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(Slate)   How Aaron Paul or other contestants on The Price is Right can maximize their chances of winning. Yeah science, biatch   (slate.com) divider line 68
    More: Interesting, The Price Is Right, bidders, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Honda Accord, DePaul University, crib sheets, peanut butter cup  
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8405 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Nov 2013 at 10:53 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-13 10:27:21 AM  
manilovefilms.com
 
2013-11-13 10:32:30 AM  
Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.
 
2013-11-13 10:37:59 AM  
One dollar
 
2013-11-13 10:58:29 AM  

dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.


Take the $130,000 offer?? Are you an idiot?? There's a MILLION DOLLARS out there!
 
2013-11-13 10:58:42 AM  
Game theory skills to help people win The Price is Right? That sounds legen-wait for it...

static.tumblr.com

/dary!
 
2013-11-13 11:02:08 AM  
Big boobies still the strategy to getting called in the first place.
 
2013-11-13 11:02:14 AM  
What she really should have done, however, is bid $1,201

Yes, and then everyone would have hated her for it, because everyone knows that is the proper strategy, just as everyone knows it is also a very dickish thing to do.
 
2013-11-13 11:03:04 AM  
Good work, but it's obvious that if you truly wish to dominate on TPIR, you need an understanding of game theory and retail pricing structures. The aggregate games in which item prices are very close to one another (grocery games, etc.) are next to impossible unless you have an idea of what a box of Rice-a-Roni costs.
 
2013-11-13 11:06:28 AM  
forsurenot.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-11-13 11:08:04 AM  

Deep Contact:


No chit..... how bout that....
 
2013-11-13 11:09:45 AM  

dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.


The trick is there's some option value that remains in the opening of the cases, too.
 
2013-11-13 11:10:14 AM  

StrangeQ: What she really should have done, however, is bid $1,201

Yes, and then everyone would have hated her for it, because everyone knows that is the proper strategy, just as everyone knows it is also a very dickish thing to do.


A smart contestant who was one of the first 4 would get everybody to bid $1 more than the previous bidder, every time.  That would guarantee that the first 6 people called to "come on down" would be the 6 who made it on stage, unless the first person bid exactly right and gummed up the plan.
 
2013-11-13 11:11:02 AM  
Was watching it one day and some dumb coont kept guessing 420 in contestant's row. Stop giving stoners a bad name blondie!
 
2013-11-13 11:11:38 AM  

dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.


The flaw in your presentation is in the bolded part - because any amount is a win. Even $1 is $1 more than the contestant had going in, and your method eliminates automatically eliminates any potential gains greater than the average of the remaining cases.

/differing perspectives :)
 
2013-11-13 11:11:38 AM  

EJ25T: Good work, but it's obvious that if you truly wish to dominate on TPIR, you need an understanding of game theory and retail pricing structures. The aggregate games in which item prices are very close to one another (grocery games, etc.) are next to impossible unless you have an idea of what a box of Rice-a-Roni costs.


The problem with that is the huge differences in pricing in different regions.
 
2013-11-13 11:16:14 AM  
For some reason it always bugs me when people, like the author of this article, refer to the final game as the showcase showdown. The final game is the showcase. To get to the showcase you have the showcase showdown, which is the big wheel.
 
2013-11-13 11:17:17 AM  

dopekitty74: Was watching it one day and some dumb coont kept guessing 420 in contestant's row. Stop giving stoners a bad name blondie!


I think I remember that one. By show's end, Bob looked visibly irritated with him.
 
2013-11-13 11:20:29 AM  

mechgreg: For some reason it always bugs me when people, like the author of this article, refer to the final game as the showcase showdown. The final game is the showcase. To get to the showcase you have the showcase showdown, which is the big wheel.


How long have you been unemployed?
 
2013-11-13 11:22:22 AM  

wxboy: StrangeQ: What she really should have done, however, is bid $1,201

Yes, and then everyone would have hated her for it, because everyone knows that is the proper strategy, just as everyone knows it is also a very dickish thing to do.

A smart contestant who was one of the first 4 would get everybody to bid $1 more than the previous bidder, every time.  That would guarantee that the first 6 people called to "come on down" would be the 6 who made it on stage, unless the first person bid exactly right and gummed up the plan.


It would work as long as the first bidder always bid $1.  What would be interesting to see would be the late comers' reactions if it caught on.  Clearly they wouldn't want to go along with it if they were the 7th contestant since they would never get on stage, so would they just try to guess as close as possible and hope they hit it right on the nose, or would they intentionally overbid to try and bluff the conspirators?
 
2013-11-13 11:28:13 AM  
AARON PAUL
 
2013-11-13 11:32:27 AM  
If this gets popular enough to affect outcomes, TPIR can change up the games some. Like the ones where TFA notes insufficient randomness, they can start randomizing better.

Or they might add new elements. IIRC the final puzzle in Wheel Of Fortune used to not give you any letters at the start, you would guess 5 consonants and 1 vowel. Then everybody figured out your best bet was to guess R S T L N E. So Wheel started just giving you those, having you guess other letters.

It kind of surprised me that there were so many where no strategy was superior to just guessing. I assume that means they're well-designed.
 
2013-11-13 11:36:32 AM  

Mellotiger: EJ25T: Good work, but it's obvious that if you truly wish to dominate on TPIR, you need an understanding of game theory and retail pricing structures. The aggregate games in which item prices are very close to one another (grocery games, etc.) are next to impossible unless you have an idea of what a box of Rice-a-Roni costs.

The problem with that is the huge differences in pricing in different regions.


That's true, but they're all relatively proportional.

Just making up these numbers, but the idea is the same:
Mac and Cheese in OK - $1.29, in CA - $1.79
Tomato paste in OK - $.69, in CA - $1.09

One product that's cheaper than another in one part of the country will almost always be the same proportionally, even if the base price levels are different.

I've spent way too long thinking about TPIR today.
 
2013-11-13 11:37:06 AM  
His flowchart for winning Now or Then was confusing as fark
 
2013-11-13 11:38:04 AM  

machoprogrammer: His flowchart for winning Now or Then was confusing as fark


Nevermind, re-read it. I get it now
 
2013-11-13 11:39:44 AM  
The bozos who bid $1 more than another contestants are "douchebagging it" in our household parlance.

At least have some balls and give the other contestant some breathing room... $50 is the minimum overbid to not be a douchebag.
 
2013-11-13 11:44:21 AM  

Gaseous Anomaly: If this gets popular enough to affect outcomes, TPIR can change up the games some. Like the ones where TFA notes insufficient randomness, they can start randomizing better.

Or they might add new elements. IIRC the final puzzle in Wheel Of Fortune used to not give you any letters at the start, you would guess 5 consonants and 1 vowel. Then everybody figured out your best bet was to guess R S T L N E. So Wheel started just giving you those, having you guess other letters.

It kind of surprised me that there were so many where no strategy was superior to just guessing. I assume that means they're well-designed.


The show is about contestants winning wild prizes. It's watched by people who think a minivan is a wild prize. Why do you think they want fewer wins? A win % of 50 or 70% like described for some of the games in tfa is not too easy in the eyes of television viewers.
 
2013-11-13 11:46:12 AM  

StrangeQ: wxboy: StrangeQ: What she really should have done, however, is bid $1,201

Yes, and then everyone would have hated her for it, because everyone knows that is the proper strategy, just as everyone knows it is also a very dickish thing to do.

A smart contestant who was one of the first 4 would get everybody to bid $1 more than the previous bidder, every time.  That would guarantee that the first 6 people called to "come on down" would be the 6 who made it on stage, unless the first person bid exactly right and gummed up the plan.

It would work as long as the first bidder always bid $1.  What would be interesting to see would be the late comers' reactions if it caught on.  Clearly they wouldn't want to go along with it if they were the 7th contestant since they would never get on stage, so would they just try to guess as close as possible and hope they hit it right on the nose, or would they intentionally overbid to try and bluff the conspirators?


Now that I think about it, in practice, such a strategy would only work for the last two to bid in any round (except the last, of course) in which all four contestants agreed to the scheme.  Each newcomer would have to be convinced to participate, and remaining contestants would have to stick with it, and as the strategy becomes obvious, everyone would be less likely to participate because there won't be enough time to cycle through to them.

The problem arises because as you say, contestant 7 is screwed, and may not participate, which screws contestants 5 and 6, leading them to not participate, which rolls back up the line to everybody.  So this can only work if you're smart and slick and the last to bid in a round, and the other contestants are dumb or too caught up in the moment to see the trap.
 
2013-11-13 11:57:51 AM  

LesserEvil: The bozos who bid $1 more than another contestants are "douchebagging it" in our household parlance.

At least have some balls and give the other contestant some breathing room... $50 is the minimum overbid to not be a douchebag.


Tough shiat - if I'm on the show I'm there to win, not to do the shiny happy people routine with a total stranger.
 
2013-11-13 12:04:53 PM  

Carousel Beast: dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.

The flaw in your presentation is in the bolded part - because any amount is a win. Even $1 is $1 more than the contestant had going in, and your method eliminates automatically eliminates any potential gains greater than the average of the remaining cases.

/differing perspectives :)


OK, let's call mine an "optimizing strategy".
 
2013-11-13 12:13:05 PM  

UsikFark: Gaseous Anomaly: If this gets popular enough to affect outcomes, TPIR can change up the games some. Like the ones where TFA notes insufficient randomness, they can start randomizing better.

Or they might add new elements. IIRC the final puzzle in Wheel Of Fortune used to not give you any letters at the start, you would guess 5 consonants and 1 vowel. Then everybody figured out your best bet was to guess R S T L N E. So Wheel started just giving you those, having you guess other letters.

It kind of surprised me that there were so many where no strategy was superior to just guessing. I assume that means they're well-designed.

The show is about contestants winning wild prizes. It's watched by people who think a minivan is a wild prize. Why do you think they want fewer wins? A win % of 50 or 70% like described for some of the games in tfa is not too easy in the eyes of television viewers.


I agree. But if a simple strategy gets well-known for some of the games, and everybody just plays that strategy, that can get kind of boring for viewers. So even if they want a lot of winners (and no doubt they do) they might not want any games to have trivial solutions.
 
2013-11-13 12:15:03 PM  

dittybopper: Carousel Beast: dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.

The flaw in your presentation is in the bolded part - because any amount is a win. Even $1 is $1 more than the contestant had going in, and your method eliminates automatically eliminates any potential gains greater than the average of the remaining cases.

/differing perspectives :)

OK, let's call mine an "optimizing strategy".


I'd optimize it further. If $130,000ish is your "target" offer to take, that will be shifted by the amounts available in the remaining cases. While you go in planning to take any offer in that range, if you manage to knock out many of the lower value cases, you may reset your expectations higher. Likewise, if you knock out the high value cases you may wish to be willing to walk away with $50,000 (since that's more than you came in with and is a significant boost to most bank accounts).

If things pretty much average out (knocking out both high and low value) then you stick with the original plan. But otherwise one might wish to readjust based on how the initial moves come down. Sure, better to walk with a given $130K than ending up with no more than airfare home. But if the high dollar cases drive up those offers you might as well see how it goes.
 
2013-11-13 12:20:22 PM  

mechgreg: For some reason it always bugs me when people, like the author of this article, refer to the final game as the showcase showdown. The final game is the showcase. To get to the showcase you have the showcase showdown, which is the big wheel.


You should get out more.
 
2013-11-13 12:23:55 PM  

JuicePats: LesserEvil: The bozos who bid $1 more than another contestants are "douchebagging it" in our household parlance.

At least have some balls and give the other contestant some breathing room... $50 is the minimum overbid to not be a douchebag.

Tough shiat - if I'm on the show I'm there to win, not to do the shiny happy people routine with a total stranger.


Yeah, that is on the show runners - that game would be a reasonable one if played head to head as the first person then should make the best guess they can, and the other player can either go higher or lower, but three or more people "breaks" it.
 
2013-11-13 12:27:29 PM  

dittybopper: Carousel Beast: dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.

The flaw in your presentation is in the bolded part - because any amount is a win. Even $1 is $1 more than the contestant had going in, and your method eliminates automatically eliminates any potential gains greater than the average of the remaining cases.

/differing perspectives :)

OK, let's call mine an "optimizing strategy".


It's an optimization strategy for a pool of players over a long time. For an individual player, it doesn't work that easily. The value for an individual player is in the opportunity, not the average dollar amounts in the cases.
 
2013-11-13 12:29:04 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: UsikFark: Gaseous Anomaly: If this gets popular enough to affect outcomes, TPIR can change up the games some. Like the ones where TFA notes insufficient randomness, they can start randomizing better.

Or they might add new elements. IIRC the final puzzle in Wheel Of Fortune used to not give you any letters at the start, you would guess 5 consonants and 1 vowel. Then everybody figured out your best bet was to guess R S T L N E. So Wheel started just giving you those, having you guess other letters.

It kind of surprised me that there were so many where no strategy was superior to just guessing. I assume that means they're well-designed.

The show is about contestants winning wild prizes. It's watched by people who think a minivan is a wild prize. Why do you think they want fewer wins? A win % of 50 or 70% like described for some of the games in tfa is not too easy in the eyes of television viewers.

I agree. But if a simple strategy gets well-known for some of the games, and everybody just plays that strategy, that can get kind of boring for viewers. So even if they want a lot of winners (and no doubt they do) they might not want any games to have trivial solutions.


It's all in the name of fun, so they want some winning and losing, but everyone gets to be on TV and hopefully doesn't feel cheated. I don't see why they would crack down on some subtle game theory unless people stopped jumping up and down when they won cuz "it's easy." They never cracked down on "one dollar, Bob." There was a mess a few years ago (read about it on Fark) where some guy was yelling out the exact prices, but in those shows no one was having fun and Drew C. looked pretty blah even though the contestant had just won the showcase.
 
2013-11-13 12:35:05 PM  
EJ25T:  unless you have an idea of what a box of Rice-a-Roni costs.

...in Southern California.  I've always calibrated the prices slightly above my experience and it's definitely worked out.
 
2013-11-13 12:37:52 PM  
i1.ytimg.com I don't see this game on his cheat, which appears tough to me at least.
 
2013-11-13 12:38:12 PM  

dittybopper: Heh.

Remember "Deal or No Deal"?  I pretty much figured out the winning strategy for that one after watching it the first time.

First, you take the average of all the prizes.  You total up all the available money in the cases at the beginning, and then divide by the number of cases.  This is your expected average amount of winnings.

Then, when the "banker" offers you more than the average (which as I recall was around $130,000), you take the offer.  Except for those with exceedingly bad luck, most contestants received offers that at or above the average expected payout at some point.

Thing is, I have come to believe that game shows actively screen out people who are smart enough to figure this sort of thing out.


Ahh yes, the roulette of game shows.

Where winning requires absolutely zero skill.

Plus Howie Mandell is a douche
 
2013-11-13 12:45:31 PM  
Statistics and economics in my game show?

You people are buzz-kills.

/teach me more
 
2013-11-13 12:49:57 PM  

MooseUpNorth: dopekitty74: Was watching it one day and some dumb coont kept guessing 420 in contestant's row. Stop giving stoners a bad name blondie!

I think I remember that one. By show's end, Bob looked visibly irritated with him.


Was a Drew Carey era one i was referring to, and the dumbass was a girl. I thought it was cute the first time, but when she persisted in bidding that way for every item, i got irritated
 
2013-11-13 12:50:48 PM  
Since no one has posted this yet...

imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-11-13 12:53:35 PM  

Rapmaster2000: EJ25T:  unless you have an idea of what a box of Rice-a-Roni costs.

...in Southern California.  I've always calibrated the prices slightly above my experience and it's definitely worked out.


I suspect the slightly higher prices than expected aren't due to SoCal grocery prices being significantly more expensive than the rest of the country (I don't even think that's the case; now, if they were New York City prices that's probably true), but probably due to the prices being MSRP which is typically higher than real world prices in a supermarket, especially if you factor in items being on sale.
 
2013-11-13 01:02:34 PM  
Someone actually acknowledged that the 50/50 timesaver games exist! My stopped heart!
 
2013-11-13 01:04:51 PM  

Rapmaster2000: [i1.ytimg.com image 850x478] I don't see this game on his cheat, which appears tough to me at least.


Second row down, second from right. In summary:

bulk.destructoid.com

"Good luck! You'll need it!"
 
2013-11-13 01:08:17 PM  

dopekitty74: MooseUpNorth: dopekitty74: Was watching it one day and some dumb coont kept guessing 420 in contestant's row. Stop giving stoners a bad name blondie!

I think I remember that one. By show's end, Bob looked visibly irritated with him.

Was a Drew Carey era one i was referring to, and the dumbass was a girl. I thought it was cute the first time, but when she persisted in bidding that way for every item, i got irritated


Ah. It seems both of them are 'immortalized' on youtube. 'tpir 420' will find them both.
 
2013-11-13 01:13:52 PM  
More: Interesting, The Price Is Right, bidders, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Honda Accord, DePaul University, crib sheets, peanut butter cup


A+
 
2013-11-13 01:20:45 PM  

Geotpf: Rapmaster2000: EJ25T:  unless you have an idea of what a box of Rice-a-Roni costs.

...in Southern California.  I've always calibrated the prices slightly above my experience and it's definitely worked out.

I suspect the slightly higher prices than expected aren't due to SoCal grocery prices being significantly more expensive than the rest of the country (I don't even think that's the case; now, if they were New York City prices that's probably true), but probably due to the prices being MSRP which is typically higher than real world prices in a supermarket, especially if you factor in items being on sale.


I'm sure you're right about that. It creates a level playing field, even though few people probably pay MSRP for groceries.
 
2013-11-13 01:45:00 PM  
img.pandawhale.com
 
2013-11-13 01:45:13 PM  
...hey, wait a second. I'm spotting two errors in the cheat sheet.

*The margin of error in Cliffhangers is $25, not $30.
*You don't get to see what's behind a card in Spelling Bee before you pick the next one.
 
2013-11-13 01:53:06 PM  

LesserEvil: The bozos who bid $1 more than another contestants are "douchebagging it" in our household parlance.

At least have some balls and give the other contestant some breathing room... $50 is the minimum overbid to not be a douchebag.



I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to WIN!
 
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