Author Topic: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide  (Read 253138 times)

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Offline AvsFan

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #195 on: September 10, 2019, 01:19:37 PM »
Here's a chart showing the frequencies of the SP prices from seasons 43-47:


And here's a chart showing the frequency of the last digit of the SPs from the same seasons:


As you can see, they like to use prices with uncommon endings: Just 3.5% of SPs used in the last five seasons have ended in 0 or 5. So, it would be better to make guesses that end with other digits.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #196 on: September 10, 2019, 06:26:35 PM »
(Note: thanks for the Spelling Bee feedback! I'll respond when I have some time.)

Squeeze Play

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_11.html)

Random fact
Bob Barker got to show off his kicking skills once when this game just wouldn't cooperate:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJDM0xmrojo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJDM0xmrojo</a>

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 233-329 (41.46%)
  • What it would be by random chance:
    • For four digit prizes: 1/3 (33.33%)
    • For five digit prizes: 1/4 (25%))
Which digit was the correct one to remove? (seasons 40-47)
For four digit prizes
  • The second digit: 72 playings (40.45%)
  • The third digit: 79 playings (44.38%)
  • The fourth digit: 27 playings (15.17%)
For five digit prizes
  • The second digit: 23 playings (36.51%)
  • The third digit: 19 playings (30.16%)
  • The fourth digit: 16 playings (25.40%)
  • The fifth digit: 5 playings (7.974%)
Strategy
There's a trend in this game in recent seasons, and that's that the earlier numbers (such as the second and third digits) are the ones to remove much more often than the later numbers. For example, in season 47, in four digit prizes, the second digit was the one to remove 10 times, the third digit was the one to remove 12 times, and the fourth digit was the one to remove 0 times (i.e. never.) For five digit prizes in season 47, it was even more pronounced: 6 times the second digit was the one to remove, 1 time the third digit was the one to remove, and it was never the case that either the fourth or fifth digit was the one to remove. This trend has been strong since season 42. Thus, whether the prize has four or five digits, you should strongly lean toward removing either the second or the third digit. Only remove the fourth or fifth digit if you're absolutely certain.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #197 on: September 11, 2019, 08:31:31 PM »
Stack the Deck

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_12.html)

Random fact
This game may have the coolest reveal on the entire show, with the top of the prop flipping over to reveal the price of the car. You can see the debut playing here:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fjw7qpUfK4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fjw7qpUfK4</a>
(Jump to the 9:00 mark to see the Stack the Deck playing)

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 35-47): 26-138 (15.85%)
  • What it would be by random chance:  179/10280 (1.74%)
    • By random chance but you know the first number and don't select it as a freebie: 229/2880 (7.95%)
The correct grocery item to choose was...
Seasons 40-46:
  • The top item: 131 items (49.43%)
  • The bottom item: 134 items (50.57%)
Season 47:
  • The left item: 15 items (55.56%)
  • The right item: 12 items (44.44%)
Seasons 43-47:
  • The less expensive item: 111 items (71.15%)
  • The more expensive item: 45 items (28.85%)
How often was each digit in the car price vs. being a fake? (seasons 40-47)

Digit    # times in car    # times fake
  0        16 (48.48%)      17 (51.52%)
  1        85 (93.41%)       6 (6.59%)
  2        59 (72.84%)      22 (27.16%)
  3        46 (63.89%)      26 (36.11%)
  4        51 (77.27%)      15 (22.73%)
  5        33 (58.93%)      23 (41.07%)
  6        47 (79.66%)      12 (20.34%)
  7        47 (64.38%)      26 (35.62%)
  8        53 (75.71%)      17 (24.29%)
  9        51 (64.56%)      28 (35.44%)


Strategy
Grocery pricing
It doesn't completely beat knowing the price, but pick the item you think is less expensive and you'll be right a large percentage of the time.

Which places to pick in the car price
Go back to front. The last digit is the hardest to guess, so that should be the first one you ask for when you get a grocery item right. (And by the way, the last digit is almost never 0, 5, or 9, especially in recent seasons; season 47 in particular had 0 cars ending in any of those digits.) Then pick the second to last digit and then the third to last digit. The first two digits should be the easiest to ascertain, so leave those as the ones you need to guess.

Which numbers are in the car price
The 0 is wrong over half the time, the 5 is wrong 40% of the time and the 1 is almost always in the price, even in cars that start with a 2. Besides that, know the price of the car.

Offline PunchABunchFan

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #198 on: September 12, 2019, 03:15:53 PM »
I absolutely love this thread - thanks so much for all the hard work you've put into researching and analyzing all the games.  I'm going to be disappointed when we get to the end...

Regarding Stack the Deck, do you think there could be a case made for going for the fourth digit to the second digit (right to left)?

My thinking is, with the high % of fake 0s, 5s, and 9s, do you think you could make a case where you can figure out the correct last digit by eliminating fakes?  Or are you still just best going fifth through third and having a one-in-three chance to know the right thousands level for the car?

Thanks again!

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #199 on: September 12, 2019, 09:35:43 PM »
Thanks! Yeah, it's hard to believe we're this close to the end. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself once I have no more articles to write  :lol: :-D.

As for your strategy, my opinion is that it's high risk, high reward. Let's say you go for digits 2, 3, and 4, and the 5 that was on the board was revealed to be the third digit. Now your last digit is a choice between 2, 6, and 8. On the flip side, you could have the exact scenario you mentioned, where there's only one non-0, 5, or 9 option left. But that would be too risky for my taste, as usually you can have a pretty good guess for the first two digits of the car's price.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #200 on: September 12, 2019, 09:39:18 PM »
Swap Meet

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_13.html)

Random fact
Swap Meet debuted on the first episode of the 20th season of the show. You can see it here:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K86T8Kxtuco" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K86T8Kxtuco</a>

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 80-88 (47.62%)
  • What it would be by random chance:  1/3 (33.33%)
The correct prize to choose was...(seasons 40-47)
  • The left-most prize: 22 playings (29.73%)
  • The middle prize: 29 playings (39.19%)
  • The right-most prize: 23 playings (31.08%)
  • The most expensive prize: 7 playings (9.46%)
  • The middle-priced prize: 20 playings (27.03%)
  • The cheapest prize: 47 playings (63.51%)
Strategy
If you know the prices, that's the best strategy here. But there's a very strong trend for the cheapest prize to be the correct one, so if you're not completely certain, pick the prize you think is the cheapest.

Offline ooboh

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #201 on: September 12, 2019, 10:36:42 PM »
Stack the Deck

Random fact
This game may have the coolest reveal on the entire show, with the top of the prop flipping over to reveal the price of the car. You can see the debut playing

Even though its a modified version of Secret Xs reveal, I 100% agree. Its one of my favorite games for that reason alone, otherwise Id hate it just like everyone else.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #202 on: September 13, 2019, 08:37:10 AM »
Switch?

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_87.html)

Random fact
The music they play while switching the prices is the very end of the song they play during Switcheroo.

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 350-192 (64.58%)
  • What it would be by random chance:  1/2 (50%)
The correct decision was to...(seasons 40-47)
  • Switch: 134 playings (58.26%)
  • Not switch: 96 playings (41.74%)
Strategy
If this game is played for two trips, remember the trip rule: the trip farther from LA is more expensive. Otherwise, don't worry about the exact prices, instead, think of which prize you think is more expensive and go from there. If you really have no idea, go ahead and switch, as that's slightly more likely to be right (and, as a fan, I like hearing the music :).)

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #203 on: September 14, 2019, 09:57:54 AM »
Switcheroo

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_14.html)

Random fact
When this game was played on the 1980s nighttime version of the show, it had different think music. Also, the set at the time didn't have a clock on it. You can see a playing here:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GVoW-7VuxQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GVoW-7VuxQ</a>

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 37-143 (20.56%)
  • What it would be by random chance:  31/150 (20.67%) (This assumes you make changes unless you get all 5 numbers right on the first try.)
The correct number to choose for the car was...(seasons 40-47)
  • 1: 25 playings (33.33%)
  • 2: 18 playings (24%)
  • 3: 25 playings (33.33%)
  • 4: 3 playings (4%) (all in season 47)
  • 5: 0 playings (0%)
  • 6: 4 playings (5.33%) (never more than once in a season)
  • 7: 0 playings (0%)
  • 8: 0 playings (0%)
  • 9: 0 playings (0%)
Strategy
Choose a low number for the price of the car!!! It's almost always 1, 2, or 3, though they did sneak in some 4's in season 47. Also, the missing number is rarely the same as the digit to its left or right; that's only happened 7 times in the 75 playings from seasons 40-47. Beyond that, you should use process of elimination to figure out the correct digit for the car. To do this, figure out the prices of the small prizes first. Put those blocks in, and then put the block for the car's price last. As for whether to make changes or not after the first attempt, that's up to you; if you have three right, the numbers say you shouldn't change the price of the car since you have a 60% chance of that being right, but if you have two or fewer numbers right, you should change the price of the car. Of course, that assumes you placed randomly.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #204 on: September 16, 2019, 01:00:42 PM »
Take Two

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_38.html)

Random fact
This game used to have a much plainer rectangular board. You can see a playing of it here:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilppHr4xMAk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilppHr4xMAk</a>
(Jump to the 28:30 mark to see the Take Two playing.)

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 73-64 (53.28%)
  • What it would be by random chance:  1/3 (33.33%)
The correct two prizes to choose were...(seasons 40-47)
  • The two cheapest prizes: 0 playings (0%)
  • The cheapest and the second most expensive prizes: 1 playing (season 40) (1.45%)
  • The cheapest and the most expensive prizes: 12 playings (17.39%)
  • The second cheapest and second most expensive prizes: 4 playings (5.80%)
  • The second cheapest and the most expensive prizes: 41 playings (59.42%)
  • The two most expensive prizes: 11 playings (15.94%)
Strategy
The most expensive prize was part of the correct combination 64 out of 69 times from seasons 40-47. Further, the most expensive prize has been part of the correct combination in every single playing since season 44. So the strategy here is to find the most expensive prize and then find the prize that combines with it to get the target price.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #205 on: September 17, 2019, 09:45:34 AM »
Temptation

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_65.html)

Random fact
Early in the show's history, there was a game called Double Digits that had sort of similar mechanics. It was played a total of five times. You can see a playing here:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-jllgRdeUw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-jllgRdeUw</a>
(Jump to the 1:50 mark to see the Double Digits playing.)

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 20-154 (11.49%)
  • What it would be by random chance:  1/16 (6.25%)
The correct digit to choose was...(seasons 40-47)*
  • The higher digit in the prize's price: 134 prizes (46.05%)
  • The lower digit in the prize's price: 157 prizes (53.95%)
  • The digit that appeared more frequently in the prize's price**: 106 prizes (47.32%)
  • The digit that appeared less frequently in the prize's price**: 118 prizes (52.68%)
* Excluding the $549 prize used in season 40
** Excluding prizes where the digits appeared equally often (such as $2,299 in cash.)

Strategy
Car pricing strategy
The last digit is almost always 5, and when it's not 5, it's 0. Since at least season 40, the prices of all the cars in this game have ended in 0 or 5; in seasons 46 and 47, one car had a price ending in 0 and all the others ended in 5. For digits 2-4, it's "know the price" territory.

Should you take the prizes or go for the car?
In order to decide if you should go for the car, you need to know two things:
  • The ratio (R) of the value of the car to you against the value of the prizes. For example, if the car is worth $18,000 to you and the prizes are worth $6,000, this ratio is $18,000/$6,000, or 3.
  • The probability (P) that you are right about the car.
Given those values, go for the car if and only if  P > 1/(R+1). For example, if R (the ratio) is 3, then go for the car if and only if the probability you have the car's price right is 1/(3+1) = 1/4 = 25% or greater.

Offline AvsFan

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #206 on: September 17, 2019, 12:21:05 PM »
Another way to think about it:

G = value of gifts
C = price of car

G / (G + C) = the percentage of times you will have to be right in order to go for the car (i.e., have a greater expected value in total dollars of prizes won).

For example, gifts are $5,000 and the car is $20,000.

5k / (5k + 20k) = 1/5 or 20%

If you are more than 20% sure that the car price is correct, then go for the car, because winning $25k in prizes >20% of the time is a higher expected value than winning $5k in prizes 100% of the time.

Of course, this strategy could change based on what the value of the car and the value of the gifts are to you, not their actual prices.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #207 on: September 17, 2019, 04:00:06 PM »
Apologies if you already realized this, but our solutions are mathematically equivalent. Starting from G/(G+C), divide everything by G to get 1/(1+C/G), and then C/G is the R (ratio) value I defined. That said, I do like your phrasing of "If you are more than X% sure that the car price is correct" much more than my "probability you are correct" phrasing.

Offline LiteBulb88

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #208 on: September 18, 2019, 08:03:50 AM »
10 Chances

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_18.html)

Random fact
Because of the nature of this game, some contestants end up completely clueless but still win this game. Here's an example of how Bob handled one of those contestants toward the end of his run as host:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i5GZUi07m4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i5GZUi07m4</a>

UNWRITTEN RULE
EVERY CORRECT PRICE IN THIS GAME ENDS IN 0.
This may be the most famous unwritten rule on the show, and it means every prize they ever use in 10 Chances ends in 0. Without exception. If you haven't found the correct price and you're tempted to try endings that aren't 0, stop. Look for the combinations you missed that have the 0 at the end. You are wasting chances if you try prices that end in something other than 0.

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-47): 81-86 (48.50%)
  • What it would be by random chance if you follow the 0 rule and know the first digit of the car:  7/9 (77.78%)
Strategy
I don't need data for this game beyond the 0 rule. If you end all of your guesses with 0 and have even just a bit of a clue about the prices of things, you'll win every time. In fact, since at least season 32, every contestant who has ended all of their guesses in 0 has won this game. But I'll add one more thing that can help: the second prize has always been at least $500 since season 43. That can help you remove some combinations for the second prize.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 08:09:32 AM by LiteBulb88 »

Offline Punchboard91

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Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
« Reply #209 on: September 19, 2019, 03:19:02 AM »
For the record, the $549 prize you were referencing in Temptation for Season 40 was actually $559.