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
welldeserved.
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.
BullsEye – 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
1525. The second prize is always 3035, The third prize
is always 4050. 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.
HalfOff – 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.
PunchABunch – 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? Email
Gordon Pepper at
gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.
