedule is keeping with the traditional Price is Right programming – 2 Car Games, 1 Game with groceries, etc.

Dream Show

Let ‘Em Roll – This is the only game that you are guaranteed to walk off the stage with at least $500. There are other games where you will walk away with something, but nothing as high as $500 – not to mention, if you play the game right, you get 3 shots at a car.

Plinko – Who doesn’t love this game? It goes here for 2 reasons: 1. The chances to walk out of here with at least $100 is huge, and 2. if this doesn’t go here, Travis Schario, Aaron Huertas and the rest of GSNN will greet me with a mass beatdown.

Bulls-Eye – This is my product game. Not only is this a ridiculously easy game to win, (find the most expensive item and take 2 of it), but you get 3 shots and there’s still a 60% chance to win the prize anyways even if you completely underbid on the items.

Switch? – Easy decision to make. You can determine it in many ways – which item is more expensive? Does a price seem logical on that item? There are so many ways to deduce the right answer that you should be able to figure it out.

Cliff Hangers – It’s very, very easy to save Hans from going off the cliff. The first prize is always 15-25. The second prize is always 30-35, The third prize is always 40-50. The way the products are aligned from low price to high price, there is no way to lose this game as long as you have that pattern and guess accordingly.

Ten Chances – This is the easiest game to win a car on, as long as you remember that the last number in every price is ALWAYS zero. This way, there’s only 2 possible combinations on the first prize, and 6 possible combinations on the second and third prizes. That results in 14 combinations with 10 chances, which is an excellent percentage for the player. Usually, you can logically eliminate 1 number from being the first (or second) number, which gives you an even better chance to win.

Nightmare Show

That’s Too Much – We here at GSNN nickname the show ‘You Can’t Win’, for an obvious reason. If you don’t know what the price of the car is, and based on where the place where you should stop is located (which has been anywhere from the 4th to the 8th position), you would have one of 5 places to stop. That is a 20% chance to guess, which makes the chance far and away the lowest percentage chance in any game in the show. Hence, it’s also a game with one of the worst win percentages in the show as well.

Half-Off – The problem of the game is not that it’s a bad game, as I like the concept. The problem is that even if you do everything right, it comes down to a 50/50 guess on where the money is. There’s a structural flaw in any game where you can play it perfectly and still only have a 50% chance of winning.

Joker – If you play the game perfectly, you can get rid of 4 cards on the board. The only problem? There’s 5 cards there, so you can get everything right and still lose. It’s only a 20% chance, but the chance is still there.

Secret X – This game’s odds are even worse. If you play everything right, you have a 33% chance of losing – and that’s only if you play everything right and place the X’s in the corners. Getting only 50% of the game right gives you a whopping 66% chance of losing the game, and those odds, in any book, are terrible.

Punch-A-Bunch – So why is this game here, especially since you will walk off with at least $50? Because out of the 50 spaces on the Punchboard, only two of them have $10,000, which is a miserable 5% chance of winning the top prize. There’s also only 3 spaces with $5,000, so the chances on one punch of you walking out of there with something more than the value of what you bid on in Contestant’s Row is a crappy 5/50, or 10%. Even if you get the maximum 4 punches, the percentage only raises to a little over 25%, which is still craptacular at best. (Yes, I put in a second cash game in here, but the odds are so deceptively bad that it had to be recognized for it.)

5 Price Tags – This game is here for the same reason that the other games are here – you can get all 4 products right and still lose because there are 5 Price Tags available to select from. To add to the misery, most contestants usually don’t come close to getting all 4 products right to begin with, and only have 1 or 2 guesses at the tags, which usually results in a loss.

So those are my top games and bottom games. Keep in mind that these are not my most favorite or least favorite. These are just the games that in my mind are the easiest and hardest to win.
 


The final gift is a quick summary of ‘How to Beat the Games’. Every week will feature three pricing games any my thoughts on how to have the edge on beating the game. Here’s the first selection for this week:

Ten Chances – As you’ve seen up there, this game is one of the easiest to win. Here’s a reminder on how to beat it - – This is the easiest game to win a car on, as long as you remember that the last number in every price is ALWAYS zero. This way, there’s only 2 possible combinations on the first prize, and 6 possible combinations on the second and third prizes. That results in 14 combinations with 10 chances, which is an excellent percentage for the player. Usually, you can logically eliminate 1 number from being the first (or second) number, which gives you an even better chance to win.

3 Strikes – Keep in mind that only expensive cars are up for grabs here. Hence, the first number is NOT going to be less than 3 – and it’s usually more than that, with the second and 4th spots usually where the low numbers go. Though sometimes the 0 or 5 rule comes into play here, the last number is usually neither of those, but is a 9 instead.

5 Price Tags – Though the odds are against you, there are still tips to get a win. If an item’s price is false, the actual item’s price is usually way off, so if something sounds right, then guess True. Also guess True early – most of the time, the first item has a True price. The 0 and 5 rule IS in play here, so if you only have 2 or 3 guesses, go for the prices that end in zero first. If the item is a truck or van, then go for the prices that end in 5 first.

Got any home grown strategies of your own? E-mail Gordon Pepper at
gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.

 

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