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Studio 33 - Price is Right Discussion => The TALK Is Right => Topic started by: LiteBulb88 on June 24, 2019, 05:27:58 AM

Title: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 24, 2019, 05:27:58 AM
With The Price is Right heading toward summer reruns, I thought it'd be fun to start a blog on Price is Right strategy. I plan to put the posts here as well because I want your feedback--do you agree with my strategies? Did I miss something? I can't edit my posts on this website, but I can edit the posts on my blog, and of course any ideas I glean from all of you will be properly credited.

As for the format, what I'll do is post a condensed version of each blog post here as well as a link to my blog. Don't worry--I'll put enough text here that you don't need to go my blog if you don't want to. I'll just skip things like rules and the like that everyone here will already know anyway.

So without further ado, here's the introduction...

(Blog post link: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy.html)

Hi! What is this, you ask? It's a project that's been ratting around in brain since my appearance on The Price is Right. I used strategy to win Master Key, so what other games have strategy? As a completionist, there's no way I could do this for just a couple of games. Thus, my goal is to create the most comprehensive Price is Right strategy guide anywhere on the Internet. I will include stats and tips about every single game in the current rotation (as of June 2019, there are 77 pricing games). Granted, for some games it will be "there is no strategy, just know the price." But you may be surprised about some of the strategies for some of the games. For example, did you know there's a strategy in Magic # that has guaranteed a win in every single playing of that game since season 43 without knowing anything about the actual prices? Or that contestants play Cover Up so horribly that even though they usually know the first two digits of the car's price, they barely win more than they would if they just picked everything completely randomly? Stay tuned!

My plan is to post one of these every day, six days a week. (Sunday will be a day of rest.) I'll start with three posts for things that happen on every show: items up for bids, the showcase showdowns (a.k.a the wheel), and the showcases. Then I'll go through all 77 games in alphabetical order, for a total of 80 posts after this one. My goal is to be done before season 48 starts in September, though they haven't announced the start date of the new season yet, so we'll see how it goes.

Resources: I would be remiss if I didn't post three key resources I'll be using to come up with my strategies:

http://www.golden-road.net
THE best site for TPiR information on the internet, bar none. They have very active forums there and people there have come up with many of the patterns I'll be sharing throughout my posts. They also have incredible information about the show's past, insider photos, and so on. I highly recommend it. (My username there is LiteBulb88 should you wish to see my posts.)

http://www.tpirstats.com
This is a fan of the show who has posted TPiR stats since season 29. Most of the raw data I use to calculate my stats comes from this site.

MATLAB (http://www.mathworks.com)
I'm using MATLAB to do lots of number crunching on the data from the TPiR stats web page. Full disclosure: I worked at the company that makes MATLAB for over 13 years, and I still consult for them. I am a big believer in their products! I don't plan to post the actual code so as not to overwhelm the posts, but I'm happy to share the scripts if anyone asks.

Why am I not using season 47 data very much? While most of season 47 has aired, there are a couple of preempted episodes and a July 4 episode yet to air. According to the Price is Right calendar (http://www.priceisright.com/calendar/), the last first-run season 47 episode doesn't air until July 17. Thus, to avoid using data from an incomplete season that could go out of date after I post, I'll mostly be using data through season 46 only.

Some general strategies:

Trip rule: The farther a trip is from Los Angeles, the more expensive the price. So if you have to decide which trip is more expensive, New York or Salt Lake City, simply remember the trip rule and you'll choose NYC and be right every time.

The rule of pairs: If you have two of an identical prize (such as two identical motorcycles, two identical surfboards, etc.), then the total price is almost certainly going to end in an even number. The reason is that 2 times any integer is guaranteed to be even! The only reason it might be odd is if the original price is something like $2999.45. The show adds and then rounds to the nearest dollar, not the other way around, so in this case, the total price would be $5999, not $5998, as $2999.45 + $2999.45 = $5998.90, which gets rounded to $5999. But that kind of price is rather rare, so if you have a choice of an even or odd number for the price of 2 of an item and you're not sure, go for the even price.

Paint and fabric protection car option rule: If you're playing for a car, listen to the options that George describes. If you hear paint and fabric protection as one of the options, the price will NOT end in a 0 or 5. If you don't hear paint and fabric protection, there's a chance the price will end in a 0 or 5, though it's not guaranteed.

Pick the end points: If you ever see an arrangement of items, pick the one on the far left or far right! (Yup, that was my Master Key strategy.) Most people find it more comfortable to pick the items in the middle and the producers know this. I'll talk about how this applies in specific games as I go along.

And finally...

Get inside your own head: The producers are inside your head before you ever make it on to the stage. They know you're more likely to pick numbers 2-5 in Pass the Buck, choose 5's in Lucky $even, or feel the pressure of everyone staring at you while you're pushing the lever in Magic # and thus stop too soon because you feel it just can't be right to take a long time to set the value.  If you want to maximize your chances of winning, you need to figure out what you'd be afraid to do while playing a game and go counter to that fear. Magic # is an excellent example--people are afraid of taking too long to push the lever. As a result, the game is never lost by putting the price too high; it's always lost by putting the price too low. (In fact, out of the 67 losses in that game from seasons 32-46, ONE of those losses was by setting the number too high.) If you know this in advance, you'll recognize that fear when you get on stage, be willing to set that price high, and have a much better chance of winning. And the time to figure that out is before you ever go to the show; once you're on that stage, things move so fast you probably won't have time to unpack everything you're thinking.

Good luck out there! And if you do use these strategies to win something on the show, drop me a line--I'd love to hear about it!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Flerbert419 on June 24, 2019, 07:56:53 AM
I look forward to where this might go and if you generate any new insights, but I do want to point out there has already been extensive work on the topic.

Here (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,22191.0.html) is a thread with a list published by Slate in 2013 containing strategies for every game, and here (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,12104.0.html) is a link to some probability work that was done a number of years ago by the forum.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: pannoni1 on June 24, 2019, 09:27:08 AM
There are two more that I would add to the general strategy section. The first is the repeating digits rule, and this implies that except for the first two numbers of a price, all other adjacent numbers in the price of a prize, usually a car, will rarely have back-to-back digits be the same number. This is especially useful in games like One Away, Cover Up, Golden Road, Pathfinder, Money Game (using the middle number as a reference), and Lucky Seven.

Another general strategy tip is the "Never all the same". In games where the correct choice is either Higher/Lower, True/False, etc, there will almost never be a game set up where the answer choices are the same (unless there are only two like Secret X or Master Key). Hence, the "Falsitis" that plagues 5 Price Tags, and once again, the contestants' "fears" that usually leads the producer from choosing 3 Falses and 1 True.

Of course, feel free to provide reviews of Hot Seat, Vend-o-Price, Gridlock, and the revamped Time Is Money since those were introduced after the Slate article.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Tech_Triumph on June 24, 2019, 01:59:13 PM
I look forward to where this might go and if you generate any new insights, but I do want to point out there has already been extensive work on the topic.

Here (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,22191.0.html) is a thread with a list published by Slate in 2013 containing strategies for every game

OK complete new guy to the forum so I'm looking forward to reading some of these previous posts, but some of Slate's strategies need some updating (looking at the Bonkers advice for one).

This could be another neat thread to see how much has changed from that article.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 24, 2019, 03:22:49 PM
There are two more that I would add to the general strategy section. The first is the repeating digits rule, and this implies that except for the first two numbers of a price, all other adjacent numbers in the price of a prize, usually a car, will rarely have back-to-back digits be the same number. This is especially useful in games like One Away, Cover Up, Golden Road, Pathfinder, Money Game (using the middle number as a reference), and Lucky Seven.

Another general strategy tip is the "Never all the same". In games where the correct choice is either Higher/Lower, True/False, etc, there will almost never be a game set up where the answer choices are the same (unless there are only two like Secret X or Master Key). Hence, the "Falsitis" that plagues 5 Price Tags, and once again, the contestants' "fears" that usually leads the producer from choosing 3 Falses and 1 True.

Thanks! Those are both excellent points that I've updated my blog with.

I look forward to where this might go and if you generate any new insights, but I do want to point out there has already been extensive work on the topic.

Here (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,22191.0.html) is a thread with a list published by Slate in 2013 containing strategies for every game, and here (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,12104.0.html) is a link to some probability work that was done a number of years ago by the forum.

Thanks! I appreciate the links. I hope the way I'm approaching this will differentiate what I'm doing from what they've done (in particular, I'm going to go into a lot more detail than the Slate "cheat sheet" and I've run code to calculate probabilities that weren't covered in the thread here), but I'll let the readers be the judge :).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: TPIRfan#9821 on June 24, 2019, 11:46:04 PM
I'll throw this up here, since it's a common "hidden" theme; 2Ps, 3Ps, and 4Ps very rarely have the same thousand's digit. Although missing a couple shows, so far, the only exception to that rule this season is Swap Meet, which is self-explanatory.  Usually, this means something like a 1-2-3 setup in a game like Most Expensive, which usually is enough to eliminate one of the two choices.

Also, One Bids nowadays are never under $500, the bare minimum you are going to get if you fully win a pricing game is $5,000, and never bid lower than $20,000 on a Showcase.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 25, 2019, 02:42:21 AM
Items up for bids

Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_5.html

Random fact: If you want to impress your friends, you can call these "one bids," as that's the term used by the show to refer to the prizes the contestants bid on. This term goes all the way back to the original The Price is Right hosted by Bill Cullen in the 1950s and 1960s. You can even use that fact as a pick-up line: "Hey, if they used you as a one bid on The Price is Right, it would be impossible to for anyone to overbid because you're priceless." If you do use that pick-up line, feel free to *not* tell the person you heard it from me.

Key stats (seasons 29-46):
Pricing patterns:
Strategy: Your strategy in contestants' row depends on your position. But your bid should never be less than $500.

Contestant #1: Bid what you think the price is, with a minimum bid of $500.

Contestants #2 and #3: Bid what you think the price is, except:
Contestant #4: The fourth contestant should bid $1 more than someone else. Yes, the person you 1-up will be mad at you, but that's the show. Also, it is almost always wrong to bid $1 or similar. There are two reasons:
What is David's chance of winning? Unless Bob got it exactly right, David has shut him out, which means only 3 contestants (Bob, Charlie, or David) can win the prize. Thus, David's chance is 1/3, or 33.3333...%. Even if everyone has bid too much, everyone just bids again, and David's chance of winning is still 1/3 if he overbids someone by $1. But if:
Now, David's chance of winning is 1/4 (25%), as no contestant is shut out. "But Brian," you may be thinking, "those percentages assume that you're picking the winner randomly. Contestants aren't bidding random prices so this doesn't apply!" The stats suggest the opposite. From seasons 41-46, less than 27% of $1 bids from the fourth bidder ended up as winning bids--that's pretty close to the 25% you'd get from random chance. That means that over 73% of the time, $1 bids that were made were wrong--that's almost 3 out of 4. Compare that to the fact that when bidder 4 doesn't bid $1, they won 44.1% of the time--that's more than 50% more often than when they bid $1.

To be fair, I said bidding $1 or $500 is "almost" always wrong. I can think of two rare exceptions:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on June 25, 2019, 08:48:57 AM
LiteBulb, let me say upfront that I'm thoroughly going to enjoy this series. Keep it up!

Do you happen to have any info on the first known $1 bid?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 25, 2019, 02:53:42 PM
Thanks!! Unfortunately, I don't know when the first $1 bid was.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on June 25, 2019, 05:40:05 PM
I don't know if you can edit entries on that site, but if you can,

  • Anne bids $600
  • Bob bids $750
  • Charlie bids $900
  • David bids $751
What is David's chance of winning? Unless Bob got it exactly right, David has shut him out, which means only 3 contestants (Bob, Charlie, or David) can win the prize.

If David 1-ups Bob, then the three contestants in the running are Anne, Charlie and David, not Bob, Charlie and David, as in the post.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 26, 2019, 03:19:54 AM
Ack! Good catch--I do appreciate it. I can't edit my post here, but I have corrected my blog.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 26, 2019, 03:22:51 AM
Showcase Showdown (a.k.a The Wheel)

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_26.html)

Random fact
The original wheel looked nothing like today's wheel; instead it looked like a carnival wheel with various colors. It's often referred to as the Rainbow Wheel. You can see the first playing of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeMJC1QFmgk

Who actually won? (seasons 29-46)
Probabilities
(The following probabilities were calculated by enumerating all possible combinations of wheel spins and applying the strategy below.)
Who wins:
Getting $1 in one spin or a combination of two spins:
(Note the above three cases exclude the possibility of getting $1 in a spin-off, which would slightly increase the numbers.)

Having a spin-off with...:
Strategy
The only decision a contestant makes during this segment of the show is whether to take their second spin or not. How hard can that be? It turns out it's hard enough that people have written papers (http://fac.comtech.depaul.edu/rtenorio/Wheel.pdf) on it. So rather than attempt to derive the numbers here, I'll just spit out the results:

Spinner 1 strategy:
Spinner 2 strategy:
Spinner 3 strategy:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: pannoni1 on June 26, 2019, 07:42:23 AM

Spinner 2 strategy:
  • If you spun more than spinner 1, or if spinner 1 went over, stay if and only if you spun 0.55 or more. If you are in the lead after your first spin but spun 0.50 or less, spin again.

I'd certainly spin again if I spun .55 if there's just one spinner to go, since if you stay on 55 cents, although there's a 55% chance that you'll go over had you spun again, there would be a 45% chance that your opponent would beat you on the first spin, and if s/he would need a second spin, another 45% chance of accomplishing the task, putting the overall odds of the opponent winning at around 68%, and this doesn't take into account any spinoff(s). 60 cents is more even in terms of odds, meaning that there's a 60 percent chance you'll go over as well as about a 60 percent chance your opponent will beat you if you stay on 60 (40% on the first spin and another 40% on the second, but since a second spin is slightly more likely, this slightly tilts the odds in the "top winnners" favor) but since there's the possibility of money to be won by getting a dollar, I'd also spin again.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 26, 2019, 10:19:49 AM
The problem with that analysis is that this is the equation it is trying to satisfy:

P(not going over if you spin again) > P(winning if you stay)

Those are not the correct two quantities to compare. It's an easy mistake to make. Instead, you need to compare these two quantities:

P(winning if you spin again) is NOT the same as P(not going over if you spin again), as there spins that don't cause you to go over but don't help you win either. So let's look at these one at a time for the case where spinner 2 spun 55 cents on the first spin and that score strictly beats the first spinner (or the first spinner went over):

P(winning if you stay)
There are two ways to win if you stay:

Let's look at those one at a time.

P(spinner 3 strictly loses to you)
For spinner 3 to lose to you, they must spin less than or equal to 50 cents on the first spin--probability 10/20--and then on their second spin, spin a number that does NOT result in them having a total of 55, 60, 65, ... 100. That's also a probability of 10/20. Thus, the probability that spinner 3 strictly loses to you is 10/20 * 10/20 = 1/4.

P(Spinner 3 ties you and you win the spinoff)
Spinner 3 has two ways to tie you: spin 55 cents on the first spin (probability 1/20) or spin 55 in a combination of two spins. The latter case requires them to spin 50 or fewer cents on the first spin (probability 10/20) and then spin the exact amount to get to 55 cents on the second spin (1/20). The probability of spinner 2 winning the spinoff is 1/2, so the total probability here is:

P(winning the spinoff) * (P(spinner 3 tying you in one spin) + P(spinner 3 tying you in two spins))
= 1/2 * (1/20 + 10/20*1/20)
= 3/80

Thus, the total probability of spinner 2 winning if they stay on 55 cents is P (strictly beating) + P (tying & winning the spinoff) = 1/4 + 3/80 = 23/80 = 28.75%

P(winning if you spin again)
If you spin again, you have a 1/20 chance of ending up with 60 cents, a 1/20 chance of ending up with 65 cents, ..., a 1/20 chance of ending up with 100 cents (a dollar), and an 11/20 chance that you go over. Thus, your probability of winning if you spin again is:

1/20*P(winning with a total of 60 cents) + 1/20*P(winning with a total of 65 cents) + ... 1/20*P(winning with a total of 100 cents) + 11/20 * P(winning if you go over).

That last term is, of course, 0, so you can throw it out. So we need to calculate the probability of winning with 60 cents, 65 cents, etc. Well, we just did that for the 55 cents case above, so you can apply the same logic with slightly different numbers. I won't bore you with all the math (I did it in an Excel spreadsheet while working on this article), and instead tell you the result of the sum above is about 0.28031, or 28.031%. So your probability of winning decreases if you spin again on 55 cents, and thus you should not spin again.

In fact, here are all the numbers in case you're curious. Again, the below chart assumes that spinner 2's first spin strictly beats spinner 1 or that spinner 1 went over. I've bolded the rows where it changes from "they should spin again" to "they should not spin again."

First spin    P(spinner 2 wins if they stay)  P(spinner 2 wins if they spin again)
    5                    0.250%                            33.988%
   10                    0.875%                            33.944%
   15                    2.000%                            33.844%                 
   20                    3.625%                            33.663%
   25                    5.750%                            33.375%                   
   30                    8.375%                            32.956%
   35                   11.500%                            32.381%
   40                   15.125%                            31.625%
   45                   19.250%                            30.663%
   50                   23.875%                            29.469%
   55                   28.750%                            28.031%

   60                   34.125%                            26.325%                 
   65                   40.000%                            24.325%
   70                   46.375%                            22.006%
   75                   53.250%                            19.344%
   80                   60.625%                            16.313%
   85                   68.500%                            12.888%
   90                   76.875%                             9.044%
   95                   85.750%                             4.756% 
  100                   95.125%                             0.000%
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 26, 2019, 10:27:21 AM
but since there's the possibility of money to be won by getting a dollar, I'd also spin again.

Forgot to respond to this. The average amount of money you'd expect to win if you spin 55 cents on your first spin and spin again is:

P(winning exactly $1,000) * $1,000 + P(winning exactly $11,000) * $11,000 + P(winning exactly $26,000) * $26,000.

Winning exactly $1,000 requires two things--first, you spin 45 cents (probability 1/20) and then you do NOT hit a bonus value on the second spin (probability 17/20). Total probability: 1/20*17/20 = 17/400

Winning exactly $11,000 requires you to spin 45 cents and then you spin 5 or 15 cents. Total probability: 1/20 * 2/20 = 1/200

Winning exactly $26,000 requires you to spin 45 cents then 1 dollar in that order. Total probability: 1/20*1/20 = 1/400.

Thus, the equation above becomes:

17/400 * $1,000 + 1/200 * $11,000 + 1/400 * $26,000 = $162.50

I personally wouldn't be willing to decrease my odds of going to the showcase in order to win, on average, $162.50.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on June 26, 2019, 12:05:07 PM
Any thoughts on the 4th bidder being careful as to who they one-up?

If the 4th bidder chooses to one-up the 1st bidder, and they’re wrong, there’s a 0% chance they will be the 4th bidder again on the next IUFB.

If the 4th bidder one-ups the 2nd or 3rd bidder and they’re wrong, there’s a good chance they could be the 4th bidder again on the next IUFB.

Early in the show, it would be wise to rarely one-up the 1st bidder since there will be many more chances to get up on stage.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 26, 2019, 05:23:37 PM
That's a really good point. The key idea there is that the 4th bidder can't make a particular person win, but they can make a particular person lose. So if they're not sure of the price, they shouldn't make the 1st person lose so they have a chance to be the 4th bidder next time. I've added that to my blog.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 27, 2019, 03:50:41 AM
The showcases

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_2.html)

Random facts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8G4RpbWsV0
Who won? (seasons 29-46)
Pricing patterns
Strategy
While nothing beats knowing the prices of the prizes, you should use that last bullet point above to your advantage. The reason they don't use prices ending between -000 and -250 is believed to be that the producers don't want a contestant to win both showcases by bidding a value that's divisible by $1,000. For example, they don't want bids like $23,000 to win both showcases, so they'll add an excursion to a trip or an option to a car to raise the price of a showcase from $23,123 to $23,452. Thus, the bid of $23,000 doesn't win both showcases. As a result, the last three digits of your bid should never be between -000 and -250, inclusive. So instead of bidding $23,000, bid $23,251. And thus your minimum showcase bid should be $20,251 when you combine the two bullet points in the pricing patterns section above. So to sum up:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JT on June 27, 2019, 07:25:50 AM
Thanks for the great stats on the Showcase.  I am thinking the runner up wins more because top winners like to pass the first showcase in hopes of something greater.  As a result, that 2nd showcase may often be harder to price.   

I can't prove it but i believe there was a perfect bid in the early years of the show before the double showcase rule.  The contestant bid the exact price on their showcase:  $2,200.

Wish contestants would stop with the even/'000 bids for sure.

thanks,
JT
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 28, 2019, 04:09:01 AM
Any Number

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_28.html)

Random fact
In addition to being the first game in alphabetical order, this is the first game that was ever played on the current iteration of the show. You can see it, and the entire first episode of the show, here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpXJTRFQdo
(Note the still picture is of Bonus Game, not Any Number.)

Key Stats
Which digit appears where? (Seasons 40-46)
                 % in 3 digit  % in piggy
Digit  % in car      prize         bank 
  0      16.07       47.62        36.31
  1      45.24        8.93        45.83
  2      44.64       16.67        38.69
  3      58.92       12.50        28.57
  4      39.88       23.81        36.31
  5      29.76       46.43        23.81
  6      50.00       33.33        16.67
  7      35.71       32.14        32.14
  8      40.48       35.71        23.81
  9      39.29       42.86        17.86

Let me explain how to read that table with an example. The first entry, 16.07, means that the number 0 was in the car 16.07% of the time, which is less than 1/6. By random chance, you would expect it to be in the car 40% of the time. (Actually, you could argue that the first digit of the 3 digit prize and the first digit of the piggy bank are never 0, so it should be in the price of the car 50% of the time based on random chance. But I digress.)

The ordering of the piggy bank digits (seasons 40-46):
Order    % 
$3.21  38.69
$3.12  48.81
$2.31   4.76
$2.13   7.14
$1.32   0.00
$1.23   0.60

This table is referring to the ordering of the digits in the piggy bank. "$3.21" means the largest digit that appears in the piggy bank is first, the middle digit is second, and the smallest digit is last; a piggy bank price of $9.42 would fit that example. Similarly, $2.31 means the largest digit is in the middle of the piggy bank, the second largest digit is in the first spot, and the smallest digit is in the last spot; a piggy bank price of $4.92 would fit that example.

Strategy

The strategy comes out of those tables above, along with the paint and fabric protection rule. Cars in Any Number almost always have paint and fabric protection in order that the last number won't be 0. In fact, in those 168 playings of Any Number, the last digit of the car was a 0 eight times. That's less than 1 in every 20 playings. The 5 was the last digit only 11 times. So here is the strategy to this game:
*I calculated that by enumerating all orderings of choosing the numbers 0-9. Later, I found this (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,12104.msg319063.html#msg319063) mathematical analysis of the game. Thankfully, we both ended up with the same result.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: pannoni1 on June 28, 2019, 01:56:27 PM
  • The last three digits of your bid should be between 251 and 999 inclusive.

Actually, $XX,251 and $XX,749, because a bid ending between 750-999 would cover a portion of the differences in the $XX,000-$XX,250 range.

As for Any Number, any idea on the percentage that whenever 5 or 0 appears in the price of the car if it's actually the second number in the car? I'd imagine it would appear in that position much more than 3rd-5th unless there was no PFP or other options. One last point of strategy for A# is that the first digit in the three-digit prize will always be between 5 and 9, as I don't believe a sub-$500 middle prize has been offered in awhile.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 28, 2019, 02:50:47 PM
Actually, $XX,251 and $XX,749, because a bid ending between 750-999 would cover a portion of the differences in the $XX,000-$XX,250 range.

I thought about this when I first wrote the article, and I realized that if your goal is to DSW, I agree with this. But if your goal is to just win, this isn't necessarily true. Ending your bid in 850 gives you a (very slightly) better chance of winning than ending in 749 unless that extra $101 causes you to go over.

As for Any Number, any idea on the percentage that whenever 5 or 0 appears in the price of the car if it's actually the second number in the car? I'd imagine it would appear in that position much more than 3rd-5th unless there was no PFP or other options. One last point of strategy for A# is that the first digit in the three-digit prize will always be between 5 and 9, as I don't believe a sub-$500 middle prize has been offered in awhile.

From seasons 40-46, a 0 appeared in the car price 27 times; 18 of those times, it was the second digit. (All, obviously, occurred when the first digit was a 2.) A 5 appeared in the car price 50 times; it was the second digit 6 times.

Very good point about the second prize--it hasn't been below $500 since season 42. I'll update my blog with that fact.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on June 29, 2019, 03:01:05 AM
(Reminder: No post tomorrow since it's Sunday. I'll be back on Monday with Bargain Game!)

Balance Game
(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_58.html)
Random fact
This is the second iteration of Balance Game; the first iteration ran from 1984-1985 and was nothing like this one except the fact that scales are involved in the prop. However, that game involved Barker dollars to balance a scale, and thus the Barker dollars (and now Drew dollars) that are supposedly in the bags of the current version are an homage to the 1984 version of the game. Here's a video of the old version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_L6EalEZGk
Win-Loss record (seasons 34-46)
(Note the current iteration of Balance Game was introduced in season 34.)
Number of times when, in order to win, the contestant had to pick...
Strategy
Know the price. Those numbers above aren't statistically far enough away from pure randomness to suggest a strategy.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on June 29, 2019, 01:01:29 PM
Your stats for the Piggy Bank in Any Number are for seasons 40-46.

An interesting stat about the piggy bank is that since October 29, 2015, the number before the decimal point is ALWAYS greater than either of the numbers following the decimal point.  So if the two numbers after the decimal point have been filled in, you can deduct that the number before the decimal point will be greater than the greatest digit following the decimal point.

It is also interesting to note that the first number of the middle prize in Any Number has not been less than 5 since April 23, 2014.  When contestants have the last two numbers filled in of the middle prize, it is wise to choose numbers less than 5 since there is no chance the game will end.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on June 29, 2019, 01:47:51 PM
What insights can you give on >$20K cars? Since the first digit is 1, there is no chance that the second number is 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4. It is entirely possible that those numbers would appear in the piggy bank, but they could also make up the last three digits in the price of the car.

Say we have this setup:

CAR:             $19,34_           
PRIZE:           $    _80
PIGGY BANK: $    7._6

REMAINING NUMBERS: 1, 2, 5.

The car doesn't end with 5 (it goes in the middle prize), so don't pick that. Here's the conundrum: Your stats say it's almost equally likely that the 1 is in the car than it is in the piggy bank! What do we do now?

Also to dovetail that point, what is the probability of a car price ending in 1?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 01, 2019, 03:36:15 AM
(Note: I know I have a couple of Any Number questions to respond to. I will get to those later today.)
Bargain Game
(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy.html)

Random fact
This game was out of the rotation for 2 years (seasons 38 & 39) while they changed it from Barker's Bargain Bar to just Bargain Game.

Win-loss record
In order to win, the contestant had to select...
Pre-refurbishment era (seasons 29-37):
Post-refurbishment era (seasons 40-46):
Strategy
Know the prices. You can see why I split the stats up into the pre-refurbishment and post-refurbishment eras. Pre-refurbishment, it was true more than 3 out of 4 times that you had to pick the smaller shown price; however, the producers removed that trend post-refurbishment. In fact, in season 44, the higher bargain price was right 21 out of 27 times; take that season out, and it's basically been 50/50. So it's now become a "know the prices" game. But don't forget the trip rule! If you're playing for two trips that have bargain prices that are about the same, then the location that's farther away from LA is the correct one as it'll be more expensive.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 01, 2019, 08:58:47 AM
An interesting stat about the piggy bank is that since October 29, 2015, the number before the decimal point is ALWAYS greater than either of the numbers following the decimal point.  So if the two numbers after the decimal point have been filled in, you can deduct that the number before the decimal point will be greater than the greatest digit following the decimal point.

Excellent observation! I've updated my blog post with that fact.

It is also interesting to note that the first number of the middle prize in Any Number has not been less than 5 since April 23, 2014.  When contestants have the last two numbers filled in of the middle prize, it is wise to choose numbers less than 5 since there is no chance the game will end.

Thanks! pannoni1 also pointed that out a couple of posts above yours, though not with a date; I've already updated my blog post with that fact :).

What insights can you give on >$20K cars? Since the first digit is 1, there is no chance that the second number is 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4. It is entirely possible that those numbers would appear in the piggy bank, but they could also make up the last three digits in the price of the car.

Say we have this setup:

CAR:             $19,34_           
PRIZE:           $    _80
PIGGY BANK: $    7._6

REMAINING NUMBERS: 1, 2, 5.

The car doesn't end with 5 (it goes in the middle prize), so don't pick that. Here's the conundrum: Your stats say it's almost equally likely that the 1 is in the car than it is in the piggy bank! What do we do now?

Also to dovetail that point, what is the probability of a car price ending in 1?


Based on the rest of your post, I'm going to assume you meant cars <$20k. So three points to respond to here:

1. The distribution of the numbers in cars that cost strictly less than $20,000:

Cars with a first digit of 1...
                 % in 3 digit  % in piggy
Digit  % in car      prize         bank 
  0       7.14       55.95        53.57
  1      35.71       10.71        34.52
  2      52.38       13.10        36.90
  3      50.00       13.10        36.90
  4      45.24       17.86        21.43
  5      36.90       41.67        15.48
  6      47.62       36.90        30.95
  7      34.52       34.52        19.05
  8      46.43       34.52        30.95
  9      44.05       41.67        14.29


So the 0 drops even further, but the 5 jumps up. Let's remove cars that have a second digit of 5 to see if that changes anything:

Cars with a 1st digit of 1 and a 2nd digit of anything that's not 5...
                 % in 3 digit  % in piggy
Digit  % in car      prize         bank 
  0       7.41       55.56        37.04
  1      37.04       11.11        51.85
  2      53.09       12.35        34.57
  3      48.15       13.58        34.57
  4      44.44       17.28        38.27
  5      34.57       43.21        38.27
  6      48.15       37.04        22.22
  7      35.80       35.80        14.81
  8      46.91       33.33        28.39
  9      44.44       40.74        19.75


So the 5 is back to the 2nd least frequent digit in this case, but it's still a somewhat reasonable option. That surprised me. Of course, that means it's a really bad choice when the car is $20,000+. Here's the distribution for $20,000+ cars:

Cars with a first digit of 2...
                 % in 3 digit  % in piggy
Digit  % in car      prize         bank 
  0      25.00       39.29        35.71
  1      57.76        7.14        38.10
  2      36.90       20.24        42.86
  3      67.86       11.90        20.24
  4      34.52       29.76        35.71
  5      22.62       51.19        26.19
  6      52.38       29.76        17.86
  7      36.90       29.76        33.33
  8      34.52       36.90        28.57
  9      34.52       44.05        21.42

So the 5 is a worse option than the 0 in this case. But, not shockingly, that doesn't apply when the second digit isn't 0...

Cars with a first digit of 2 and a 2nd digit that's not 0...
                 % in 3 digit  % in piggy
Digit  % in car      prize         bank 
  0       4.55       50.00        45.45
  1      62.12        4.55        33.33
  2      45.45       16.67        37.88
  3      66.67       13.64        19.70
  4      31.82       30.30        37.88
  5      24.24       53.03        22.73
  6      56.06       25.76        18.18
  7      36.36       27.27        36.36
  8      33.33       39.39        27.27
  9      39.39       39.39        21.21

Moral: If the first digit is a 2, you should be strongly avoiding the 5 no matter what and avoiding the 0 unless it's the second digit.

2. How often do cars in end 1 or 2?

Digit Overall Car <$20k Car>=$20k
1      5.36%     2.38%     8.33%
2     14.29%    23.81%     4.76%

3. What to do in your example? Choose the 2. Cars less than $20,000 end in 2 10 times as often as they end in 1.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 02, 2019, 04:06:34 AM
Bonkers

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_2.html)

Random fact
The button the contestant pushes to find out if they are right isn't connected to anything. There's someone backstage watching the locations of the paddles and they manually play the "wrong" or "right" sound when they see the contestant press the button.

Win-loss record
In order to win, the contestant had to place...
Strategy
There is one way many people play this game that drives me, well, bonkers. So everyone, repeat after me: do not look at the audience. I repeat: do NOT look at the audience. One more time:

DO NOT LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got it? You only have 30 seconds and you simply don't have time to decode whatever it is your friend is trying to say. Besides, do you really think your friend knows that the trip to Germany has a price that ends in a 2 rather than a 7? Instead, you need to try as many combinations as possible. The record for most combinations ever tried is 9, which has happened once and was a win; the record for most combinations tried in a loss is 8, which has happened 8 times. Guess what? You can guarantee a win if you know the first digit of the price of the prize and you make 8 attempts! Here are all 8 possible combinations for the last 3 digits:
L is "lower" and H is "higher." Those are all the possible combinations for the last 3 digits, so if you know the first digit of the prize, or at least know the first digit in the price of the prize is higher or lower than the number shown in the incorrect price, you should win this game every single time. Thus, the idea is to figure out the first digit while George is describing the prize, put the paddle for that in its correct position when the game starts and leave it there, and then try the 8 combinations above for the last three digits.

(Side note: if you're a math geek, you can think of the above combinations as going through the numbers 0-7 in binary. Think of 0 as "L" and 1 as "H.")

Addendum: "Go with the odds" recent trend. After I wrote this Bonkers guide but before I posted it, someone posted on golden-road.net about a new pattern emerging in this game. It's simply this: go with the odds. If the wrong digit is 0-4, go higher. If the wrong digit is 6-9, go lower. If it's 5, then it could be either. For example, if the wrong price is 4753, it should take at most two attempts: HLHH and HLLH. This is a recent trend:
So this may be a new unwritten rule or it may be a coincidence in the last season or two. I personally would go for the "try every combination" tactic myself, but it's worth continuing to look over the next year or two to see if this continues to be the case.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Axl on July 02, 2019, 11:55:41 AM
Random fact
The button the contestant pushes to find out if they are right isn't connected to anything. There's someone backstage watching the locations of the paddles and they manually play the "wrong" or "right" sound when they see the contestant press the button.

That was true when Hope was the Mighty Sound Effects Lady, but I don't believe that's true anymore.  It's now a real button.  There is, of course, somebody monitoring the paddle placement to change the effect from buzz to ding when appropriate, but the contestant button activates the sound.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on July 02, 2019, 02:17:39 PM
That was true when Hope was the Mighty Sound Effects Lady, but I don't believe that's true anymore.  It's now a real button.  There is, of course, somebody monitoring the paddle placement to change the effect from buzz to ding when appropriate, but the contestant button activates the sound.
There now is a white wire on the floor extending from the button podium which leads me to believe the button is now real. In playings early in the game’s existence, the wire is nowhere to be seen.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: SteveGavazzi on July 02, 2019, 11:53:34 PM
If I remember correctly, Bonkers was automated early in Season 42...they actually played it that way with the original button a time or two, but it turned out that its height made it take too long to register as being pressed.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 03, 2019, 04:05:50 AM
Thanks! I had no idea about the button. I've updated my blog post.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 03, 2019, 04:06:45 AM
Bonus Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_3.html)

Random fact
This was the second game ever played on the show. You can see the full first episode here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpXJTRFQdo

Win-loss record
The bonus was associated with small prize...
Compared to the price shown, the actual price of the small prize was...
Strategy
Know the prices of the small prizes. You don't get to pick which window you think the bonus will appear in, so it doesn't matter that the bottom window is fairly infrequently the one with the bonus. And the fact that "higher" is right 54.28% of the time isn't far enough from 50/50 to suggest that you should pick that in general. Thus, this is a "know the prices" game.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 04, 2019, 04:39:06 AM
Bullseye

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_4.html)

Random fact
When the show first debuted, there was a game called Bullseye that was nothing like this one. Instead, a prize was shown and the contestant had to guess the price. Bob would say "higher" or "lower" depending on whether the actual price was higher or lower. The contestant would guess again. They had a total of 7 guesses to get the price right. That game has the distinction of being the only game ever played on the show that was never won (excluding one-offs, like crossover games from Let's Make a Deal.) Here's a playing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CmPDDpkcxI

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 159-42 (79.10%)

The contestant won the game by...
Hidden bullseye was behind product #...:
As they don't show where the hidden bullseye is if you win by getting between $10 and $12, I don't have enough data on that to make it meaningful.

How many do you need to get between $10 and $12 of an item?
Item price   # needed
$1.00-$1.20     10
$1.12-$1.33      9
$1.25-$1.50      8
$1.43-$1.71      7
$1.67-$2.00      6
$2.00-$2.40      5
$2.50-$3.00      4
$3.34-$4.00      3
$5.00-$6.00      2

Strategy
It's mostly "know the prices." However, if you want a 60% chance of winning, just randomly pick 3 items and guess 2 of them. (There's never been an item over $6 in the history of the game, so you don't have to worry about going over if you choose 2.) In fact, there's often a greater than 60% chance of winning if you do that because there's usually an item that costs between $5 & $6. My other advice is if you're not sure whether to pick N of an item or N+1 of that item, pick N. (For example, if you're debating between 3 and 4, choose 3.) If you pick too few of an item, you have a chance to win with the hidden bullseye, but if you pick too many, you don't get that chance. That said, this is a game that the producers don't usually try to trap you with, so go with your gut and you should have no problem.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 04, 2019, 09:38:45 AM
Also worth noting that there has been a pattern of 2-3-4-5-6, IIRC. If you can figure out which number quantity goes with which item, and multiply each pair together, each total will be within $10-12.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: TPIRFan2000 on July 04, 2019, 10:37:09 AM
I'm a bit late in correcting this, but I honestly didn't read through the OP until now, so...

Paint and fabric protection car option rule: If you're playing for a car, listen to the options that George describes. If you hear paint and fabric protection as one of the options, the price will NOT end in a 0 or 5.
Unless it's in 10 Chances or Temptation. :P

Some other car options I've noticed that tend to generate endings that aren't -0 or -5: "etch protection" and "auto armor". And from having built a bunch of cars (mainly for CSS purposes), I've specifically noticed that Hondas and Toyotas can have just about any other option cause a non-0/5 ending.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 05, 2019, 07:05:42 AM
Card Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_5.html)

Random fact
This game was out of the rotation for almost 3 years (most of season 40, all of season 41, and most of season 42) while it was being refurbished. All stats below are from the post-refurbishment era, and they exclude the two luxury cars Card Game was played for in season 43 (both of which were lost.)

Win-loss record (seasons 42-46): 37-46 (45.68%)

Stats per range...
Range   W-L    W-L %  Avg. diff.*  # overbids
$1,000  2-20   9.09%    $1225           6
$2,000 12-14  46.15%    $1618           4
$3,000 18-12  60.00%    $1401           6
$5,000  5-0  100.00%    $2515           0
   
* Average difference between the car and the contestant's final bid.

Stats per range if we take out the overbids...
Range   W-L    W-L %   Avg. diff.
$1,000  2-14  12.50%     $2297           
$2,000 12-10  46.15%     $1967           
$3,000 18-6   54.55%     $2255           
$5,000  5-0  100.00%     $2515


Bar graphs of the contestant's guesses and the actual prices of the car...
(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GetyAU9OQEw/XQOmKfsJRqI/AAAAAAAAbpk/vwcdq-aQf3so9GE52l-hVlTMQ4ONrekHACLcBGAs/s640/cardGameGuesses.png)
(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_8JkR-B3KXw/XQOmKelNmLI/AAAAAAAAbpo/7s1xKEZhJlQ1EZmENOfyGLcEDXRQiL3GgCLcBGAs/s640/cardGamePrices.png)
(Note: while the second bar graph above shows that no non-luxury cars over $24,000 were used in Card Game up to and including season 46, they have used a couple of $24,000+ cars in season 47.)

Strategy
I admit I went into this thinking contestants constantly way underbid on the car, and that turned out to be wrong. I'm happy to see that! But as for an actual strategy, the numbers don't present any patterns that I can see other than "know the price." Here are a couple of things that can help, though:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Flerbert419 on July 05, 2019, 09:34:24 AM
One other important point about Card Game is that the deck with the ranges is not shuffled before the contestant selects his or her amount. Since we don't keep track of where the selected range is in the deck, anecdotally I would say you should pick something from the bottom (furthest from the contestant) since they seem to like to hide the largest amounts down there.

Additionally, depending on what you've already drawn you have about a 30% chance to get something that's going to add $1000. Think about how finicky you want to be and if that amount is worth it or it will push you over your target.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Tech_Triumph on July 05, 2019, 09:54:45 AM
I’m surprised at the winning percentage on this game. Like you said LiteBulb, I am surprised that the underbids.

Looks to me like the key is, draw a high spread card.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 05, 2019, 10:09:40 AM
What perfect timing! Yesterday was Card Game's 45th anniversary (7/4/74).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 06, 2019, 04:11:10 AM
(A couple of notes: no post tomorrow since it's Sunday. Also, I have some updates to make based on the comments above. I will get to those soon. Please keep the corrections and comments coming!)

Check Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_6.html)

Random fact
For whatever reason, this game attracts way more than its fair share of clueless contestants. Here's one example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGhy8bnC_jc

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 60-94 (38.96%)

Number of prizes that cost...(seasons 43-47)
Strategy
Don't write the check for too much. The winning range was upped to $7,000 to $8,000 in season 37. Since then, including season 47, the record of this game has been 25-45 (31.25%). Of those 45 losses, 8 were by writing the check for too little and 37 of those losses were by writing the check for too much. Since the prizes they use in this game are now all between $5,000 and $6,999, there are only three check values you need to remember:
To be clear: under no circumstance should you write the check for more than $2,000. And don't be afraid to write it for $1,000--with each passing season, the number of $6,000 prizes is getting closer and closer to the number of $5,000 prizes.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on July 06, 2019, 10:59:34 AM
I think as long as the range remains $7,000-$8,000 the safest bet would be writing the check between $1,000 and $1,500. Even $1,500 would be pushing it. $1,250 might be the safest amount.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: bobbingforapples on July 06, 2019, 11:11:24 AM
I just want to thank you for doing this. This will be extremely helpful for potential future contestants.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: SuperSweeper on July 06, 2019, 11:36:34 AM
I think as long as the range remains $7,000-$8,000 the safest bet would be writing the check between $1,000 and $1,500. Even $1,500 would be pushing it. $1,250 might be the safest amount.

This season, the game has been played 10 times. $1,000 and $1,250 would each have a record of 4-6, while $1,500 would have a record of 6-4. Even better, $1,551 would have a record of 8-2.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 06, 2019, 02:22:30 PM
Time to respond to some comments and add a bit more data...

Bullseye
Also worth noting that there has been a pattern of 2-3-4-5-6, IIRC. If you can figure out which number quantity goes with which item, and multiply each pair together, each total will be within $10-12.

This was false as recently as season 46--on the Feb. 13, 2018 playing of Bullseye, there was a grocery item (Good & Plenty candy) costing $1.29, which would have required 8 to be selected to get to $10. That said, I do agree that I haven't seen any case where there were two products that required the same number to be picked to win in at least a couple of years. Of course, this is tough to state with any certainty because they rarely show the prices of the products that weren't chosen.

Card Game
One other important point about Card Game is that the deck with the ranges is not shuffled before the contestant selects his or her amount. Since we don't keep track of where the selected range is in the deck, anecdotally I would say you should pick something from the bottom (furthest from the contestant) since they seem to like to hide the largest amounts down there.

Additionally, depending on what you've already drawn you have about a 30% chance to get something that's going to add $1000. Think about how finicky you want to be and if that amount is worth it or it will push you over your target.

Excellent point about the fact that we don't think the range deck is shuffled (though do we know with absolute certainty it's not shuffled before being brought out on stage?) I absolutely agree about choosing a card near the bottom of that deck and I've added it to my blog post.

What perfect timing! Yesterday was Card Game's 45th anniversary (7/4/74).

Awesome! I totally planned it out that way. Really, I did. (And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.) :-P :oldlol:.

Check Game
A friend of mine on Facebook suggested I look at various values of checks to see how often they would have won. I did that and have posted the results on the Check Game (http://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_6.html) page. Long story short, from seasons 43-47, the check value divisible by $100 that would have won the most frequently is $1900 (it would have won 36 of the 47 playings, for a win rate of 76.60%). Not surprisingly, $2,000 and $1,800 are just behind that, and then it drops from there. Now on to the Check Game comments here...

I think as long as the range remains $7,000-$8,000 the safest bet would be writing the check between $1,000 and $1,500. Even $1,500 would be pushing it. $1,250 might be the safest amount.
This season, the game has been played 10 times. $1,000 and $1,250 would each have a record of 4-6, while $1,500 would have a record of 6-4. Even better, $1,551 would have a record of 8-2.

I couldn't have said it better. For what it's worth, the best ranges in season 47 were $1543-$1570 (inclusive) and $1612-$1651 (inclusive). Both had 8-2 records. It's easy to look some of the playings with $6,000+ prices and get scared by them, but even in season 47, there were more prizes between $5,000 and $5,999 than there were prizes between $6,000 and $6,999. (The actual count was 6-4 for those keeping score.)

General comments
I'm a bit late in correcting this, but I honestly didn't read through the OP until now, so...
Unless it's in 10 Chances or Temptation. :P

Some other car options I've noticed that tend to generate endings that aren't -0 or -5: "etch protection" and "auto armor". And from having built a bunch of cars (mainly for CSS purposes), I've specifically noticed that Hondas and Toyotas can have just about any other option cause a non-0/5 ending.

I'll get those games soon enough  :-). And yeah, there are a bunch of ways a car can end in a digit that isn't 0 or 5. I struggle with finding the fine line between "giving the reader enough good information that they can make the correct decision" and "giving the reader so much information that if they end up on stage, there's no way they'll remember it all in the heat of the moment."

I just want to thank you for doing this. This will be extremely helpful for potential future contestants.

Awww...thank you! My hope for this blog is that just one person will be able to say, "I was a contestant on The Price is Right and I won because I followed a tip on Brian's blog." That would make this all worth it to me :).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 06, 2019, 02:37:42 PM
Awesome! I totally planned it out that way. Really, I did. (And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.) :-P :oldlol:.

In which case I have a bridge to buy.  ;)

Awww...thank you! My hope for this blog is that just one person will be able to say, "I was a contestant on The Price is Right and I won because I followed a tip on Brian's blog." That would make this all worth it to me :).

And by the way, the tip was, "Know the price."  :D
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on July 06, 2019, 05:18:57 PM
This season, the game has been played 10 times. $1,000 and $1,250 would each have a record of 4-6, while $1,500 would have a record of 6-4. Even better, $1,551 would have a record of 8-2.

I couldn't have said it better. For what it's worth, the best ranges in season 47 were $1543-$1570 (inclusive) and $1612-$1651 (inclusive). Both had 8-2 records. It's easy to look some of the playings with $6,000+ prices and get scared by them, but even in season 47, there were more prizes between $5,000 and $5,999 than there were prizes between $6,000 and $6,999. (The actual count was 6-4 for those keeping score.)

Admittedly I had mostly the last two playings of the season in mind when I thought $1,000-$1,500, where the prices of the prize were $6,430 and $6,543. There were two other $6,000+ prizes offered, the rest were between $5,388 and $5,723. So yes, $1,500 is likely a safe amount and would only lose if the prize is less than $5,500 (two last season were) or more than $6,500 (only 1 was). The last two prizes were likely a product of end of season budget mode, so if you're playing in the early-mid season it's more likely $1,500-$2,000 is a safe bet and late in the season $1,000-$1,500 is a better bet.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: TPIRfan#9821 on July 06, 2019, 05:29:42 PM
Since we don't keep track of where the selected range is in the deck, anecdotally I would say you should pick something from the bottom (furthest from the contestant) since they seem to like to hide the largest amounts down there.

I combed through YouTube, and from the 101 Card Game playings since its refurbishment, I found 97 of those games (I couldn't find 2/9/2015, 10/7/2015, 11/10/2015, 12/7/2015). I was able to identify 164 of the cards used (thanks Drew for proving the game is fair on many occasions!), and was able to this chart, which compares the cards from furthest away from the player to closest.

Avg. Value$3,750 $2,714 $2,000 $2,200 $1,889 $2,783 $2,875
# of reveals12213125362316
# of picks31625182384
$1,000 231171953
$2,000 161510452
$3,000 29261288
$5,000 7332153

Yeah, out of what we have seen, it seems like the edges, specifically the edge furthest from the player, yield the highest chances of being a big hit. However, I'll just throw out that the leftmost card across those 97 playings was only picked a solid 3 times, and those yielded 2 $3,000s and 1 $1,000, so unless something happened in those four aforementioned playings, technically no one has picked up the $5,000 from hitting the leftmost card. Even then, I believe there is solid evidence to believe that the cash deck isn't shuffled.

I look forward to seeing the Check-Out data. I remember running the numbers a while back across three seasons and noting that a range of $19.31 to $19.45 would have won 11/16 times, which was significantly higher than how the contestants did.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Kev347 on July 07, 2019, 09:13:39 AM
This thread is really inspiring some interesting discussion, and I'm looking forward to seeing it continue! I had no idea that they were setting up Bullseye that way (to not have any multiples repeat). DEFINITELY something to be aware of if you go on the show, though. That and a much better, less argumentative Check Game discussion are highlights of this thread so far. You're making me come around on that game a little :) Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the thread entails.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 08, 2019, 03:22:26 AM
I combed through YouTube, and from the 101 Card Game playings since its refurbishment, I found 97 of those games (I couldn't find 2/9/2015, 10/7/2015, 11/10/2015, 12/7/2015). I was able to identify 164 of the cards used (thanks Drew for proving the game is fair on many occasions!), and was able to this chart, which compares the cards from furthest away from the player to closest.

That was awesome. Thanks so much for doing that!! Looks like "pick the endpoints" very much applies to that deck. I've updated my Card Game post with your data.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 08, 2019, 03:39:24 AM
Check-Out

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_8.html)

Random fact
This game used to have the coolest calculator ever. You can see a playing with it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVQEb1ejx-o

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 75-114 (39.68%)

Correlation between the grocery total and the value of the main prize (seasons 40-46)
Correlation is sometimes known as the R-squared value. The above simply means this: the total of the grocery items has nothing to do with the prize's value. In other words, a higher valued prize doesn't mean the total of the grocery items is any higher or lower than usual.

Bar graph of the grocery totals (seasons 40-46)
(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ETfC-T5Ugis/XQPe4XSIkLI/AAAAAAAAbp8/6MzQsZ5b7ZIV3qlc4N70G7Z3vwZ-YyMKQCLcBGAs/s640/coTotals.png)

Totals that would have won the game the most often (seasons 40-46)
Note: All ranges below are inclusive.
Strategy
Nothing beats knowing the prices of the grocery items, but there are some key points that can help you here:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Tech_Triumph on July 08, 2019, 07:12:51 AM
I always wondered why contestants didn’t try and hit a total in checkout. 

I’d love the reaction when a contestant bid $20 on a candy bar.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 08, 2019, 07:30:43 AM
One other important point: Use the range to your advantage. For example, you are pretty sure that the items equal $24, and are absolutely sure that they do not surpass $25. If you structure your bids to equal $24, add the $2 range (making it $22-$26) and, because you've already eliminated the possibility of the groceries equaling $25 or more, you've just wasted 25% of your range! Instead, try for $22.50. Your range now becomes $20.50-24.50. You've covered your initial guess of $24, plus a bit extra, while narrowing your range on the high side and expanding it on the low side.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 09, 2019, 03:31:19 AM
Cliff Hangers

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_9.html)

Random fact #1
In spite of how easy this game is, people have lost it in spectacular fashion. See how Bob handled one of those cases here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjR2d5X57iw

Random fact #2
The song this game uses is called "On the Franches Mountains" and comes from a collection of Swiss Mountain music. You can hear the whole thing here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PidUwgpHOmI

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 257-112 (69.65%)

Strategy
20-30-40! No need to bore you with a lot of stats here. The guesses of $20, $30, and $40 (in that order) would have won this game every single time except once in the last 15 years. In fact, on the "super fan" show they did, the producers lampshaded (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LampshadeHanging) this fact by making the prizes exactly $20, $30, and $40. The only exception (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,17182.0.html) I could find had prizes of $10, $20, and $30, and the $10 prize was a Libman mop that had been on the show quite a few times. So unless the first item is a Libman mop, guess $20, $30, and $40, and you'll win every time.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 09, 2019, 09:07:26 AM
I remember a few years ago they did Big Money Week and played Cliffhangers for $250,000. You won $10K for each step remaining at the end. A young lady walked away with $210,000 by guessing $22, $35, $49 on items worth $25, $35, and $50, respectively. If you followed the 20-30-40 rule, you would've only gotten $50K. So, case in point: what's better, 20-30-40 or 20-30-50?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: 123123123 on July 09, 2019, 11:15:12 AM
Litebulb88, thank you so much for putting in all of this work for such an expansive blog. This is no easy feat.

I dont know how in depth you stats go, but do most of the losses in Check Out come from being consistently over or under (~40 cents) on each item, or from being completely off on a single item (specifically the last one)?

I don't have any data to back it up, but it seems that the final grocery item that has historically been the most expensive of the lot has been even more of an outlier in the last few years. Do you have any info on the variance between the first four groceries and the final one over the years? Once again, thanks for all the info
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on July 09, 2019, 03:39:11 PM
I always wondered why contestants didn’t try and hit a total in checkout. 

I’d love the reaction when a contestant bid $20 on a candy bar.
It's a little surprising no one's tried it. I wonder if the contestant is told off camera they're not allowed and must guess each item's cost individually.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 09, 2019, 03:46:05 PM
It's a little surprising no one's tried it. I wonder if the contestant is told off camera they're not allowed and must guess each item's cost individually.

It's not surprising that the non-LFAT TPIR viewer wouldn't. After all, the show is called, "The Price is Right", so it would make sense to try and get the prices on the nose, instead of immediately targeting a set total.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: gamesurf on July 09, 2019, 04:09:50 PM
There's really no benefit to it--it really doesn't look that impressive if you get it right, and you'd be remembered as a massive overconfident tool if you get it wrong.

Plus you're robbing yourself of the chance to think for a few extra seconds when you're nervous and hyped up on adrenaline. Why try to add them up in your head when you don't have to?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on July 09, 2019, 06:45:05 PM
There's really no benefit to it--it really doesn't look that impressive if you get it right, and you'd be remembered as a massive overconfident tool if you get it wrong.
Yes, that's the biggest reason to not try it. Also, most who aren't LFaTs likely wouldn't be that familiar with the game and wouldn't come up with that strategy beforehand.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on July 09, 2019, 07:34:54 PM
In re Cliffhangers:

I wondered what the optimal strategy for Cliffhangers would be if, like the playing during Big Money Week for cash, the goal was to miss as few steps as possible. So, I crunched some numbers. This data comes from Cliff Hangers playings in seasons 40-46 in which all 3 SP prices were revealed.

Average price for SP #1: $21.09
Median price for SP #1: $20

Average price for SP #2: $32.05
Median price for SP #2: $32

Average price for SP #3: $43.24
Median price for SP #3: $43

Using these averages and guessing $21-$32-$43 for seasons 40-46 would result in the mountain climber taking fewer steps per game (10.96 steps taken vs. 11.23 steps), but that combination of guesses would have resulted in 5 losses wherein $20-$30-$40 would not have lost. Therefore, $21-$32-$43 isn’t really more effective for normal gameplay.

Going further, I calculated the average difference in price between SP #2 and SP #1, and SP #3 and SP #2.

Average difference, SP #2 and SP #1: $10.89
Average difference, SP #3 and SP #2: $11.19

So, how would contestants fare if they guessed $21 (the average) for SP1 and then added $11 to the price of the previous prize for their next guess? This method would not only result in wins in all of the setups from seasons 40-46, the average number of steps taken is only 9.34. So, the best way that I can find for a Big Money Week-esque playing of Cliffhangers is to bid $21 on the first small prize, then add $11 to the price of the previous SP and make that your next guess for the next two SPs.

(Loving the work that you've done in this thread, LiteBulb - just chipping in some of what I've found. :))
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 09, 2019, 08:27:55 PM
What comprehensive results! Thank you very much, Avs!

Just noticed this was your first post. Welcome to G-R! With posts like this, I hope you stick around a while!  :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on July 09, 2019, 09:40:02 PM
Thanks, tpir04. I look forward to reading about more info here. :)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 10, 2019, 03:17:52 AM
(I've got some great comments to respond to. I'll get to those later today. Keep them coming!)

Clock Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_10.html)

Random fact
One of the people who made golden-road.net what it is, John Sly, got his start by playing this game. He played it so well that Bob told everyone watching, "If you want to prepare yourself to play the Clock Game on The Price is Right, play it exactly as this young man played it. It cannot be played better than that." The show he was on is here (jump to the 2:30 mark to see his Clock Game playing):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNFVa8yhl2Q

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 167-94 (63.98%)

Strategy
All prizes in this game are between $500 and $999 (inclusive)--they tried 4 digit prizes a couple of different times in this game's history but the results were fairly disastrous. So follow exactly what John did in the video above:
Let me illustrate with an example. Let's say the price is $674.

You: 800
Drew: Lower
You: 700
Drew: Lower
You: 600
Drew: Higher
* You now know the price is 600 something. Go for the 10s digit, starting at the $50 mark:
You: 650
Drew: Higher
You: 660
Drew: Higher
You: 670
Drew: Higher
You: 680
Drew: Lower
* You now know the price is $670 something. On to the ones digit...
You: 671, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (The show has always accepted just the last digit once you've zeroed in to a $10 range. Don't wait for Drew to say "higher" or "lower" after each digit--spit out "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9" as fast as you can!)

This can easily be done in 15 seconds or less as long as you keep things moving.

As a suggestion, practice this while you're waiting to get into the studio! You have three hours between the time you arrive and the time you actually enter the Bob Barker studio, and most of that is down time. So find someone else in line, ask them to come up with a three digit number between 500 and 999, and you have to find it within 15 seconds using the strategy above. Switch roles afterward.

Special note: do NOT use binary search! If you don't know what binary search even is, then don't worry about this. But I bring this up because I've seen multiple places on-line suggest binary search as a strategy in Clock Game. For the uninitiated, binary search simply means that when you're looking for an element in a range, cut the range in half every time. Let's demonstrate with that same $674 example:

Bid 1: You know the prize is between $500 and $1000, so you bid the average, $750.
Drew: Lower.
Bid 2: You know the prize is between $500 and $750, so you bid the average, $625.
Drew: Higher.
Bid 3: You know the prize is between $625 and $750, so you bid the average, $688.
Drew: Lower.
Bid 4: You know the prize is between $625 and $688, so you bid the average, $657.
Drew: Higher.
Bid 5: You know the prize is between $657 and $688, so you bid the average, $673.
Drew: Higher.
Bid 6: You know the prize is between $673 and $688, so you bid the average, $681.
Drew: Lower.
Bid 7: You know the prize is between $673 and $681, so you bid the average, $677.
Drew: Lower.
Bid 8: You know the prize is between $673 and $677, so you bid the average, $675.
Drew: Lower.
Bid 9: The prize is now obviously $674, so you bid that and win.

Sounds good, right? It's a provable fact that binary search is the way, on average, to find a number in a range in the fewest number of guesses. So what's the problem? You're a human, not a computer. And for a human, fewer guesses doesn't mean a faster result. For a computer, it does, so if you're programming a computer to play Clock Game, go ahead and use binary search. But the typical human is not going to be able to calculate those averages very fast. (Quick! What's the average of $657 and $688? Could you do even just that one in 15 seconds or less?) Thus the "hone in on each individual digit" method that John Sly used is so much better, and anyone who tells you to use binary search in this game either thinks you have the math capabilities of a computer or is wrong.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on July 10, 2019, 08:57:54 AM
I don't have stats in front of me, but it is (or at least used to be) a common practice to bid $x99 for the first few guesses, since there have been a number of times that the price was, in fact, $x99. Is this still a valid strategy?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: SuperSweeper on July 10, 2019, 09:15:35 AM
I don't have stats in front of me, but it is (or at least used to be) a common practice to bid $x99 for the first few guesses, since there have been a number of times that the price was, in fact, $x99. Is this still a valid strategy?

Probably not. In the last three seasons, we’ve seen contestants bid on 53 prizes. Of those 53, TWO ended in -99.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 10, 2019, 11:00:10 AM
Time to answer some questions...

Litebulb88, thank you so much for putting in all of this work for such an expansive blog. This is no easy feat.

I dont know how in depth you stats go, but do most of the losses in Check Out come from being consistently over or under (~40 cents) on each item, or from being completely off on a single item (specifically the last one)?

Thanks! It wouldn't surprise me if you were right about Check Out being consistently lost on the last item, but I haven't looked at that data. It's now on my to do list :).

I remember a few years ago they did Big Money Week and played Cliffhangers for $250,000. You won $10K for each step remaining at the end. A young lady walked away with $210,000 by guessing $22, $35, $49 on items worth $25, $35, and $50, respectively. If you followed the 20-30-40 rule, you would've only gotten $50K. So, case in point: what's better, 20-30-40 or 20-30-50?

You switched the actual prices and the bids, but your point is spot in. There was also a playing (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,22042.0.html) of Cliff Hangers during season 42's Big Money week where the prizes were $34, $40, and $50. 20-30-40 would have lost that completely. So it seems when they play Cliff Hangers for $10,000 per unclimbed step, they use more expensive prizes. However, it looks like they've only played Cliff Hangers that way twice; the other times during Big Money Week, the prize was just a flat $20,000 and 20-30-40 applied in those cases. Thus I'm hesitant to say you should bid any specific numbers in the case where you could win $250,000; there isn't enough data to support that. But I have added a note at the end of my Cliff Hangers page to watch out for that setup.

(Lots of awesome, awesome data)

Thanks!! That was really good stuff. I've added it to my blog along with the aforementioned Big Money Week note. The updated post is here:

https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_9.html

And welcome to golden-road.net!

I don't have stats in front of me, but it is (or at least used to be) a common practice to bid $x99 for the first few guesses, since there have been a number of times that the price was, in fact, $x99. Is this still a valid strategy?

As noted, only 2 prizes have ended in -99 in recent seasons. But even if half of them ended in -99, I'd still be reticent to suggest the -99 strategy. The problem is that for most people, it's much easier to carry around numbers like "800" in their head rather than "799." (Basically, the more 0's, the better.) So if a prize doesn't end up ending in 99, the "search for each digit technique" can become more confusing. The only exception I'd grant is a situation like the MDS where finishing in 10 seconds or less won $1,000,000; in that case, go fishing for the prices with the -99 technique. But in normal game play, you don't gain anything by finishing faster. And the average nervous contestant risks getting confused if the -99 technique doesn't result in an exact hit.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 11, 2019, 06:36:26 AM
Coming or Going

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_63.html)

Random fact
When this game first debuted, it didn't have a price tag to reveal the price; instead, Bob or Drew simply asked if the contestant was right and the platform would flash if they were.

Win-loss record

Based on the initial digit on the platform, what was correct? (seasons 40-46)
Digit  Coming  Going
  4       4       2
  5      20      21
  6       9      26
  7      16      33
  8      20      11
  9      18      10


Strategy
Know the price. If you're completely clueless about the price, you can use the above table to suggest that if you see a 6 or 7 when the prop is first shown, then select "going" while you should set an 8 or 9 as "coming." But that's not really enough playings to recommend that as a pattern. And they're very careful with the 5s--not only was it basically 50/50 as for whether the correct answer was coming or going when 5 was the initial digit, but overall, there were 34 prizes that ended in 5 and 29 that started with 5 from seasons 40-46. So this is a "know your prices" game.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: GameShowFan9001 on July 11, 2019, 06:54:46 AM
Strategy
Know the price. If you're completely clueless about the price, you can use the above table to suggest that if you see a 6 or 7 when the prop is first shown, then select "going" while you should set an 8 or 9 as "coming." But that's not really enough playings to recommend that as a pattern. And they're very careful with the 5s--not only was it basically 50/50 as for whether the correct answer was coming or going when 5 was the initial digit, but overall, there were 34 prizes that ended in 5 and 29 that started with 5 from seasons 40-46. So this is a "know your prices" game.

If I remember correctly, there also is/was a thing where coming/going was generally, but not always, determined by whether the prize was a trip or a different prize.  Someone please correct me if this is backwards, but I think it was trip = going, non-trip = coming.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: 123123123 on July 11, 2019, 09:32:49 AM
^I do remember a few seasons back (possibly S44 or 45) that they started to make it that everytime a trip was offered, going was the correct choice. However, I don't know if a non-trip prize necessarily made coming the correct answer
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Kev347 on July 11, 2019, 09:59:47 AM
I just looked this up, and for every playing since December 11, 2015, "the rule" has held true: "coming" is correct on a non-trip, "going" is correct on a trip. 12/11/15 was the last time "going" was correct on a non-trip. 4/6/15 was the last time "coming" was correct on a trip. There are then a few other violations of the rule in Season 43, so it seems that Season 44 was when they started following this rule in earnest, except for the December 2015 playing.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 11, 2019, 03:13:35 PM
Thanks! I had no idea about that pattern. So the simple rule is "You're going on a trip or you're coming home to a prize." I've added that to my blog!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Ton80 on July 11, 2019, 03:35:41 PM
Quote from: LiteBulb88, in his awesome BLOG
Addendum: there is a foolproof pattern!

I'm not sure I would call it "foolproof".  As the game's history has shown, there have been cases of COMING for a trip and GOING for a prize.  It's certainly fair to point out the statistics and suggest a likelihood of winning. 

"Foolproof" implies a certainty, and we all know nothing is certain.

By the way, the work you're doing to compile all this data and statistics is fantastic!  Thank you!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 11, 2019, 03:45:41 PM
I'm not sure I would call it "foolproof".  As the game's history has shown, there have been cases of COMING for a trip and GOING for a prize.  It's certainly fair to point out the statistics and suggest a likelihood of winning. 

"Foolproof" implies a certainty, and we all know nothing is certain.

That's absolutely fair. I've changed "foolproof" to "very common."

By the way, the work you're doing to compile all this data and statistics is fantastic!  Thank you!

Thanks!!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 12, 2019, 03:30:33 AM
Cover Up

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_12.html)

Random fact
When Drew started as host, he constantly talked about how the initial numbers shown were pointless and might as well be blank. The show got him back for that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9IvzHNNb6E

Win-loss record

<voice from offstage> Hang on a second. That can't be right! Most contestants know at least the first digit, if not the second digit, of the car's price. How are they barely doing better than random chance?

I'll tell you soon. Can we get back to this now? Fine, though my mind will be too occupied thinking about this to pay attention to anything you say before you answer.

Thank you, and too bad.

Correct digit by location (seasons 41-46)
                             3.01%
                     24.06% 22.56%
              21.05% 19.55% 23.31%
       40.60% 27.82% 17.29% 15.79%
41.35% 28.57% 27.07% 18.05% 20.30%
58.65% 30.83% 24.06% 21.05% 15.04%
C      O      V      E      R

Unwritten rule: The number at the top of the last column is almost never correct because if the contestant is shorter than about 6 feet tall, they can't easily reach it. The producers have broken that rule on rare occasions, but not since season 43. And no, this isn't why contestants are doing just barely better than random chance.

Strategy
Hey! Offstage voice! I'm ready to tell you why people are so bad at this game. Are you paying attention now? Yes? Good. There's a strategy to this game that loyal viewers call the Cover Up strategy, and it's simply this: get the first or second number WRONG on purpose on your first guess. Why? Because you can then get it right on your second turn and guarantee at least a third turn. But if you get the first two numbers right on the first turn, it makes your second turn that much harder. I've also heard strategies like "get the first two numbers wrong on purpose" so that you can get the first number right on the second turn and the third number right on the third turn. It turns out that doesn't work as well as the get the first number right on the first turn, second number right on the second turn strategy. Here are some numbers to show this point...

                          Chance of winning   Chance of winning
Strategy                 w/o unwritten rule   w/ unwritten rule
Complete randomness            32.08%              38.50%

Get the first two digits       21.67%              26.00%
right on the first turn

Get the first digit right                     
on turn 1 and the second       40.83%              49.00%
digit right on turn 2

Get the first digit right     
on turn 2 and the second       34.17%              41.00%
digit right on turn 3


(The above table assumes digits 3-5 are always chosen randomly. The last column assumes the top number of the last column is incorrect and is never chosen by the contestant.)

As you can see, getting the first two digits right on the first turn is the worst thing you can do, and that's why the win percent of this game is so low. So don't be afraid to intentionally get the second number wrong on the first turn, as it almost doubles your chances of winning. In fact, if you don't follow that strategy, be afraid for my TV when I throw something at it in frustration of yet another contestant playing this game seriously sub-optimally. Instead, make me and my fellow TPiR geeks proud--get that second number wrong on purpose on the first try!

As for digits 3-5:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 13, 2019, 05:41:48 AM
(Note: no post tomorrow since it's Sunday.)
Danger Price

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_13.html)

Random fact
This game used to have a pirate themed set. Here's a playing of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIHvqsM7Dp8

Win-loss record

From seasons 32-46, the prize with the danger price was...
Strategy
Know the prices. There's no pattern as to the location of the prize with the danger price or whether that prize is the most expensive, the cheapest, or in between.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 15, 2019, 04:37:21 AM
Dice Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_15.html)

Random fact
Believe it or not, a contestant did once roll all the numbers in the price of the car in spite of the 1/1296 (0.08%) chance of that happening:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuEbUtrnt2A

Win-loss record
Note: That assumes the digits of the car are equally likely to be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, and that you go with the odds on every roll.

Which digit of the car had which value? (Seasons 40-46)

                              Actual value                 
Digit of car    1       2       3       4       5       6   
 2nd digit    23.21%  16.96%   8.93%  16.07%  14.29%  20.54%
 3rd digit    16.07%  18.75%  13.39%  17.86%  15.18%  18.75%
 4th digit    13.39%  14.29%  18.75%  19.64%  17.86%  16.07%
 5th digit     1.79%  15.18%  16.96%  13.39%  42.86%   9.82%
 Overall      16.07%  18.75%  13.39%  17.86%  15.18%  18.75%


Strategy
When I first saw that the actual win-loss record was just barely better than the random chance record, I figured it would be because the producers were using 1s and 6s all over the place, but this turned out to not be true. It's really more a testament to the fact that the producers can add whatever options they want to turn car pricing into a crap shoot (pun not intended.) So here's the strategy:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 16, 2019, 03:09:41 AM
Do the Math

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_16.html)

Random fact
Former CBS & Price is Right employee Scott Robinson came up with the concept that would become this game. He is also a frequent poster here and shared the story of how Do the Math came about:

http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,21931.0.htm

(Sadly, some of the videos and photos that were once in that thread have been lost to time, but it's still a great read.)

Win-loss record
Number of times it was correct to...
Strategy
Forget the actual prices or the amount of money, this is really a game of which prize is more expensive. If the second prize is more expensive, select "plus"; if it's less expensive, select "minus." And don't forget the trip rule--if you're playing for two trips, whichever destination is farther from Los Angeles is the more expensive trip.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 17, 2019, 02:52:29 AM
Double Cross

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_17.html)

Random fact
In the game's first playing, there was no think music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_-8ymTxNV0

Win-loss record
The correct prices were...
Strategy
This game inverts the "pick the endpoints" rule--here, it's DON'T pick the endpoints unless you're absolutely sure the first or last price is right. (I guess the producers actually want this game to be won.) Instead, pick one of the middle two possibilities; which one of those to choose comes down to pricing knowledge.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on July 17, 2019, 07:50:14 AM
I found out some more patterns for Double Cross. Of the 109 playings from its debut in Season 40 to present:
The average prize cost was $3,625. (The average for prize #1 was $3,639; prize #2, $3,611.) The average difference in the ARPs of a given playing was $1,480. When you consider the 4 possible pairs of prices, the game could be won by picking the pair of prices closest together in price 46 times (42.2%), by picking the pair of prices second-closest together 38 times (34.9%), by picking the pair of prices third-closest together 16 times (14.7%), and by picking the pair of prices farthest away in price 9 times (8.3%).

These numbers change a bit if you separate playings for trips and playings without trips.

Playings for 2 non-trip prizes: 97
Playings for 1 trip and 1 regular prize: 1
Playings for 2 trips: 11

Average price for non-trip prize: $3,408
Average difference in price between 2 non-trip prizes: $1,410
Win by picking prices closest together: 42 (43.3%)
Win by picking prices second-closest together: 35 (36.1%)
Win by picking prices third-closest together: 14 (14.4%)
Win by picking prices farthest apart: 6 (6.2%)

Average price for trip: $5,464
Average difference in price between 2 non-trip prizes: $1,912
Win by picking prices closest together: 4 (36.4%)
Win by picking prices second-closest together: 3 (27.3%)
Win by picking prices third-closest together: 1 (9.1%)
Win by picking prices farthest apart: 3 (27.3%)

For all playings, last digit of a prize by frequency: 5 > 9 > 0 > 8 > 3,4 > 6 > 1,7 > 2

In conclusion, if you really don’t know what to do, picking one of the two combinations of prices that are closest together is more likely to yield a win- especially if you’re not playing for trips. Besides that, remember that over half of all prizes have ended in the digits 5, 9, or 0.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 18, 2019, 02:33:03 AM
I found out some more patterns for Double Cross. Of the 109 playings from its debut in Season 40 to present:
(followed by lots of great data)

Awesome! Thanks so much--I would've never thought to look at the difference in price between the two prizes. I'm a bit busy right now, but I will add this info to the blog.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 18, 2019, 02:34:22 AM
Double Prices

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_18.html)

Random fact
Double Prices has been played more than any other game in the show's history.

Random review
Our own gamesurf wrote one about this game that's of the most poetic things I've ever read about anything on The Price is Right. Here's how it starts:

"Bless you, Double Prices.

You are the glue that holds the show together. The common, unpretentious, one prize quickie, meant to save time so that longer games may exist..."

If you want to read the whole thing, click here:

http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,681.msg466117.html#msg466117

Win-loss record
The correct price was...
Strategy
The pair rule can help here--if you're playing for 2 of the exact same thing (e.g. 2 identical motorcycles, 2 identical surfboards, etc.), the price will almost certainly end in an even number. Otherwise, know the price.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Ton80 on July 18, 2019, 04:19:29 PM
Quote from: LiteBulb88
The correct price was...
  • The more expensive price: 257 playings (48.40%)
  • The less expensive price: 274 playings (51.60%)

Do you have any stats on how often the TOP price was correct, vs the BOTTOM price?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 18, 2019, 05:10:35 PM
I don't have that. However, when I was writing that article, I did some checking of Youtube & recap guides, and it looked to me like the top price is always the higher price while the bottom price is always the lower price. If that's true, then, of course, there's no need to consider top/bottom separately from higher/lower.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 19, 2019, 04:10:48 AM
Special note: I fly to the US later this afternoon for a three week business trip. I still plan to post every day except Sunday, however, my posts may come much later in the day (think 6 PM US Eastern Time instead of 10 AM Central European Time.)

Eazy Az 1-2-3

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_19.html)

Random fact
There was another game on the show, Clearance Sale, that was functionally equivalent to this one. But Eazy Az 1-2-3 was introduced first and has gotten a lot more love than Clearance Sale ever did. Here's a video of Clearance Sale if you want to judge for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKX14TRuBIw

Win-loss record
The correct ordering of the blocks was (seasons 31-46)...
Strategy
Know the prices. If you're completely clueless about the prices, put block #1 in the middle, as it's belonged there 53.8% of the time, then make an educated guess about blocks 2 and 3.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Tech_Triumph on July 19, 2019, 04:24:22 AM

Eazy Az 1-2-3

The problem I have with this game and other comparison games such as Do the Math is when they put designer accessories and a smart-TV together. The prices of those items have a really large spread and it's hard to differentiate sometimes.

The only thing I can come up with is the TV is expensive if it's curved or if it's a larger size. Handbags seem to be more expensive than the shoes.

But other than that...it's a guess for me.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on July 19, 2019, 06:44:36 PM
Fun fact: Eazy Az 1-2-3 hasn't offered two prices in the same thousand-dollar tier since the 12/12/12 episode, where a $2,999 TV and $2,390 in shoes were the two most expensive prizes.
Also, 20 of the last 22 playings have offered one $1,xxx prize, one $2,xxx prize, and one $3,xxx prize.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 20, 2019, 10:27:29 AM
(Note: no post tomorrow since it's Sunday.)
Five Price Tags

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_20.html)

Random fact
This game was host to one of the more memorable bloopers of recent years on the show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B9gj0PZXQ4

Win-loss record

The correct price...<voice from offstage again.> Hold it, hold it, hold it. I thought Cover Up was bad with its win rate just above random chance. But now you're telling me people play Five Price Tags WORSE than random chance?!?! What in the ?!?!?!

Ugh. You again. I thought I shooed you off after Cover Up was over. Nope. Nice try.

OK, OK, I'll get there and this time it'll be pretty quick. Happy? Yup!

Small Prize Pricing
Let's start with the first half of this game, the pricing of the small prizes. The "worse record than random chance" will become clear pretty quickly...

# of times _____ was correct (seasons 32-46)
# of times the contestant chose (seasons 32-46)
Any questions on where the discrepancy comes from? Yikes. The contestants love to say "false"; the producers know this and make most of the prizes "true." Remember, things almost always cost more than you think! So here's the strategy for this part...

Strategy (small prize portion)
If you have any doubt, CHOOSE TRUE!!!!!!! Though don't forget the "all choices will not be the same" rule; at least one price will be false. But if you just choose true for everything, you're very likely to get at least 2, if not 3, picks. From seasons 40-46, here was how often different combinations of true and false came up:
It was never the case that all four prices were true or all four prices were false. But choosing true for all four prizes would have gotten you at least two picks over 93% of the time.

Car Pricing
If you followed my advice above, you should have two, if not three, choices for the price of the car. Let's look at some stats for this portion of the game...

Correct car price was...(seasons 32-46)
Strategy (car pricing portion)
Remember the pick the endpoints rule. Choose the bottom tag and then the top tag. If they're both wrong, then choose the cheapest price left unless the top and bottom tags were the two most expensive prices; if that's the case, then choose the most expensive price left.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: WilliamPorygon on July 20, 2019, 04:56:23 PM
Strategy (car pricing portion)
Remember the pick the endpoints rule. Choose the bottom tag and then the top tag. If they're both wrong, then choose the cheapest price left unless the top and bottom tags were the two most expensive prices; if that's the case, then choose the most expensive price left.
Shouldn't that be "...unless the top and bottom tags were the two least expensive prices?"

Love this series by the way.   :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 20, 2019, 05:20:53 PM
ACK! It sure should be. I've updated my blog post. Thanks!!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: 123123123 on July 20, 2019, 07:04:50 PM
Strategy (car pricing portion)
Remember the pick the endpoints rule. Choose the bottom tag and then the top tag. If they're both wrong, then choose the cheapest price left unless the top and bottom tags were the two most expensive prices; if that's the case, then choose the most expensive price left.

From the data you posted in the Car Pricing section of your post, I think this might be one of the few times where pick the endpoints rule shouldn't be the first rule to follow. It seems the "winning price by value" correlation is significantly stronger than the "winning price by position" correlation

You might be better off first picking the cheapest, then second cheapest prices, then the top and bottom spots.

Of course, the top and bottom spots are usually the cheapest, so doesn't really make a difference.  :lol:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 22, 2019, 08:33:32 AM
Flip Flop

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_22.html)

Random fact
Someone once managed to cheat at this game (or was just totally idiotic) by pressing the button that reveals the price before doing anything else. Not coincidentally, the button to reveal the price has since been moved. You can see it here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QezIBLK5WHg

Win-loss record
Number of times it was correct to...
Choice   Overall       S29-39        S40-46   
 Flip  134 (31.02%)  52 (23.64%)  82 (38.68%)
 Flop  167 (38.66%)  62 (28.18%) 105 (49.53%)
 Both  131 (30.32%) 106 (48.18%)  25 (11.79%)

("S" stands for "seasons".)
Strategy
You can see why I split the stats into seasons 29-39 & seasons 40-46. Contestants never want to flip & flop, and that was dragging the win percentage of this game way down. So in season 40, the producers must have decided this is a game they generally want to be won and made it so it's quite infrequent that flip & flop is the correct answer. Thus, my strategy is to either flip or flop, depending on what you think the correct first two numbers of the prize are. Note they haven't offered a prize in this game worth less than $5,000 since season 42, so if flipping or not flipping would result in a price less than $5,000, then choose the other option. And in any event, don't flip & flop unless you're somehow absolutely certain.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 22, 2019, 09:06:31 AM
And I've had to turn off comments on my blog. I never thought I'd get trolled on a Price is Right blog, but alas, I was wrong... :cry:.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Pikachu732001 on July 22, 2019, 10:16:59 AM
And I've had to turn off comments on my blog. I never thought I'd get trolled on a Price is Right blog, but alas, I was wrong... :cry:.

What happened that made you turn off comments?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 22, 2019, 10:35:48 AM
Long story short, someone didn't like my writing style and swore at me. When I said he was more than welcome to disagree with me but that I wouldn't tolerate swearing on my blog, that just made him swear more. After I deleted those comments, he said something to the effect of "you deleted my comment? I'm going to make your life a living [nightmare]!" No, I'm not afraid of a stranger on the internet. The problem is starting tomorrow, I'm not going to have internet access from about 8 AM to 4 PM for the next couple of days, and I don't want someone posting stuff like that on my blog without me being able to delete it quickly.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 23, 2019, 04:41:45 PM
Freeze Frame

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_92.html)

Random fact

Freeze Frame's price reveal once completely froze:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSsuake-bkw

Win-loss record
The correct price was...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
Pick one of the four most expensive prices. Make sure you choose a price that's at least $5,000--there hasn't been a prize offered in this game worth less than that since season 40. As for which price to choose after you apply those two facts, know the price. If you're completely clueless, go for the third or fourth most expensive choice.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 24, 2019, 09:02:19 PM
Gas Money

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_25.html)

Random fact

Gas Money was once played for one of the most valuable prizes in the show's history, an Audi R8. You can see how the contestant did here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6IL_uJzE0o

Win-loss record
The correct price was...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
First off, when the curtain comes up and you see the car, do not look at the board.  Instead, as George is describing the car, think about how much you believe the car costs. You do not want the board to influence you yet! Then before you make your first pick, decide how much the car is worth to you. For example, if you would turn it down completely if you won, then it's worth $0 to you. Or you might try to sell it, in which case a $20,000 car may only be worth $15,000 when you take depreciation and taxes into account. Then start by picking the middle price (middle as in there are two cheaper prices and two more expensive prices, not necessarily the price that's physically in the center)--that's why contestants are so bad at this game. It's a variation of the "pick the endpoints" rule--most contestants think the price has to be somewhere in the middle of the displayed prices and it almost never is. Thus, my advice to decide on a price before looking at the board, and start the game by removing the middle price, price wise.

Once you've done that, now you're going to need that value of how much the car is worth to you. The following table tells you how much your personal value of the car should be to keep playing if you're just picking by random chance. The number on the left is how much cash you have; the number on top is how many picks you've made. A value of "0" for the car means you should always play on because the probabilities state you're likely to win more cash than you would lose by playing on, never mind the value of the car. A value of "N/A" means that combination can't happen--for example, you can't have $1,000 after two picks.

Amt.   After 1  After 2  After 3
$1,000    $0       N/A      N/A
$2,000    $0       N/A      N/A
$3,000    $0       $0       N/A
$4,000    $0      $667      N/A
$5,000    N/A    $1,667     N/A
$6,000    N/A    $2,667   $2,000
$7,000    N/A    $3,667   $4,000
$8,000    N/A      N/A    $6,000
$9,000    N/A      N/A    $8,000


Note you should never bail out after the first pick--even if you get the $4,000 card with your first pick and the car is worth nothing to you, you're more likely to make money than lose money due to having 3 good prices to pick and only one bad one. Also note you should never bail out if the car is worth at least $8,000 to you.

Assuming you don't bail out, what do you do after picking the middle price? This is where having that price in mind before you looked at the prices on the board comes in to play. Now you can start picking the prices that are farthest away from the price you had in mind and zero in from there. That said, if you're completely clueless, or the price you had in mind was way off from anything you see on the board, pick the price that's the cheapest every time. That maximizes your chances of winning, but does not replace knowing the price of the car.

Good luck! This is one of the hardest games on the show to win for a reason.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Flerbert419 on July 25, 2019, 06:12:02 PM
Although they started to move away from it at the end of last season, all car prices in Gas Money for a number of years ended in 0 or 5 so you could knock out any amount ending in 9.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 25, 2019, 07:51:21 PM
Golden Road

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_26.html)

Random fact

This is the first of the "big three" games on the show (the other two being 3 Strikes and Triple Play.) Those games are called the big three because they routinely offer the most expensive prize packages on the show. Here's one example of Golden Road being played for a Corvette:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCJzU_YqJHE

Win-loss record
First prize stats(seasons 40-46)
Second prize stats(seasons 40-46)
(Note: these only include playings where the contestant got the first prize right.)
Third prize stats(seasons 40-46)
(Note: these only include playings the contestant got the first two prizes right.)

Strategy
I will break down the strategy by prize. One caution: this game is only played 3-4 times a year, so the sample size for these statistics is quite small. Thus, it's hard to tell if these are really patterns or just quirks of what happens when you apply random chance to a small sample size.

But one strategy I can guarantee: Digits NEVER repeat in the price of the first or second prize (if they did, this would cause you to have one less choice for the second or third prize). They can repeat in the price of the final prize.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 26, 2019, 11:50:06 AM
Grand Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_48.html)

Random fact
The first Grand Game winner was a rather memorable one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ivL92VUQ0I

Win-loss record
Item #X was above the target price...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 27, 2019, 10:16:36 AM
(Note: no post tomorrow since it's Sunday.)

Gridlock!

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_97.html)

Random fact
This is the newest game in the pricing game rotation, having debuted in season 46. Thus, I'll be including season 47 statistics in this guide to have some more data to work with.

Win-loss record
For the second and third digits, the correct choice was...
For the fourth and fifth digits, the correct choice was...
Strategy
Don't forget the usual car pricing rules: other than the first two digits, consecutive digits won't be the same, and if paint and fabric protection is offered, the price won't end in 5 or 0. Otherwise, know the price, as 29 playings isn't a large enough sample size to make any definitive strategical statements. If you really want to go with the stats, pick the cheapest pair for the first choice and the most expensive pair for the second choice, but the fact that those have been correct the most often is just as likely to be a pattern resulting from a small sample size of a random process instead of being a setup favored by the producers.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Kev347 on July 28, 2019, 09:10:05 AM
A $20,042 car was offered in Gridlock! on the April 5th episode, and a $21,134 car was offered on the May 30th episode, so the "consecutive digits won't be the same" rule doesn't necessarily hold true for this game, which makes sense because it also doesn't hold true for Money Game.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 29, 2019, 09:42:17 AM
Good catch--I've updated my blog.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 29, 2019, 09:42:58 AM
Grocery Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_29.html)

Random fact
There's usually a theme behind the grocery products in this game. One time, they proved they have at least one geek on staff as they went with a popular board game as the theme. See if you can figure out which game it was:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jHHqMfbP1g

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 77-148 (34.22%)

From seasons 32-46, the contestant won the game by using...
Strategy
You do need to know the prices of at least a couple of the items. Then the key is to start expensive and finish cheap. Begin with an expensive item and take 2 of that (be careful about taking 3 as they do sometimes use products over $8). That will usually get you to the $10-$15 range. Then look for a mid-level product around $3-$5, and take 1-2 of that. That should get you close to the $20 mark. Finally, take 1 or 2 of the cheapest item to get you over $20 but not over $22. By saving the cheapest item for last, you can adjust this strategy to fit the actual items you get; however, if you use the cheapest item first and end up at something like $19.50 with only expensive items left you probably can't win the game.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Kev347 on July 30, 2019, 08:16:56 AM
It's worth adding: We see at least a couple times a season people try to win this game by pretending it's Bullseye and hitting the target in one product. NOT a good idea. DON'T do it. It's about as good an idea as looking at the audience in Bonkers :) It usually leads to a spectacular flameout, which is very avoidable.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 30, 2019, 07:52:41 PM
It's worth adding: We see at least a couple times a season people try to win this game by pretending it's Bullseye and hitting the target in one product. NOT a good idea. DON'T do it. It's about as good an idea as looking at the audience in Bonkers :) It usually leads to a spectacular flameout, which is very avoidable.

Very true. Especially the part about it being as good of an idea as looking at the audience in Bonkers  :oldlol: :-D.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 30, 2019, 07:53:38 PM
1/2 Off

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_66.html)

Random fact
This game is usually played for $10,000, but occasionally is played for more. Here's a playing they show while you're at a taping waiting to get in to the studio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl57DZ6jxyA

Win-loss record:
The money was in box #...(seasons 40-46):
The prize with the 1/2 off price was...(seasons 40-46)
# of times the following left/right combinations were correct (seasons 40-46)
If one price was even and the other odd, the correct one to select was...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
Part 1: Pricing
As you can see by the stats above, it's mostly know the price with one major exception: if one given price is even and one is odd, go with the odd price unless you're sure the even price is the 1/2 off price. For example, if the given prices are $15 and $40, choose $15. But if both prices are even or both are odd, choose the one you think is 1/2 off. If you're not sure at all, choose the smaller given price, but as you can see, the producers are pretty good at making sure that's not a consistent trend in this game.

Part 2: Which box to choose?
First off, don't bother looking at the audience for this, as they have no more clue than you do. If you really want to go by stats, pick the first box in this list that is still available: 14, 11, (12,15), (4,5,6), (2,8,9), 10, (3,7,16) ,13, 1. The numbers in parenthesis are tied, so if you see 12 and 15 left, it's a tossup. The problem with using a list like this, though, is it's very dependent on which seasons you choose to analyze, so if you want to go with your favorite number, I have no problem with that. However, two principles do apply here:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on July 31, 2019, 12:37:39 PM
Hi Lo

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_50.html)

Random fact
This game used to be wheeled out on to the stage and the grocery items described before the main prize was revealed. This changed in 2008 to a standard reveal of the main prize first and then the game.

Win-loss record
How often was product X one of the 3 highest priced products (seasons 40-46)?
Strategy
"Pick the endpoints" is only half true here, as the product on the far right is correct the 2nd-least amount, but the product on the far left is correct the most often. So if you're not sure, pick that one. Besides that, know the prices.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 01, 2019, 05:49:07 PM
Hole in One (or Two)

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy.html)

Random fact
Bob or Drew usually attempts an inspiration putt before the contestant tries their putt(s), but sometimes they let others take the putt. Here's one instance where Janice had a rather unbelievable result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thMUpLqcM2g

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46): 96-51 (65.31%)

Record by which line the contestant putted from (seasons 32-46):
Strategy
Most importantly: practice your mini-golf before you go to the studio! Even the line the farthest away from the hole really isn't that far away if you can control your nerves. No matter what time of year it is, there are plenty of places in LA to play a round and you've got a good excuse to find one :). Otherwise, the strategy is to know the prices of the grocery items. That said, if there are one or two you're not sure of, skip those until the end. It's much better to have five right and put a $1.99 item at the end than it is to have nothing right because you weren't sure of the ordering of the first two items.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on August 02, 2019, 12:12:01 AM
Otherwise, the strategy is to know the prices of the grocery items. That said, if there are one or two you're not sure of, skip those until the end. It's much better to have five right and put a $1.99 item at the end than it is to have nothing right because you weren't sure of the ordering of the first two items.
I agree that this is the correct way to play the game since the $500 bonus is peanuts in 2019. Has a contestant ever tried this strategy?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: SuperSweeper on August 02, 2019, 10:21:17 AM
I agree that this is the correct way to play the game since the $500 bonus is peanuts in 2019. Has a contestant ever tried this strategy?

Given how long the game has been around, I’d say yes.  :-)

A contestant used that strategy at one of the TPiR Live shows that I attended - and they ended up winning.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 02, 2019, 02:54:30 PM
Hot Seat

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_2.html)

Random fact
Hot Seat is the second newest game on the show, having debuted in season 45. Thus, I'll be including season 47 stats in this article.

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46):
For each prize, how often was it higher or lower?
  Prize    Higher  Lower
 1 (left)    21     24
    2        15     30
    3        27     18
    4        22     23
 5 (right)   23     22

How often were different combinations of higher and lower correct?
Strategy
Part 1: Guessing higher/lower. This is tricky because you don't really have much time to think. You have 35 seconds for all 5 items, which is 7 seconds per item, but that doesn't include the time it takes to travel between items. Thus, you need to go with your gut on each prize. If you can, try to make it so you guessed higher 3 times and lower twice or higher twice and lower 3 times, as those are by far the two most common combinations. But you can't go back to a previous prize and you're under time pressure, so don't spend too much brain power keeping track of that.

Part 2: The reveal. What's interesting about this part is they take you through all the items you got right first, but they never state that they take you through the correct items randomly. My hunch--and I have no data to back this up, so this is strictly a hunch--is that they go from easiest to hardest. In order words, the first item they take you to will be obviously correct. Then with each item, it's less and less obvious that it's correct. Thus, if they take you to an item that was hard for you to guess right, then they're probably getting closer to the end of the items you got right. So you can try to think through how hard each item was to get right to decide if you want to continue or not.

As for bailing out, the numbers say you should always go on as long as your guess was even in the slightest bit educated. The money amounts always at least double, so anything greater than a 50% chance of being right means you should continue. However, be careful with that. For many people, the difference between $0 and $10,000 is MUCH greater than the difference between $10,000 and $20,000--the former could mean paying off long overdue bills and getting a savings fund started while the latter would be icing on the cake you use to travel. So keep that in mind as you're playing.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 03, 2019, 09:11:39 PM
(Note: no post tomorrow since it's Sunday.)

It's in the Bag

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_4.html)

Random fact
Whenever this game is won, it's a special moment due to its rarity, but I was lucky enough to see this one in the studio. It's easily my favorite It's in the Bag win ever. I got to meet Sharon after the show and she's a wonderful woman. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxzr_gSGsGk

Win-loss record:
How often each item was in each bag (seasons 45-47)
Bag #    BL TL BM TM BR TR
None      2 15  1 13  5  9
1 (left) 10  0 17  5 13  0
2        15  3  8  2  9  8
3         8 10  3  9  9  4
4         9 11  5  4  2 11
5 (right) 1  5  9 11  7 10

(How to read that table: B stands for "bottom", T for "top", L for "left", M for "middle", and R for "right". For example, "BL" stands for "bottom left"; the item in the bottom left corner of the initial display has been in no bag 2 times, bag #1 10 times, bag #2 15 times, and so on. Also, the reason I started at season 45 is that the on-line guides I used to get this data only started showing the positions of the items on the initial display in season 45.)

Strategy
Know the prices. This game may be the purest test of grocery pricing the show has. That said, the first two bags are always set up to be easy--the first bag is usually the obviously cheapest item and the second bag is usually the obviously most expensive item. Sometimes, they're even nice enough to make the third bag easy--it's often the obviously second-most expensive item. But bags 4 and 5 are where this game is won or lost, and there are no real patterns to suggest here, except maybe that the top left and top middle products are the most often to not be in any bag at all. That's not a very large sample size I have to work with, though, so use that fact with care. But if you know your grocery prices, $16,000 is yours!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 05, 2019, 08:14:07 PM
Let 'em Roll

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_6.html)

Random fact
Believe it or not, this game has been won in one roll. See it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKRYrYCCrdU

Win-loss record:
Was the correct choice higher or lower? (seasons 40-46)
First choice
Second choice
Overall
Were the two choices the same or different? (seasons 40-46)

Strategy
Part 1: Pricing. There's nothing foolproof here, so knowing the prices is best. But note that higher is correct more often than lower, especially for the first choice. Also note that more than 2/3 of the time, the second choice is the same as the first choice. Those facts can help you.

Part 2: Should you stay or should you roll on? Like I talked about in Gas Money, you need to decide what the value of the car is to you. Are you going to sell it? Then the value is whatever you can sell it for? Are you going to turn it down? Then the value is $0. Are you going to keep it? Then the value is whatever the announced value is. Once you have that, here are the tables that tell you whether you should keep playing or not. The amount shown in each spot is the minimum value of the car that it should be for you to take another roll, rounded to the nearest dollar. N/A means that combination is not possible.

If you have two rolls left...
         Number of dice left
Cash    1     2     3     4       5
$500   $333  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A
$1000 $1000  $889  N/A   N/A     N/A
$1500 $1667 $1778 $1778  N/A     N/A
$2000  N/A  $2667 $2963  $3160   N/A
$2500  N/A  $3556 $4148  $4741  $5267
$3000  N/A  $4444 $5333  $6321  $7374
$3500  N/A   N/A  $6519  $7901  $9481
$4000  N/A   N/A  $7703  $9481 $11588
$4500  N/A   N/A  $8889 $11062 $13695
$5000  N/A   N/A   N/A  $12642 $15802
$5500  N/A   N/A   N/A  $14222 $17909
$6000  N/A   N/A   N/A  $15802 $20016
$6500  N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   $22123
$7000  N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   $24230
$7500  N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   $26337


If you have one roll left...
         Number of dice left
Cash    1     2     3       4       5
$500   $0    N/A   N/A     N/A     N/A
$1000 $1000  $0    N/A     N/A     N/A
$1500 $2000 $2000   $0     N/A     N/A
$2000  N/A  $4000 $4000    $0      N/A
$2500  N/A  $6000 $8000   $8000    $0
$3000  N/A  $8000 $12000 $16000  $16000
$3500  N/A   N/A  $16000 $24000  $32000
$4000  N/A   N/A  $20000 $32000  $48000
$4500  N/A   N/A  $24000 $40000  $64000
$5000  N/A   N/A   N/A   $48000  $80000
$5500  N/A   N/A   N/A   $56000  $96000
$6000  N/A   N/A   N/A   $64000 $112000
$6500  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A  $128000
$7000  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A  $144000
$7500  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A  $160000
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: PunchABunchFan on August 06, 2019, 04:06:50 PM
Regarding It's in the Bag -

If you are fortunate enough to make it to the last item, DON'T FORGET THE UNUSED ITEM!!  In deciding whether to go for it, you now basically have a 50/50 question as to whether the product you chose is $X.XX or whether the unchosen product is that amount - one of the two is!  If you're confident that the unchosen product is not the price on the bag - go for it.  Don't neglect this useful piece of information!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: ooboh on August 06, 2019, 04:29:26 PM
Let 'em Roll

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_6.html)

Random fact
Believe it or not, this game has been won in one roll. See it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKRYrYCCrdU

Win-loss record:
  • Actual (seasons 29-46):  99-128 (43.61%)
  • What it would be by random chance: 33383/131072 (25.47%)
Was the correct choice higher or lower? (seasons 40-46)
First choice
  • Higher: 54 playings (71.05%)
  • Lower: 22 playings (28.95%)
Second choice
  • Higher: 43 playings (56.58%)
  • Lower: 33 playings (43.42%)
Overall
  • Higher: 77 times (63.82%)
  • Lower: 55 times (36.18%)
Were the two choices the same or different? (seasons 40-46)
  • The same (both higher or both lower): 51 playings (67.11%)
  • Different (one higher and one lower): 25 playings (33.89%)

Strategy
Part 1: Pricing. There's nothing foolproof here, so knowing the prices is best. But note that higher is correct more often than lower, especially for the first choice. Also note that more than 2/3 of the time, the second choice is the same as the first choice. Those facts can help you.

Part 2: Should you stay or should you roll on? Like I talked about in Gas Money, you need to decide what the value of the car is to you. Are you going to sell it? Then the value is whatever you can sell it for? Are you going to turn it down? Then the value is $0. Are you going to keep it? Then the value is whatever the announced value is. Once you have that, here are the tables that tell you whether you should keep playing or not. The amount shown in each spot is the minimum value of the car that it should be for you to take another roll, rounded to the nearest dollar. N/A means that combination is not possible.

If you have two rolls left...
         Number of dice left
Cash    1     2     3     4       5
$500   $333  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A
$1000 $1000  $889  N/A   N/A     N/A
$1500 $1667 $1778 $1778  N/A     N/A
$2000  N/A  $2667 $2963  $3160   N/A
$2500  N/A  $3556 $4148  $4741  $5267
$3000  N/A  $4444 $5333  $6321  $7374
$3500  N/A   N/A  $6519  $7901  $9481
$4000  N/A   N/A  $7703  $9481 $11588
$4500  N/A   N/A  $8889 $11062 $13695
$5000  N/A   N/A   N/A  $12642 $15802
$5500  N/A   N/A   N/A  $14222 $17909
$6000  N/A   N/A   N/A  $15802 $20016
$6500  N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   $22123
$7000  N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   $24230
$7500  N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   $26337


If you have one roll left...
         Number of dice left
Cash    1     2     3       4       5
$500   $0    N/A   N/A     N/A     N/A
$1000 $1000  $0    N/A     N/A     N/A
$1500 $2000 $2000   $0     N/A     N/A
$2000  N/A  $4000 $4000    $0      N/A
$2500  N/A  $6000 $8000   $8000    $0
$3000  N/A  $8000 $12000 $16000  $16000
$3500  N/A   N/A  $16000 $24000  $32000
$4000  N/A   N/A  $20000 $32000  $48000
$4500  N/A   N/A  $24000 $40000  $64000
$5000  N/A   N/A   N/A   $48000  $80000
$5500  N/A   N/A   N/A   $56000  $96000
$6000  N/A   N/A   N/A   $64000 $112000
$6500  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A  $128000
$7000  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A  $144000
$7500  N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A  $160000


How did you calculate the expected values for determining the minimum values for justifying continuing?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 06, 2019, 07:28:37 PM
I'll demonstrate with an example. Say you have $1,000 in cash with 1 non-car die and 1 roll left. Here's the math:

Let x be the value of the car to you. Then since there are three cars on that last die, one side with $500, one side with $1,000, and one side with $1,500, your expected return on that die is:

1/2 * x + 1/6 * 500 + 1/6 * 1000 + 1/6 * 1500 = 1/2 * x + 500

Since you currently have $1,000, the value of x where the expected value of the roll and the amount of cash you have right now are equal is:

1/2 * x + 500 = 1000
x = 1000

So if the car is worth more than $1,000 to you, you should roll on, if it's less than $1,000 to you, don't. The math gets hairier when you deal with multiple dice and multiple rolls, but that's the idea.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 06, 2019, 08:26:22 PM
Line em up

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_7.html)

Random fact
They have never used a car in this game that has cost $20,000 or more.

Win-loss record
For each prize, which digit was correct? (seasons 40-46)
First prize (second car digit):
Second prize (third car digit):
Third prize (fourth car digit):
Strategy
Mostly know the price, though you can get some clues from the above trends. For the second digit of the car, it's uncommon for the smallest digit in the corresponding prize's price to be correct; for example, if that prize is $675, it's uncommon for 5 to be the correct digit. For the third digit, it's usually the smaller option, and for the fourth digit, the second digit is correct more frequently than the other two digits. So that would make a good first guess if you're clueless. Also, remember you're more likely to have the middle digit right than the second or fourth digit simply because there are only two digits to choose from. So if you have two correct, it's a good bet the middle digit is one of the two--by random chance, given that you have two correct, you have an 80% chance of having the middle digit and one other correct but only a 20% chance of having the first and third digits correct.

Also, don't forget about the "consecutive digits besides the first two don't repeat" rule. Just be a little careful--there was exactly one playing in every season from season 43-46 inclusive that broke that rule. However, no playings in season 47 broke that rule.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Flerbert419 on August 06, 2019, 10:56:35 PM
Random fact
They have never used a car in this game that has cost $20,000 or more.

I'm not sure where this came from but it's not true (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,13967.0.html=).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 07, 2019, 08:10:54 AM
I'm not sure where this came from but it's not true (http://www.golden-road.net/index.php/topic,13967.0.html=).

It came from my own research. As I was looking at the stats, I noted the first prize (second car digit) was typically $500 or above, which would make the use of $20,000 cars unlikely, so I checked. I unfortunately missed the playing you linked to. That said, I appreciate the correction, and I've updated my blog post.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on August 07, 2019, 11:26:59 AM
Something else to keep mind of in Line em Up is that the price of the car can have a 0 as the 3rd or 4th digit, so don't assume that it won't be 0. Five cars used in season 47 had a 0 in the price in these spots, including the final three playings. Before last season there was only a 0 in the price in at most two playings from seasons 40-46.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 07, 2019, 09:19:36 PM
Lucky $even

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_8.html)

Random fact
I never thought I'd see this game played perfectly, but it happened not too long ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYH2P5XWZk
(Jump ahead to the 4:00 mark to see the Lucky $even playing.)

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46):152-365 (29.40%)

# of times each digit had each value (seasons 40-46):
All cars:
              Digit of car
Number  2nd    3rd     4th    5th           Overall
  1    16.98%  6.60%  3.77%  3.77%            7.78%
  2     9.91% 16.04% 11.32% 13.68%           12.74%
  3     8.02% 11.79% 10.85% 11.32%           10.50%
  4     7.55%  8.96%  8.02%  8.96%            8.37%
  5     2.83%  5.19%  5.19% 12.26%            6.37%
  6     8.96% 10.38%  7.08%  3.30%            7.43%
  7    11.79%  8.96% 11.79%  6.60%            9.79%
  8    14.15% 18.39% 16.04% 11.32%           14.98%
  9    19.81% 13.68% 25.00% 25.47%           20.99%
 NR*    0.00%  0.00%  0.94%  3.30%            1.06%
*Not revealed


First digit of the car is 1:
              Digit of car
Number  2nd    3rd     4th    5th           Overall
  1     0.00%  6.36%  5.45%  0.00%            2.96%
  2     0.00% 15.45% 13.64% 20.00%           12.27%
  3     0.00% 10.00%  9.09% 10.00%            7.27%
  4     1.82%  5.45%  6.36% 10.91%            6.14%
  5     1.82%  5.45%  5.45% 13.64%            6.59%
  6    11.82% 13.64%  8.18%  2.73%            9.09%
  7    20.00%  9.09% 10.00%  5.45%           11.14%
  8    26.36% 19.09% 17.27% 11.82%           18.64%
  9    38.18% 15.45% 23.64% 22.73%           25.00%
 NR*    0.00%  0.00%  0.91%  2.73%            0.01%
*Not revealed


First digit of the car is 2:
              Digit of car
Number  2nd    3rd     4th    5th           Overall
  1    36.84%  6.32%  2.11%  8.42%           13.42%
  2    17.89% 16.84%  7.37%  6.32%           12.11%
  3    17.89% 14.74% 13.68% 12.63%           14.73%
  4    14.74% 11.58%  9.47%  7.37%           10.79%
  5     4.21%  5.26%  4.21%  7.37%            5.26%
  6     5.26%  6.32%  5.26%  4.21%            5.26%
  7     2.11%  8.42% 13.68%  8.42%            8.16%
  8     1.05% 18.94% 15.79% 10.53%           11.58%
  9     0.00% 11.58% 27.37% 30.53%           17.37%
 NR*    0.00%  0.00%  1.05%  4.21%            1.32%
*Not revealed


Two notes:


Strategy
Don't pick 4, 5, or 6!! You can see how infrequently 4, 5, and 6 are used in the digits of the price. There are only two exceptions:
But usually the price is going to be more like $21,298 (an actual price from season 47.) How do you know whether to go low or high? The second digit you can figure out based on the kind of car. But the third and beyond...they can add whatever options they want to give you a price with numbers nowhere near the middle. There is a bit of a trend, though: they generally use 7, 8, and 9 more often than 1, 2, and 3, especially for the last digit. So if you're not sure, go high (meaning, guess a 7 or 8.) But you can also guess a 2 or a 3 and I won't object. But again: don't pick 4, 5, or 6!! Yes, you'll lose quickly if you guess a 2 and it's a 9, but picking 4, 5, and 6 all but guarantees a slow loss. By guessing low or high numbers, you at least have a chance.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on August 08, 2019, 12:11:10 AM
I’ve thought that going one extreme or the other (not 4/5/6) for the 3rd number is correct strategy but when you guess on the correct end of the extreme, you almost need to go more toward the center so you don’t get crushed in one number on the 4th digit.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 08, 2019, 08:22:26 PM
Magic #

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_9.html)

Random fact
The prop used in this game once took on a life of its own:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcXH9BEx_g

Win-loss record (seasons 32-46): 65-67 (49.24%)

Number of losses that were caused by...
Range of values for each prize (seasons 42-47)
Strategy
Set the magic number to $3,000. Yes, the audience will boo you after you get above about $1,500, and you'll probably start to feel like it just shouldn't take that long, but you must ignore both things. After all, only 1 person has set the magic number too high in the history of this game. A magic number of $3,000 has won this game in every playing since the start of season 42 and I highly doubt they're going to start having the higher price prize be under $3,000 any time soon--that would be extremely cheap. In fact, they haven't used a higher-priced prize under $4,000 since the middle of season 43. Thus, if anything, it wouldn't surprise me if you need to set the magic number higher than $3,000 to win at some point in the future, but you certainly won't be over if you set the number to $3,000.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on August 08, 2019, 09:03:11 PM
From seasons 42-46, the average range between the two prizes was over $3,150- there was even one $6,200 range in season 44. Yet, contestants only won ~55% of the playings in that time span. I think we need to make "magic-number-too-low-itis" an official medical term. :P
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Kev347 on August 09, 2019, 11:17:08 AM
The $5000 minimum prize package rule means the 2nd prize value in Magic # will certainly never be under $2502 :) But it's good to know that $3000 is undefeated in the last 6 seasons as well.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Axl on August 09, 2019, 02:05:44 PM
Yes, you'll lose quickly if you guess a 2 and it's a 9, but picking 4, 5, and 6 all but guarantees a slow loss. By guessing low or high numbers, you at least have a chance.

Although I have to admit, I always enjoy Drew's disgusted reaction when people choose 5.  :-P
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 09, 2019, 05:26:14 PM
Make Your Move

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_48.html)

Random fact
This game is usually easy for contestants to understand, but not always:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_u8QcBvaFg

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46):

Number of times the correct solution was... (seasons 43-47)

Range of values for each prize (seasons 43-47)

Strategy
Mostly know the prices, but the following tips can help you:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 10, 2019, 10:27:38 AM
Master Key

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_10.html)

Random fact
On April 15, 2019, I...errr, the contestant who played Master Key found both the car key and the master key. That hadn't happened since November 4, 2009, almost 10 years earlier. You can see my...errr, the April 15, 2019 playing here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxzr_gSGsGk
(Jump ahead to the 40:00 mark to see the Master Key playing.)

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46):

<voice from offstage> Hey! The win rate is just barely better than random chance?! Really? Are the small prizes that hard to guess the price of?

Oh, you again. No, the small prizes aren't that hard to guess the price of. Contestants are just too predictable, and the producers take advantage of that. Read on...

For the small prizes, the correct price was...(seasons 40-47)
The contestant chose which key? (seasons 40-47)
Note: the above percentages add up to more than 100% due to the possibility of winning 2 keys.

Which key went to which lock? (seasons 40-47)
          Cheap Middle Car Master
Key  Dud  Prize Prize  Key  Key 
 1    2     2     0     2    4
 2    7     1     3     5    0
 3    1     7     6     1    1
 4    5     8     2     2    1
 5    2     1     3     1    5

Strategy
Part 1: Small prize pricing.
Mostly it's know the prices, but if you're not sure, the price on the right is correct twice as often as the price on the left.

Part 2: Which keys to pick.
PICK THE ENDPOINTS!!
This game practically defines the strategy. The left-most and right-most keys are picked less frequently than the middle keys, and thus the producers put the master key at the end more often than anywhere else. (And yes, that's why this game is won barely more often than random chance would state--it's not that contestants can't price the small prizes, it's that their key choosing behavior is too predictable.) As for which key to pick first, I'd go far right and then far left, but then that was just me :).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: BillyGr on August 10, 2019, 11:13:36 AM
Is there also any pattern to the two prizes (that is, if the first one turns out to be the left numbers, the second one will be the right numbers or the opposite) that occurs more often than it would randomly?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 12, 2019, 12:00:35 PM
Money Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-price-is-right-ultimate-strategy.html)

Random fact
When Money Game first debuted, it was played on the stage instead of the turntable. You can see a playing here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u3atumymY0

Win-loss record (seasons 29-46):
(Note: the above assumes there are three reasonable choices for the first two digits and six reasonable choices for the last two digits. That's a fact that has been true in every playing since at least season 40.)

<voice from offstage> You already know what I'm going to say, right?

Yes, yes, yes. Why is the win rate lower than the random chance win rate? I'm getting there.

Thank you.

Of the three choices for the first two digits, which was correct? (seasons 40-47)
How often was the number in each position a correct choice to make? (seasons 40-47)
21.66%  3.69% 24.42%
20.28% 17.05% 29.49%
25.81% 28.57% 29.03%

Strategy
While there's nothing completely foolproof in this game, here are some tips:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on August 12, 2019, 03:58:09 PM
I would think, and no doubt the producers know it too, that the contestants want the most money possible, and would pick the highest numbers first. With this in mind, could it be that the back of the car is intentionally not high, so that contestants will naturally fail to select it?

Also, has it ever happened that both the front and back of the car were two of the three options for the front of the car (i.e. $19,721)?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpirfan28 on August 12, 2019, 04:04:45 PM
Also, has it ever happened that both the front and back of the car were two of the three options for the front of the car (i.e. $19,721)?
Not directly the same but similar?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9FSWbhc7PI
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 13, 2019, 08:23:09 AM
Also, has it ever happened that both the front and back of the car were two of the three options for the front of the car (i.e. $19,721)?

I don't know if this has ever happened since the show went to five digit car prices in Money Game, but I know for sure this hasn't happened since at least season 39.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 13, 2019, 08:25:06 AM
More or Less

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_13.html)

Random fact
This was the last pricing game to premiere while Bob Barker was still hosting. You can see the first playing here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmuvaFiyA5E

Win-loss record
For each prize, the correct choice was...(seasons 40-47)
First prize:
Second prize:
Third prize:
The car:
Of course, for the second prize and later, only playings where the contestant got to that prize are counted.

How often was each combination of more and less correct? (seasons 40-47)
Note: the following statistics only count playings where the contestant reached the car.
Strategy
Mostly know the prices. Do note the escalating probabilities of each prize being "less" as the game goes along, so that should be what you lean toward later in the game. Also note it's never been correct that all four prizes had the same correct choice; in fact, from seasons 40-47, it was only true once that the first three prizes had the same correct choice (again, only counting playings the contestant reached the third prize.) Use these facts to help you.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: RatRace10 on August 13, 2019, 03:52:05 PM
Regarding Money Game, this is how I play along with it at home. My strategy works for nearly every playing, except the occasional "we really want to give this car away" specials.

For the back pair, eliminate anything ending in 0, 5, or 9 (except 05, 09, or 10), along with the season number and any value between 90-99. There's a 9X card in most every playing and rarely is it ever right (although I recall it being right on this season's Kids special).

The back is almost-always the weird-looking cards like 78, 64, 57, etc. Most people lose due to wasting picks on 9X, X0, X5, or X9 cards.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: RatRace10 on August 13, 2019, 04:05:07 PM
Cover Up
  • Cars in this game rarely end in 0 or 5. Since season 43, there's never been more than 3 playings of this game in a season where the car ended in a 0 or a 5.

I think everyone is forgetting that 9 falls in this group, too. In Cover Up and other car games (One Away, Pathfinder, Stack, etc), 9 is used as a deceptive last digit choice just as often as 0 and 5 and is wrong just as often.

From Seasons 42-47, these are the number of times these three digits were the correct choice for the last digit:

Zero: 4
Five: 9
Nine: 4

Last time 0 was correct: June 21, 2019
Last time 5 was correct: October 31, 2017
Last time 9 was correct: June 20, 2017


Also worthy of note is that in the first playing of Cover Up in Season 42, the contestant only had three guesses, and used 9, 0, and 5 for the last digit in that order. It came down to the last digit on the final guess, which was 3.

9 is just as uncommon an ending as 0 in Cover Up.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on August 13, 2019, 07:46:51 PM
Here's a breakdown showing how likely "More" or "Less" was the right choice based on the fake price. This data is from seasons 40-47.

(https://i.imgur.com/QoMimVf.png)

As you can see, you shouldn't be picking "Less" if the fake price is under $1,000. Also, no price over $3,300 has ever been "More".
Interestingly, prices at or just over the four-digit mark seem to be "Less" more often than not.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 14, 2019, 10:35:34 AM
I think everyone is forgetting that 9 falls in this group, too. In Cover Up and other car games (One Away, Pathfinder, Stack, etc), 9 is used as a deceptive last digit choice just as often as 0 and 5 and is wrong just as often.

Absolutely agreed--I've added a note on this to my Cover Up article (and credited you, of course.)

Here's a breakdown showing how likely "More" or "Less" was the right choice based on the fake price. This data is from seasons 40-47.

Excellent stuff! I've added this data to my More or Less blog post (and credited you, of course.)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 14, 2019, 10:36:16 AM
Most Expen$ive

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_14.html)

Random fact
They sometimes use the announcer George Gray as one of the models in this game. It usually goes well, but not quite always...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abRtrpsOjzo

Win-loss record
The most expensive prize was #...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
Mostly know the prices. Don't forget the trip rule--if you're playing for three trips, the destination farthest away from LA is very likely to be the most expensive trip. And if you're completely clueless, pick an endpoint (i.e. pick #1 or #3). But this is a know the prices game.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Hoop on August 14, 2019, 01:08:29 PM
LiteBulb88 Price is Right repeated your episode today, August 14.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 15, 2019, 09:49:36 AM
Thanks! A couple of people contacted me on Facebook about it yesterday too. I just wish that meant I got a second copy of all the prizes  8-).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 15, 2019, 09:51:46 AM
Now...or Then

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_15.html)

Random fact
There has been an unwritten rule used in this game for a long time: there are exactly 4 items for which "now" is the correct answer and exactly 2 items for which "then" is the correct answer.

Win-loss record
For each product, how often was it "now" or "then"? (seasons 41-46)

Now: 16 playings (50%)
Then: 16 playings (50%)

Now: 20 playings (68.97%)        Now: 21 playings (63.64%)
Then: 9 playings (31.03%)       Then: 12 playings (36.36%)

Now: 22 playings (68.75%)        Now: 20 playings (68.97%)
Then: 10 playings (31.25%)      Then: 9 playings (31.03%)

Now: 25 playings (73.53%)
Then: 9 playings (26.47%)

Strategy
Mostly know the prices, but the following can help you:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: gamesurf on August 15, 2019, 11:25:05 AM
Slate figured out how to win Now or Then 100% of the time with no knowledge of prices, assuming every playing has 4 NOWs and 2 THENs.

All you need to do is guess “NOW” on 3 items in a row, and then use logic to narrow down the remaining items based on where the other THENs might be.

(https://i.imgur.com/ztZxsBZ.png)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 16, 2019, 08:21:07 AM
Slate figured out how to win Now or Then 100% of the time with no knowledge of prices, assuming every playing has 4 NOWs and 2 THENs.

Good catch--thanks! I've added that to my blog.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 16, 2019, 08:23:36 AM
One Away

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_16.html)

Random fact
In one of the earliest playings of this game, Bob really wanted to hear a little horn during the part of the game the price is supposed to revealed by sliding the bar at the bottom of the prop. See how the staff handles it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1DRBiHt9xQ

Win-loss record
Was the correct choice higher or lower? (seasons 40-46)
   Digit 1      Digit 2      Digit 3      Digit 4      Digit 5
#  L     H      L     H      L     H      L     H      L     H
1 N/A   N/A   61.8% 38.2%  33.3% 66.7%    0%   100%  41.7% 58.3%
2 100%   0%   94.1%  5.9%   80%   20%   66.7% 33.3%   75%   25%
3 98.6% 1.4%   75%   25%   72.7% 27.3%  62.5% 37.5%   50%   50%
4 N/A   N/A   85.7% 14.3%  73.9% 26.1%   68%   32%   91.7%  8.3%
5 N/A   N/A    50%   50%   30.8% 69.2%  45.8% 54.2%   75%   25%
6 0%    100%  42.9% 57.1%  35.7% 64.3%  69.2% 30.8%  35.7% 64.3%
7 N/A   N/A   28.6% 71.4%   15%   85%   37.5% 62.5%  21.7% 78.3%
8 N/A   N/A   22.9% 77.1%  33.3% 66.7%   50%   50%   63.6% 36.4%

(The left most column above refers to the wrong digit shown at the beginning of the game. N/A means that digit was never an option--in other words, the wrong number for the first digit has never been 1, 4, 5, 7, or 8.)

How often was each combination of higher and lower correct? (seasons 40-46)
Strategy
There's no over-arching strategy here, but here are some tips to keep in mind:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 17, 2019, 04:51:43 AM
1 Right Price

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_11.html)

Random fact
For a long time after this game debuted, it shared its set with Double Prices.

Win-loss record
The correct prize to choose was...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
Mostly know the price, though if you're clueless, pick the prize you think is more expensive.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 19, 2019, 07:53:48 AM
One Wrong Price

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_19.html)

Random fact
It's hard to see on TV, but the stand above the prize the contestant chooses lights up. It's very easy to see in the studio.

Win-loss record
The correct prize to choose was...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
On the one hand, this game inverts the "pick the endpoints" rule--the center prize is the correct one to choose more often than either the left or the right prize. One the other hand, it's not so much more often that I'd recommend picking the middle as a general strategy; instead, know the price. But if you're clueless, go for the center prize.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 20, 2019, 04:25:17 AM
Pass the Buck

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_20.html)

Random fact
When this game first debuted, there were 8 numbers and 3 pairs of grocery items; no picks were given for free. You can see a playing of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esv4O0paO64

Win-loss record
*Assuming that a contestant bails out if and only if they win the car.

The correct item to pass the buck to was...(seasons 40-46)
The car was behind...(seasons 40-46)
Strategy
Part 1: Grocery Pricing
Know the price. There's a slight preference toward pushing the buck toward the right, but not enough to suggest that as a strategy unless you're clueless about the price.

Part 2: Which numbers to pick
Pick the endpoints! Pick #6, then #1, and then #5. Just between #6 and #1, you have an over 69% chance of winning the car.

Should you bail out? Rarely. You should ONLY bail out under the following circumstances:

          # picks  # lose everythings  Car is worth less
You have    left   left on the board    than this to you
$4,000       1            2                $3,000
$5,000       1            1                $1,000
$5,000       1            2                $4,000
$5,000       2            2                $1,250
$6,000       1            2                $9,000
$8,000       1            2               $15,000


The right-most column indicates the minimum value of the car to you to keep playing under the given circumstances. For example, if you win $8,000 with your first two picks, you should only take a third pick if the car is worth $15,000 to you. Any combination not shown is a combination where you should always keep playing; in particular, if you have $3,000 or less, you should always continue as the just the cash on the board is worth playing for.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on August 20, 2019, 10:54:49 AM
You might succeed by selecting the endpoints, but the "Lose Everything" cards are there more often as well. I did some digging and found this data on where the two "Lose Everything" cards were (S46-S47):

The Lose Everything was under:
Notice that the cards are listed here as single instances, but in reality the numbers appear in pairs. For example, card number 5 was a Lose Everything five times. It was a Lose Everything along with number 1 three times and along with number 3 twice. As you can see, this list is only an explanation of the LE cards in one lump sum, paying no attention to which cards they were paired with.

Out of 20 playings from S46-47, the two "Lose Everything" cards were:


(The numbers in parentheses show the different combinations that could occur; the numbers following show how many times that combo occurred.)

All that said, if you are unfortunate to find a Lose Everything, pick the number directly above or below it. I would advise this strategy, in conjunction with LiteBulb's, assuming you get three picks:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 21, 2019, 11:37:27 AM
Pathfinder

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_21.html)

Random fact
For the second digit of the car, the contestant will always have four choices; for the third digit of the car, the contestant will always have three choices; for the fourth digit of the car, the contestant could have two or three choices; for the last digit of the car, the contestant will always have two choices. I will call the case with three choices for the fourth digit the "harder" path and the case with two choices for the fourth digit the "easier" path. Examples of each:

Harder path    Easier path
 o o o o o      o o o o o
 o o o o o      o o o o o
 o o x o o      o o x o o
 o o x x o      o o x o o
 o o o x x      o o x x x


Win-loss record

Car Pricing Stats

Number of times each type of path was used (seasons 40-46)
For the second digit, the correct option was...(seasons 40-46)
Small prize Stats

The correct choice was...(seasons 40-46)
If one price ended in 0, 5, or 9, and the other didn't, the correct one was...(seasons 40-46)

Strategy
Car pricing
Small prizes
Know the prices. There are no trends here that I could find--in particular, they don't try to trap you with a fake price that ends in 0, 5, or 9.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: RatRace10 on August 21, 2019, 12:55:34 PM
There are also several playings where the choices for the last digit will both be 0/5/9, in which case, I believe it's best to prioritize them in reverse order (9>5>0).
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 22, 2019, 07:19:40 AM
Pay the Rent

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_22.html)

Random fact
When they first debuted this game in season 39, they usually arranged it so there was only one possible solution. However, since season 43, there have been at least two possible solutions to every playing. Thus, most of my stats will be from season 43 onward.

Win-loss record

The game had exactly how many solutions? (seasons 43-47)
How often was each combination a correct solution? (seasons 43-47)
(1) means the cheapest item, (2) means the second cheapest item, and so forth. The percentages add up to over 100 because there are multiple solutions that can win the game.

Strategy
Step 1: Decide how much you want to play for
Your strategy changes based on whether you'll be happy with the $10,000 or go for the whole $100,000.  Given the unlikelihood of winning $100,000*, I personally would go for the $10,000, but it's entirely up to you.

*Exception: if you're playing this during a season opening show or Big Money Week, the producers may have set this up to be much easier than usual. Use your judgement to decide if they're doing that or not.

Step 2a: If you're playing for $10,000
If you're playing for $10,000, just put the items from cheapest to most expensive. You'll have wiggle room to make mistakes, and if there's an item you're not sure of at all, just wait until the end and put it in the attic. Even just having an idea of which items are cheaper and which are more expensive should result in an easy $10,000. Just remember to bail out after you reach the $10,000 mark.

Step 2b: If you're playing for $100,000
If you're going for the full $100,000, then do not, I repeat, do NOT, I repeat DO NOT place the cheapest item in the mailbox (the bottom floor). That's a guaranteed loss unless the producers are being really really nice. Instead, the correct way to play this game for $100,000 is to solve this game mentally before you give Drew any selections. You should think top to bottom, not bottom to top. The most expensive item must be placed in the attic. Then you're looking for two products whose total is just below that; mentally place those in the third floor. Then look for two items whose total is just below that; mentally place those in the second floor. Whatever's left must go in the mailbox. That's the way you have to do it--if you just place items on each floor without thinking about the placements on the other floors, you're going to have to get really lucky to win the full $100,000.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: PunchABunchFan on August 22, 2019, 05:03:34 PM
One Wrong Price

Random fact
It's hard to see on TV, but the stand above the prize the contestant chooses lights up. It's very easy to see in the studio.

Win-loss record
  • Actual (seasons 29-46): 195-219 (47.10%)
  • What it would be by random chance: 1/3 (33.33%)
The correct prize to choose was...(seasons 40-46)
  • On the left: 56 playings (30.43%)
  • In the middle: 75 playings (40.76%)
  • On the right: 53 playings (28.80%)
Strategy
On the one hand, this game inverts the "pick the endpoints" rule--the center prize is the correct one to choose more often than either the left or the right prize. One the other hand, it's not so much more often that I'd recommend picking the middle as a general strategy; instead, know the price. But if you're clueless, go for the center prize.

This is another game where knowing that the show currently offers prizes at different thousands levels (a $1K prize, $2K prize, and $3K prize, for example) can really help.

If you see two prices starting with the same digit (For example, $1125 and $1950), the game moves from being a 1/3 guess to a 1/2 guess given how the setups are currently being arranged, since under the current approach, no two prices can have the same starting digit.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 23, 2019, 05:43:21 AM
Pick-a-Number

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_23.html)

Random fact
The missing digit has not been either of the last two digits of the prize since season 42. Thus, the statistics for this article will be mostly based on seasons 43-47.

Win-loss record
Which digit was the correct digit to choose? (seasons 43-47)
Overall
When the thousands digit is missing
When the hundreds digit is missing
Strategy
A couple pieces of advice:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 23, 2019, 07:22:48 AM
This is another game where knowing that the show currently offers prizes at different thousands levels (a $1K prize, $2K prize, and $3K prize, for example) can really help.

If you see two prices starting with the same digit (For example, $1125 and $1950), the game moves from being a 1/3 guess to a 1/2 guess given how the setups are currently being arranged, since under the current approach, no two prices can have the same starting digit.

Good call! While confirming that fact, I also noticed there hasn't been a prize in One Wrong Price worth less than $1,000 in a number of years, but they still use wrong prices of less than $1,000. I've added both notes to my blog (and credited you, of course.)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: pannoni1 on August 23, 2019, 08:09:05 AM
Pay the Rent


How often was each combination a correct solution? (seasons 43-47)
  • (1) < (2) + (3) < (4) + (5) < (6): 2 playings (5.13%)
  • (1) < (2) + (4) < (3) + (5) < (6): 3 playings (7.69%)
  • (1) < (2) + (5) < (3) + (4) < (6): 3 playings (7.69%)
  • (1) < (3) + (4) < (2) + (5) < (6): 3 playings (7.69%)
  • (2) < (1) + (3) < (4) + (5) < (6): 2 playings (5.13%)
  • (2) < (1) + (4) < (3) + (5) < (6): 3 playings (7.69%)
  • (2) < (1) + (5) < (3) + (4) < (6): 20 playings (51.28%)
  • (2) < (3) + (4) < (1) + (5) < (6): 9 playings (23.08%)
  • (3) < (1) + (2) < (4) + (5) < (6): 1 playing (2.56%)
  • (3) < (1) + (4) < (2) + (5) < (6): 7 playings (17.95%)
  • (3) < (1) + (5) < (2) + (4) < (6): 13 playings (33.33%)
  • (3) < (2) + (4) < (1) + (5) < (6): 25 playings (64.10%)
  • (4) < (1) + (3) < (2) + (5) < (6): 2 playings (5.13%)
  • (4) < (1) + (5) < (2) + (3) < (6): 4 playings (10.26%)
  • (4) < (2) + (3) < (1) + (5) < (6): 32 playings (82.05%)
  • (5) < (1) + (3) < (2) + (4) < (6): 1 playing (2.56%)
  • (5) < (1) + (4) < (2) + (3) < (6): 2 playings (5.13%)
  • (5) < (2) + (3) < (1) + (4) < (6): 2 playings (5.13%)
(1) means the cheapest item, (2) means the second cheapest item, and so forth. The percentages add up to over 100 because there are multiple solutions that can win the game.

Step 2b: If you're playing for $100,000
If you're going for the full $100,000, then do not, I repeat, do NOT, I repeat DO NOT place the cheapest item in the mailbox (the bottom floor). That's a guaranteed loss unless the producers are being really really nice. Instead, the correct way to play this game for $100,000 is to solve this game mentally before you give Drew any selections. You should think top to bottom, not bottom to top. The most expensive item must be placed in the attic. Then you're looking for two products whose total is just below that; mentally place those in the third floor. Then look for two items whose total is just below that; mentally place those in the second floor. Whatever's left must go in the mailbox. That's the way you have to do it--if you just place items on each floor without thinking about the placements on the other floors, you're going to have to get really lucky to win the full $100,000.

Based on your charts above, it seems that the best method towards $100,000 is to put the cheapest product in the second floor along with the second most expensive product, while picking a "middle" product (3rd or 4th most expensive/cheapest) for the mailbox, leaving one of either the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th cheapest in the first floor. The key is to think of the gap in price between the most expensive and next most expensive products, and then seeing that the difference is almost always large enough between the two to hold the cheapest item. It also implies that the second cheapest item works best in the first floor, since it usually adds enough value between one of the middle products to make it more valuable than the other middle product. This would lead to a majority of wins if you reasonably know the order of prices. Of course, due to most contestants either having no sense of skill, the vast majority play the game like Hole In One, which incidentally seems to have tougher GP setups as of late.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 24, 2019, 05:12:27 AM
Pick-a-Pair

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_24.html)

Random fact
When this game first debuted, it used a mini-Ferris wheel to display the products. You can see a playing here from the 1980s nighttime show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxtcBRvsoXc
(Jump ahead to the 6:45 mark to see the Pick-A-Pair playing.)

Win-loss record
Strategy
The easiest way to play this game is to pick either the two most expensive products or the two cheapest products, whichever is easier for you to deduce. But because they never reveal the prices of more than four items, and usually only reveal only two or three of the prices, I cannot draw any conclusions about which pairs are more or less likely to be correct.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 26, 2019, 06:21:13 AM
Plinko

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_25.html)

Random fact
For the game's 30th anniversary, the show had an episode where they played Plinko 6 times. Buzzfeed wrote a behind the scenes article about it here:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/inside-the-all-plinko-episode-of-the-price-is-right

Win-loss record
*Assuming the contestant drops every chip from the center slot

<voice from offstage> WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Hey, I don't make the rules. According to the show's staff, a game is considered to be won if and only if its main announced prize is won. In Plinko's case, that means the full $50,000 must be won for the game to be won.

Yeah, but...

But what?

Can we consider it to be a win if the contestant hits the center slot at least once? Please?

OK, fine. Here are the stats for that...
Win-loss record if a win means the center slot was hit at least once
*Assuming the contestant drops every chip from the center slot

Correct choice for the small prizes... (seasons 40-47)

Last digit of   % of time first   % of time last
wrong price    digit was right   digit was right
      0               2.90             97.10
      1              94.20              5.80
      2              57.89             42.11
      3              71.79             28.21
      4              82.76             17.24
      5               7.03             92.97
      6              73.97             26.03
      7              50.77             49.23
      8              65.79             34.21
      9              18.67             81.33



Strategy
Part 1: Small Prizes
Simply put, if the last digit is 0, 5, or 9, your guess should be that the last digit is the correct one, unless you have strong reason to believe otherwise. If the last digit is 1, 3, 4, 6, or 8, your guess should be that the first digit is the correct one. If it's 2 or 7, you need to know the price. That said, to simplify this, if you want to think of it as "0, 5, or 9 means last, otherwise choose first," I won't object to that.

Part 2: Where to drop the chip from
Drop every chip from the center slot. I repeat, drop every chip from the center slot. One more time:

DROP EVERY CHIP FROM THE CENTER SLOT!!!!

Your expected winnings are highest if you drop the chip from the center slot. This makes sense--the chip is equally likely to bounce left or right. If you drop the chip from the center slot, you need an equal number of left and right bounces to get the $10,000. If you drop the chip from one slot left of the center slot, you need seven bounces to the right and five to the left to get the $10,000. Which do you think is more likely--six bounces to the right and six bounces to the left or seven bounces to the right and five to the left? Yup, the first one. One thing this means is that you should NOT correct for a previous bad bounce. In other words, if you drop your first chip from the center slot and it goes into the left $0, do NOT move one spot to the right for your next drop. You should drop every chip from the center slot no matter what the previous results were!

Let me back this up with some data from a simulation I created where I "released" 10 million chips over each slot.

Where the chip       % of time center       Avg. winnings
was dropped from        slot was hit         of each chip
Left- or right-             3.21               $779.54
most slot   

Second slot from            5.67             $1,009.77
the left or right     

Third slot from            12.11             $1,606.17
the left or right     

Slot adjacent to           19.37             $2,269.45
the center slot   

Center slot                22.58*            $2,559.93


* The theoretical rate of the chip hitting $10,000 if you drop it from the center slot is 924/4096, or 22.56%. So my simulation gets pretty close to that rate.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 27, 2019, 05:55:56 AM
Pocket Change

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_27.html)

Random fact
In early playings of this game, the contestant was not given the first number for free. You can see an example here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0sYtFAMuMo

Win-loss record

For each digit, how often was it in the car vs. being a fake? (seasons 40-47)
Note: the following table excludes the first digit of the car's price.

          # times       # times in      # times it
Digit     on board      car price       was the fake
  0          24         23 (95.85%)       1 (4.17%)
  1          43         42 (97.67%)       1 (2.33%)
  2          24         21 (87.50%)       3 (12.50%)
  3          60         44 (73.33%)      16 (26.67%)
  4          45         39 (86.67%)       6 (13.33%)
  5          47         20 (42.55%)      27 (57.45%)
  6          45         43 (95.56%)       2 (4.44%)
  7          58         45 (77.59%)      13 (22.41%)
  8          56         45 (80.36%)      11 (19.64%)
  9          53         42 (79.25%)      11 (20.75%)


Strategy
Part 1: Car Pricing
Mostly know the price, but you can sniff out the fake. If you see a 5, there's a better than 50% chance it's a fake--avoid it unless you're certain it belongs. On the other hand, if, after the first digit is revealed, you see a 0, 1, 2, 4, and/or 6 remaining, there's a very good chance it or they will be in the car.

Part 2: Which cards to pick
Unfortunately, they don't reveal the cards that the contestant doesn't pick, so I don't have anything brilliant here. For example, the card that's been revealed to be the $2 card the most often is the top card of the second column...but that's been revealed to be the $2 card a whopping three times in 180 playings. No other spot has been shown to have the card more than twice. So you have nothing to lose by picking the top card of the second column, but don't bet your house on it. Otherwise, I would pick cards at the very top, very left, very bottom, or very right, as most contestants go for cards in the middle.

Part 2b: If you're daring
If you look closely, whenever the contestant picks an envelope, Drew quickly looks at the back of it. I believe there's a mark on the $2 envelope so that if the contestant picks it, Drew can put it last to maximize the drama. So if you're daring, you can try to look at the back of the envelope briefly as you pull the envelope out of its slot and put it back if you don't see a mark; IMHO, this wouldn't be cheating because you're not looking at the actual value. Of course, the staff might not agree, so do this at your own risk...
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: SteveGavazzi on August 27, 2019, 02:23:36 PM
In early playings of this game, the contestant was not given the first number for free.

Actually, the first playing only.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 28, 2019, 07:12:04 AM
Thanks! I've updated my blog post (and credited you, of course.)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 28, 2019, 07:16:04 AM
Punch a Bunch

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_28.html)

Random fact
When this game first debuted, it was played much differently. You can see an example here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rmlAFR1onA

Win-loss record
The correct choice for the small prizes was...(seasons 40-47)
How often was each combination of highers and lowers correct? (seasons 40-47)
Stats for each hole (seasons 40-47)
The way to read the following table is for each hole, the first line is how often it contained $10,000 or more, and the second line is how much money it contained on average. For example, the top left corner reads "0/18"--this means that in 18 punches, it contained $10,000 or more 0 times. The average of all the values that were found in that hole was $1,302. Note this excludes the playing where a dream car was offered.

0/18   0/5    0/11   0/10    0/6   0/7    0/8    0/10   0/5     0/14
$1302  $2200  $1736  $1450   $792  $1121  $1813  $1125  $2350  $1686

 1/5    0/8    1/17   1/13   0/12   0/12   0/9    0/20   0/14    0/4
$2900  $1344  $3059  $1308   $583   $588  $1122  $1183  $2264   $563

 0/3    0/11    0/9   1/10   0/27   0/14   0/11   2/12   0/9     0/0
$1083   $714  $1889  $1950  $1535  $1682  $1114  $3600  $1667    N/A

 0/2    0/11   0/16    0/6   1/8    0/9    0/7     0/9   0/15    1/3
$1375   $632   $916   $767  $4169  $1317  $2571   $761  $1130  $3533

 0/6    1/10   0/6     0/3    0/2   0/5    0/4    1/10    0/8   0/11
$625   $1345  $1958  $1867   $175  $3700   $588  $2475   $650   $782


Bold means $10,000 or more was found there at least once.

Strategy
Part 1: Small prize pricing
Know the prices. They don't make this part hard because they want people to punch the board. Do note that it's never been all four prices are higher or all four prices are lower, so if the first three have the same answer, you know the fourth will be the opposite answer.

Part 2: Which holes to punch?
DON'T PUNCH THE CORNERS!! The producers know that people like to punch the corners so they never place the big money there--you can see none of the corners has had the big cash since season 40. (To be fair, the dream car was in the top right corner; I excluded that playing because the car replaced a $100 slip. I don't know if the producers placed all the slips, then replaced a $100 they had put in the top right corner with the car or if they intentionally placed the car in that spot.) Otherwise, it's really a crapshoot. I personally would go for the 4th through 7th spots on the bottom row, because very few people punch those spots. If you want to try something no one else has, punch the far right spot in the middle row--no one has tried that since season 39 at least.

Part 3: Should you continue?
The naive analysis would simply be to look at the average amount on the board, which is $2,260, and say that if you have more than that you should stop. So that analysis would state that if you get $2,500 or more, stop, $1,000 or less, and you should continue. I'm going to go a little deeper than that, though. Here's another table...

If you   # of picks     Probability of all other picks being
have        left        strictly less than what you have now
$250         1                        10.20%
$250         2                         0.85%
$250         3                         0.054%

$500         1                        30.61%
$500         2                         8.93%
$500         3                         2.47%

$1,000       1                        51.02%
$1,000       2                        25.51%
$1,000       3                        12.48%

$2,500       1                        71.43%
$2,500       2                        50.60%

$2,500       3                        35.52%

$5,000       1                        87.76%
$5,000       2                        76.79%
$5,000       3                        66.98%

$10,000      1                        95.92%
$10,000      2                        91.92%
$10,000      3                        88.01%


Note: this table assumes that the amount you currently have is the one and only punch you've taken so far. It doesn't change things drastically if you remove that assumption.

As you can see, I've highlighted the rows where continuing would mean that you'd lose money more likely than not. Here's that strategy in a simple bullet list:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 29, 2019, 06:06:22 AM
Push Over

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_29.html)

Random fact
When Push Over first debuted, it had a red and yellow set instead of the blue and yellow set we have now. Here's the debut playing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj2iQN4Eh90

Win-loss record
Which price was correct? (seasons 40-47)
Four digit prizes
Five digit prizes
Strategy
Mostly know the price, but a couple of things can help you here:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 30, 2019, 06:05:59 AM
Race Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_30.html)

Random fact
The show kicked off its 40th season by playing Race Game for four cars. Here's how it went:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWzHlnHdGH8

Win-loss record
Which combinations were correct? (seasons 40-47)
The way to read the above table is that "1" means the cheapest prize, "2" means the second cheapest prize, "3" means the second most expensive prize, and "4" means the most expensive prize. So 2143 means the prize on the left was the second cheapest, the second prize from the left was the cheapest, the third prize was the most expensive, and the prize on the far right was the second most expensive.

Strategy

DO NOT LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE!!!

You simply do not have time. Your goal is to get 4 tries in the 45 seconds (no one has had more than 4 attempts since at least season 29.) Looking at the audience wastes valuable time. So this really comes down to a "know the prices" game--unfortunately, there's no mathematically clever way to guarantee a win in just 4 tries. Do try to keep track of your previous guesses--they can help you narrow down what prices go where. Also note that if you get two right, switch two, and you end up with none right, you know the correct answer: switch the two back that you just switched, and then switch the other two. For example, let's say you try 4132 and you get two right. You then switch the first two to get 1432 and have none right. Then you know the correct answer must be 4123--switch the first two back and the switch the last two.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: tpir04 on August 30, 2019, 11:13:15 AM
Something occurred to me while watching Money Game today: Am I correct in saying that if you, for some reason, know the exact price of the car, you should intentionally blow a few picks to get a couple hundred bucks in addition to the car?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 30, 2019, 12:10:56 PM
Absolutely! You'd better be absolutely sure of the price of the car, though. But this could happen, if, for example, you find the last two numbers in your first pick. It should take no more than 3 picks to get the first two numbers, so you should pick the highest number left on the board in that case before you look for the first two numbers.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: gamesurf on August 30, 2019, 02:05:25 PM
Absolutely! You'd better be absolutely sure of the price of the car, though.

Yeah, absolutely sure means absolutely sure—you’re risking a $20,000ish car for a $100ish cash prize. You need to have a 99.5% chance of winning for the gamble to make sense. That’s a high bar to clear, even if you have multiple picks left.

Unless you believe you have at least a 199-in-200 chance of being right—and if you’re not in the situation LiteBulb88 described, the only way you could ever be that sure is if you’ve seen that exact model with that exact option configuration before—the money shouldn’t even begin to enter your thoughts IMO.

That’s what makes El Cheapo an effective trick: if even 1% of your mind is thinking about the dollars instead of the car, you’re going to waste picks trying to run the score up. It’s only after they miss a few and shove the thoughts of the money aside do most people get the nerve to pick El Cheapo.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 30, 2019, 03:21:39 PM
There's one other scenario I can think of, but you'd have to somewhat brazen to go for it: if you know you'd turn down the car (for example, you don't want to pay the taxes or try to sell it), then you might as well go for the four highest numbers on the board. The brazen part would be that if you found the last two digits with one of your first picks, going for numbers that clearly can't be the first two digits would not make Drew or the audience happy with you.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on August 30, 2019, 11:09:14 PM
It's not like the money in Money Game is anything close to significant though, so is it really worth just going for the money even if you have no interest in the car? It's not like Let em Roll where you could choose to walk away with several thousands of dollars rather than going for the car.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: TPIRfan#9821 on August 30, 2019, 11:13:09 PM
I mean, a couple hundred bucks isn't bad for four or five hours of waiting in line, so I'd say it would be worth it if and only if you don't want to deal with thinking about the car at all.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on August 31, 2019, 05:46:16 AM
Range Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_31.html)

Random fact
The rangefinder is manually controlled by a stagehand. Usually that stagehand behaves, but not always...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOT-ngSzo_g

Win-loss record
The price was how far from the bottom? (seasons 41*-47)
* I'm starting with season 41 because season 40 had some patterns that have not been repeated since--for example, the value of the prize was between $150 and $200 from the bottom of the range 12 times in that season.

The last two digits of the prize's value were...(seasons 41-47)
Strategy
Since no price is in the bottom $150, you should make sure the range moves up by $150 before you press the button. Beyond that, know the price, though if you're clueless, let the rangefinder move up $250 from the bottom before you press the button. There used to be a pattern where the last two digits were more frequently between 75 and 99 than the other options, but that has been changed in the last couple of seasons; in fact, there were only 3 playings in season 46 and 4 in season 47 where the last digits were in that range. Thus, a strategy like "make sure two multiples of $100 are covered by the range" is no longer any better than random chance.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on August 31, 2019, 06:31:14 PM
Has the Rangefinder always been controlled by a stagehand? They definitely added a small part to the base of the Range Game set in its later years to prevent the stagehand from being seen. The part is missing from the above video clip as it is from before this was added to the set. Anyone know what year it was added?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: SteveGavazzi on September 01, 2019, 12:15:50 AM
The rangefinder was originally run mechanically.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on September 01, 2019, 04:16:41 AM
The rangefinder was originally run mechanically.
Do you think the above clip was a manual or mechanic playing?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 02, 2019, 03:38:25 AM
Rat Race

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_2.html)

Random fact
They once played this game for cash instead of a car; the prizes were $25,000, $50,000, and $100,000. You can see how the contestant did here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCF5yY_biDg

Win-loss record (seasons 38-47): 40-68 (37.04%)

Which lane contained the winning rat? (seasons 38-47)
Note: the following list only counts playings where the race was actually run.
Which rat won? (seasons 38-47)
Note: the following list only counts playings where the race was actually run.
What were the values of each of the prizes? (seasons 44*-47)
* I'm choosing season 44 to start with because before that season, they sometimes had second prizes worth less than $30.
Strategy
Part 1: Prize pricing
Part 2: Which rats to pick
Pick the endpoints! As you can see, no color has a huge advantage, but one lane does. For whatever reason, the left most lane wins significantly more often than any other lane, so you should choose whatever rat is there. Then go for the right most lane. If you were good enough at pricing to have a third rat, choose your lucky color from the three rats in the middle.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: TPIRfan#9821 on September 02, 2019, 11:25:10 AM
^Technically, they played the game for cash twice. The other time was for #UDecide week for $100,000 ($75,000/$15,000/$10,000 for 1st/2nd/3rd).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5pXIV-5t34

I'm most surprised that wins are skewed toward the endpoints, since they explicitly say that the rats are chosen at from hundreds backstage. Did this trend extend to second or third place, or is it only for first?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 03, 2019, 05:48:06 AM
Thanks for the correction! I've updated my blog post and credit you. I agree about the surprise about the first lane being the quickest, though I don't think they always put the same rat there, so it may be something about the lane itself. Or it might just be a quirk of random chance. I don't know about the 2nd or 3rd place trends in Rat Race.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 03, 2019, 05:49:42 AM
Safe Crackers

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_27.html)

Random fact
This game has an unwritten rule: the price of the smaller prize ends in 0. This has been true in every playing of Safe Crackers since at least season 34.

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
The correct price to choose was...(seasons 40-47)
Strategy
Start by remembering the 0 rule in this game--that narrows it down to 50/50. Then if you're not sure of which price to choose, there are two things that can help you out here:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 04, 2019, 07:23:44 AM
Secret X

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_4.html)

Random fact
While this is rarely stated by Bob or Drew, the three X's in a row to win the game must include the secret X. The contestant cannot win by placing three X's all in the left-most column or three X's all in the right-most column.

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
The correct guess for the small prize was...(seasons 40-47)
The secret X was in which square? (seasons 40-47)
Strategy
Part 1: Small prize pricing
As you can see, the cheaper price is right almost 2/3 of the time, so if you're not sure, go for that one.

Part 2: Where to place the X's
As you can see, the producers like putting the secret X in the middle and really don't like putting it at the bottom. So place the X's in this order: top left, bottom right, and top right. Of course, any ordering where you first cover the middle square, then cover the top square will work. Just whatever you do, don't place an X in the middle row--believe it or not, that has happened.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Flerbert419 on September 04, 2019, 06:23:19 PM
So place the X's in this order: top left, bottom right, and top right.

The one exception to this is if you are playing for a car. There's a very high percentage of those bottom secret X's on car playings because it's the least covered win square.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: RatRace10 on September 04, 2019, 06:36:51 PM
How often has the X been on the bottom when the prize was not a car?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Flerbert419 on September 04, 2019, 09:48:43 PM
Of the 9 playings mentioned in the original post where the X was in the bottom square, 6 of them were for cars.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 05, 2019, 07:45:49 AM
And of the 13 playings for a car from seasons 40-47, the distribution of the secret X has been twice at the top, five times in the middle, and six times at the bottom. I've updated my blog post and credited you, Flerbert. Thanks for the insight!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 05, 2019, 07:46:49 AM
Special note: I fly back to North America tomorrow for another 3 week business trip. Thus, these posts will come much later in the day than they have been.

Shell Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_44.html)

Random fact
This game was the host to one of the most infamous (and one of the funniest) moments of cheating on the show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm6Ca0SnEsw

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
The correct choice to make for each small prize was...(seasons 40-47)
How often was each combination of highers and lowers correct? (seasons 40-47)
The ball was under which shell? (seasons 40-47)
Strategy
Part 1: Small Prizes
Mostly know the prices, though note it's never been the case that all four correct answers were higher nor were all four correct answers ever all lower (at least since season 39.) Also, there's a slight edge toward "higher," so if you're clueless, that can be your guess.

Part 2: Where to place the chips
This game inverts "pick the endpoints"--since season 40, the ball is more often in the center than at one of the edges. It's not a strong trend though, and given the fact that Drew (lightly) shuffles the shells before the game begins, the producers can't fully control where the ball is. So if you want to pick your lucky shells, go right ahead.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Ton80 on September 05, 2019, 05:55:45 PM
Quote from: LiteBulb88
This game was the host to one of the most infamous (and one of the funniest) moments of cheating on the show:

Can we all please agree to stop calling this incident, "cheating"??  The player was obviously a little flustered, and there was clearly no intent to deceive.

/rant
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: gamesurf on September 05, 2019, 06:37:50 PM
Yeah—the moment was funny because she was endearingly, obviously innocent and just confused, and tried to make it right, and Barker proceeded to read her the riot act anyways.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JT on September 06, 2019, 07:22:56 AM
Thank you for that Shell Game clip.  Moments like this made Classic Price like no other game show!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 06, 2019, 07:51:12 PM
Shopping Spree

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

Random fact
I have nothing exciting to say about this game, so instead, enjoy this video of the Family Channel game show $hopping $pree from 1997:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2PkBhXT-7Q

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
Which prize was the cheapest? (seasons 40-47)
Strategy
Don't worry about identifying the cheapest prize right away; instead, just pick the most expensive prize each time. Usually, there's a prize or two that's obviously a good choice to pick. So choose that one or those two and then you can narrow down what you think the cheapest prize is from there, based on how much you have left to spend. If you're completely clueless about the prices, pick the endpoints (i.e. the prize on the far left or the far right), as they have been slightly more likely to not be the cheapest prize. But that's not a strong trend, so only use that as a last resort.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 07, 2019, 10:01:50 AM
Side by Side

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_7.html)

Random fact
The US version of Side by Side debuted in 1994. The UK version of The Price is Right had a game called Side by Side many years before that, though it was played much differently than the US version. Here's a playing from 1989:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMmQMdNmnXI

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
The correct direction to slide the top pair of numbers was...(seasons 40-47)
Of the two choices, the correct price was the...(seasons 40-47)
Strategy
Mostly know the price, but if you see 99 as an option, you should strongly lean toward putting that as the first two digits of the prize's price. No prize in this game has ended in -99 since season 45.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 09, 2019, 09:18:47 AM
Spelling Bee

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_9.html)

Random fact
This game has been played perfectly before, meaning a contestant got a C, an A, an R, and both cards that had word "car" on them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YskKpeEHSnM

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
Price ranges of each small prize (seasons 40-47)
How often each ordering of the small prizes' prices was correct (seasons 40-47)
The table below refers to ordering the small prizes by price. For example, "123" means the first prize was the cheapest, the second prize was the middle price, and the third prize was the most expensive. "231" means the first prize was the middle price, the second prize was the most expensive, and the third prize was the cheapest.
How often each card had each option (seasons 40-47)
Card  # picks  CAR   C   A   R
1         8     1    3   0   4
2         6     0    4   0   2
3         9     0    5   0   4
4        11     0    4   3   4
5         9     1    3   0   5
6         3     0    2   0   1
7        21     0   10  11   0
8         7     1    3   1   2
9        13     0    3   9   1
10        6     1    3   1   1
11       14     4    3   6   1

12       13     0    8   4   1
13        3     0    1   2   0
14        4     0    1   1   2
15       10     1    2   6   1
16        5     0    2   1   2
17        7     0    3   3   1
18        6     2    1   2   1
19       11     1    7   1   2

20        5     0    2   2   1
21        5     1    3   1   0
22        5     0    1   4   0
23       19     1    9   8   1
24        9     3    2   1   3

25        6     0    4   2   0
26        7     0    3   1   3
27        3     0    2   1   0
28        5     1    0   0   4
29        4     1    0   2   1
30        4     1    1   1   1

Note: Bold means a CAR card was found behind that number at least once.

Strategy
Part 1: Small prize pricing
There's not much that's foolproof here, but your guesses should be never be less than $20 for the small prize. They've never used a small prize less than $10 (at least since season 40) and I doubt they ever will. On the high side, they've never used a prize greater than $80, but that's not to to say they can't stretch that some day. Do note that for the ordering of the prices, the "132" combination comes up much more often than any other combination, so if you're not sure, you should assume that the first prize is the cheapest, the middle prize is the most expensive, and the last prize is between those two. That's far from guaranteed, though, so use that only if you're not at all sure of the prices.

Part 2: Which cards to pick
Part 3: Should you bail out?
As I've mentioned in other articles, it depends on how much the car is worth to you. Do you plan to sell it? Then its value is whatever you can sell it for. If you plan to keep it, then it's worth the actual price. If you plan to turn it down, then its value is $0 and you should of course always bail out. Once you've decided that, then here's a chart that tells you mathematically when you should play the game and when you should bail out:

At the start of the game
# of picks   Minimum value of the car
  earned      to you to not bail out
    2               $15,264
    3                $8,067
    4                $6,850
    5                $6,804


If you have one pick left
# of cards already  Letters already    Minimum value of the car
    revealed           revealed        to you to not bail out
       1             Any of them              $14,500
       2            Just one letter           $14,000
       2               C and A                 $3,500
       2          C and R or A and R           $2,154
       3            Just one letter           $13,500
       3               C and A                 $3,375
       3          C and R or A and R           $2,077
       4            Just one letter           $13,000
       4               C and A                 $3,250
       4          C and R or A and R           $2,000


A couple of notes from the tables above:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Punchboard91 on September 09, 2019, 12:24:06 PM
One additional note I would make is the very low frequency of SPs ending in 0 or 5 - since you get all 3 additional cards if you nail just one SP, it would seem that you should never end your guess in 0 or 5 to increase your chances.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on September 09, 2019, 02:27:02 PM
One additional note I would make is the very low frequency of SPs ending in 0 or 5 - since you get all 3 additional cards if you nail just one SP, it would seem that you should never end your guess in 0 or 5 to increase your chances.
Agreed. In recent years, the producers seem to try hard to prevent a contestant from ever getting a price correct in Spelling Bee. Back in the Bob era,
it appeared to happen much more frequently than today.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JayC on September 09, 2019, 10:58:10 PM
One additional note I would make is the very low frequency of SPs ending in 0 or 5 - since you get all 3 additional cards if you nail just one SP, it would seem that you should never end your guess in 0 or 5 to increase your chances.
I don't think it's wise to go for an exact price like that though, the contestant should just be taking it one SP at a time to get the three additional cards. It's a random guess deciding which digit to end your guess with just to try to get an exacta.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Punchboard91 on September 10, 2019, 12:09:20 AM
But what does it matter? If you think an item is between $20-$40, you’d say $30. But if clearly it does not end with a 0 or 5, you could say either $29 or $31 and cover more possible correct answers.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on September 10, 2019, 01:19:37 PM
Here's a chart showing the frequencies of the SP prices from seasons 43-47:
(https://i.imgur.com/Gvycd9U.png?1)

And here's a chart showing the frequency of the last digit of the SPs from the same seasons:
(https://i.imgur.com/2OsJHuR.png?1)

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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJDM0xmrojo

Win-loss record (seasons 29-47)
Which digit was the correct one to remove? (seasons 40-47)
For four digit prizes
For five digit prizes
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fjw7qpUfK4
(Jump to the 9:00 mark to see the Stack the Deck playing)

Win-loss record
The correct grocery item to choose was...
Seasons 40-46:
Season 47:
Seasons 43-47:
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: PunchABunchFan 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!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K86T8Kxtuco

Win-loss record
The correct prize to choose was...(seasons 40-47)
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: ooboh 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 it’s a modified version of Secret X’s reveal, I 100% agree. It’s one of my favorite games for that reason alone, otherwise I’d hate it just like everyone else.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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
The correct decision was to...(seasons 40-47)
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 :).)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GVoW-7VuxQ

Win-loss record
The correct number to choose for the car was...(seasons 40-47)
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilppHr4xMAk
(Jump to the 28:30 mark to see the Take Two playing.)

Win-loss record
The correct two prizes to choose were...(seasons 40-47)
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-jllgRdeUw
(Jump to the 1:50 mark to see the Double Digits playing.)

Win-loss record
The correct digit to choose was...(seasons 40-47)*
* 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:
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan 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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i5GZUi07m4

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
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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Punchboard91 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.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 19, 2019, 04:14:48 PM
That's Too Much!

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_59.html)

Random fact
Bob had contestants shout "That's Too Much!" as enthusiastically as they could. Here's one playing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqvbUoEI7L4

Win-loss record
The correct price to stop at was price #...(seasons 40-47)
Strategy
You don't want to fall for the psychological game of "it doesn't feel right to wait this long" or "it doesn't feel right to stop so soon." The way to do this is to decide on what you believe to be the price of the car before the first price is revealed. Then you won't be afraid to wait until the seventh price or stop at the third price (the two most commonly correct prices). Also note it's never the first, second, ninth, or tenth price. (The second and ninth prices were frequently correct in seasons 37 & 38, but neither has been correct since season 39.) All that said, if you have no idea what the price is, stop at the third price.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Axl on September 19, 2019, 07:34:18 PM
Also note it's never the first, second, ninth, or tenth price. (The second and ninth prices were frequently correct in seasons 37 & 38, but neither has been correct since season 39.)

Wow... I knew the ol' "That's Two Ninth" setup hadn't been common for a while, but I didn't realize it was completely done away with nearly a decade ago.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Teddy on September 19, 2019, 09:26:07 PM
For the record, the $549 prize you were referencing in Temptation for Season 40 was actually $559.
IIRC, there has never been a prize with three different digits to choose from in the five-digit format, like the four-digit version had.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 20, 2019, 10:05:22 AM
3 Strikes

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_0.html)

Random fact
This game was given a serious overhaul in season 47 to look like something you would see at a baseball stadium. As someone who lived in Boston for 14 years, went to many games at Fenway Park, and even once announced an inning of baseball on the radio (https://www.mlb.com/phillies/video/phantastic-auction-winner/c-175421083?tid=9674512), I love the look. You can see it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtoWGunan_U

Win-loss record
* Starting at season 38 as that's when the current rules of the game stabilized.
** Based on simulating the game 10 million times. The simulation chose things randomly but played perfect strategy; for example, it didn't try the same digit in the same place twice and if you tried four digits in one spot and they were all wrong, it would know to place the fifth digit there.

What was the last digit of the car's price? (seasons 40-47)

Strategy
Ask for a different game. After Drew is done laughing, pray you get really, really, really lucky. I don't have much here except that you should keep very close track of the picks you've made throughout the game so you don't repeat picks and you should assume the last number is NOT 5 or 9.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Briguy on September 20, 2019, 12:30:55 PM
Pick-a-Pair

(message truncated)

Strategy
The easiest way to play this game is to pick either the two most expensive products or the two cheapest products, whichever is easier for you to deduce. But because they never reveal the prices of more than four items, and usually only reveal only two or three of the prices, I cannot draw any conclusions about which pairs are more or less likely to be correct.

My recommendation: Listen to the descriptions and pay attention to what the products are. Often, there will be at least two non-consumable products -- often, a medical and/or beauty product -- that will more than likely match up. (For instance, on a recent rerun, they had Gold Bond lotion and a hair coloring kit as two of the products. Their prices matched.)

Otherwise, the suggestion to go with what seems to be the most expensive products is a fair one.

Brian
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Briguy on September 20, 2019, 12:39:04 PM
Hot Seat

Strategy
Part 1: Guessing higher/lower. This is tricky because you don't really have much time to think. You have 35 seconds for all 5 items, which is 7 seconds per item, but that doesn't include the time it takes to travel between items. Thus, you need to go with your gut on each prize. If you can, try to make it so you guessed higher 3 times and lower twice or higher twice and lower 3 times, as those are by far the two most common combinations. But you can't go back to a previous prize and you're under time pressure, so don't spend too much brain power keeping track of that.

Before I continue, this is a very well researched and thought out guide to the games. Major props!

My thought on the first part of the game: Much like Race Game, do not look to the audience for help. Because the game is timed, and as you state there is travel time between items and other things, the 35 seconds elapses quickly and there is zero time to waste. Listen carefully to what the small items are and (as you recommend) once presented with the incorrect price use your gut; this is a game of thinking quickly.

Brian
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: GuyWithFace on September 20, 2019, 01:59:00 PM
What was the last digit of the car's price? (seasons 40-47)
What about 0?
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 20, 2019, 03:46:10 PM
At first, I thought 0 hadn't been used at all in any prices since season 40, but I checked again and realized it's been used twice from seasons 40-47. It wasn't the last digit either time. I've updated my blog post.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 20, 2019, 10:23:07 PM
For the record, the $549 prize you were referencing in Temptation for Season 40 was actually $559.

Thanks! I've updated my blog post and credited you.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 20, 2019, 10:33:59 PM
Here's a chart showing the frequencies of the SP prices from seasons 43-47:
(https://i.imgur.com/Gvycd9U.png?1)

And here's a chart showing the frequency of the last digit of the SPs from the same seasons:
(https://i.imgur.com/2OsJHuR.png?1)

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.

Thanks!! I'm a little behind on this one, but I've finally updated my Spelling Bee blog post (https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_9.html) to suggest not ending your SP guesses in 0 or 5, and added a link to your graphs. Great work!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 21, 2019, 09:23:36 AM
Time i$ Money

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_76.html)

Random fact
This game was completely refurbished and the rules changed in season 43; all the stats in this article are based on the refurbished version only. You can see the debut playing with the original rules here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHCD1UAP5_8

Win-loss record
The correct number of items on each platform was...(seasons 43-47)
The correct placement of each product was...(seasons 43-47)
  Original
  position*    <=$2.99  $3-$5.99   $6+ 
Left-most       24.68%   45.45%   29.87%
2nd from left   32.47%   16.88%   50.65%
Center          20.78%   40.26%   38.96%
2nd from right  40.26%   27.27%   32.47%
Right-most      38.96%   29.87%   31.17%

* From the audience's point of view.

Strategy
Mostly know the prices, but a couple of tips can help you here:
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 23, 2019, 09:42:12 AM
(Editor's note: including today, just three games left!)
Triple Play

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_23.html)

Random fact
Triple Play is the only game on the show that has prizes that aren't always described by George. This is because the car is only described by George just before the contestant gives their guess; if the contestant doesn't reach the second or third car, its/their description/s is/are not read.

Win-loss record
The correct price to choose was...(seasons 40-47)
First car
Second car*
Third car*
* Only counts playings the contestant reached that car.

Strategy
First car
Select the more expensive price unless you're absolutely sure the cheaper price is correct. The cheaper price hasn't been correct more than once in a season since season 40, and in seasons 44, 45, and 47, the cheaper price was never right.

Second and third cars
Know the prices. The middle price has been the most likely to be correct for the second car, but that's not enough data to be able to confidently say you should pick it. Ditto for the third car--yes, the cheapest price has been correct 70% of the time, but the sample size is far too small to confidently say that's really a pattern and not just a coincidence.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 24, 2019, 10:57:00 AM
2 for the Price of 1

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_24.html)

Random fact
This game is occasionally played for cars. Here's an example of one such playing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2k633EfRtw

Win-loss record
How often each combination was correct (seasons 40-47)
Strategy
If a 0 is an option for the last digit, choose the second digit for free. The last digit has been 0 in every playing of this game except one since season 44, and in that playing, 0 wasn't an option for the last digit. So if 0 is a choice for the last digit, that is NOT the one you want to choose for free. Choose the second digit for free, choose 0 for the last digit, and then you only have to know the hundreds digit of the prize. Regarding the hundreds digit, no prize in this game has been worth less than $500 since season 41, so if you see a choice that's less than 5 for the first digit, it's wrong.

That one playing where 0 wasn't a choice for the last digit was the very last playing of season 47, where the choices were 2 and 5. The 2 was correct. While I hope that was a one-time aberration, my advice is that if 0 is not a choice for the last digit, then you should choose the last digit for free instead of the second digit.

Finally, make sure that your final price has at least one digit from the top and one from the bottom.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 25, 2019, 09:39:59 AM
Vend-O-Price

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_25.html)

Random fact
For the first couple of playings of this game, they used the old Penny Ante sound effect when revealing the grocery products. You can see the debut playing of the game here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAn96mkrYnA

Win-loss record
The correct shelf to choose was...(seasons 44-47)
Strategy
Much as this is a lame way to end the series, know the prices of the grocery items. But one thing that can help is to think of this game in terms of ratios; for example, if one shelf has twice as many of a product as another shelf, then the item on the shelf with fewer items must be worth at least twice as much as the item on the shelf with more items to be more expensive.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on September 25, 2019, 03:50:13 PM
Conclusion and Index

(Blog post with an index to all the games: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/index-of-posts.html)

Random fact
When I started doing this, I never thought I'd make it through all the games without having to take a break at some point. I couldn't have done it without all your feedback and the almost 60,000 views you've given me. Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhXjcZdk5QQ

Win-loss record of me vs. procrastination in this series
* 80 being the total number of articles in this series, excluding the introduction and conclusion.
** Estimate based on my history of procrastination :lol:.
Biggest surprises
In no particular order, here were the biggest surprises I found:
Final thoughts
Thank you all for reading and commenting on this guide! I plan to keep this up to date with new games or new strategies as they emerge; I hope the moderators will allow new posts in this thread even if it goes stagnant for longer than 30 days.

Most importantly, though, I really hope something I've written helps someone win something on the show. If it does, please drop me a line--I want to hear about it. Good luck at Television City!!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: JT on September 26, 2019, 07:31:56 AM
Thank you for this Strategy Guide.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Great job!
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: RatRace10 on October 03, 2019, 01:43:12 AM
Here's some more insights on 10 Chances.

The game has not used a $20K+ car since since January 13, 2015, though it should be self explanatory to not use something other than 1 for the first digit in a guess if there's no 2, and I'm pretty sure they have never put 1 and 2 in the same set of digits when using a <$20K car. They'll typically use a cluster of higher digits to go with the 1 and 0.

The first prize's digit choices almost-always have a 5 (surely so contestants waste a guess on $X5). However, $50 has not been a correct price for the first prize more often than once per season since Season 44. Also, $90 has not been a correct price since March 2015, although 9 is hardly ever a choice.

For the second prize, they have not used anything under $500 (or $510 for that matter) since November 2, 2011, and every playing since Season 43, with only two exceptions (one each in S43 and 44), has had a 5 and/or 9 among the choices, likely to draw non-LFAT contestants into using them as last digits in their guesses.

Here's the breakdown on how 5's and 9's fared for the second prize from Seasons 40-47 (50 playings):

If 5 was a choice...
The price was $5X0: 12 times
The price was $X50: 6 times
There was no 5: 12 times

If 9 was a choice...
The price was $9X0: 4 times
The price was $X90: 3 times
There was no 9: 6 times

However... Since Season 44, they have since lightened up on dud 5's and 9's. In Season 44, 5 was the dud 3 times and 9 was the dud just once. Since Season 45, 5 and 9 have been a dud only one time each.

If both 5 AND 9 were choices...
The price was $950: 2 times
The price was $590: 1 time
The price was $X50: 4 times
The price was $X90: 0 times
The price was $5X0: 0 times
The price was $9X0: 0 times

Additional note: In all Season 42 playings, 9 was never a choice.


In conclusion, should you get to play 10 Chances in the near future...
- DO NOT GUESS ANYTHING NOT ENDING IN ZERO. (but we know everyone will anyway, and the audience will still chant and cheer with approval for guesses ending in 5 or 9 :oldlol:)
- If 5 is a choice for the second prize, try $5X0 before $X50.
- If both 5 and 9 are choices for the second prize, try $X50 or $950 first. 5 will most definitely be in the price in this scenario.
- Don't guess anything under $510 for the second prize.
- Don't guess anything higher than $19,870 for the car.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Teddy on October 12, 2019, 09:40:33 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this guide, and I strongly suggest that any potential contestants read it before signing up to play.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: AvsFan on October 17, 2019, 04:09:02 PM
A note about Pathfinder, inspired by a playing I recently watched where the contest got to the last digit perfectly but lost by getting the last digit and the subsequent 3 SP guesses wrong: In the last 6 seasons (42-47), there have been 64 playings where all 3 SP prices were revealed, and in only 3 of them- less than 5%- were all the higher prices or all the lower prices were correct. So,

* If there's one SP left and the first two were both higher or both lower, guess the opposite.
* If you're in a situation where you have 2 or more SPs left and you guessed wrong on a 50/50 on the last digit (i.e., you know the last digit, but you need to get a SP right to make it official), if the first one is lower, guess higher for the next two (and vice versa). At least one should be right.

Of course, don't let this statistic get in the way of logic and conventional thinking... if the first two items are lower and the third prize is a Libman mop that's either $10 or $33, break the rule. :P
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: Briguy on October 21, 2019, 03:19:57 PM
Great job on the blog! I love everything about it.

Going back to Three Strikes, which you had earlier this year, I wonder what the range of the car prices was? From what I can recall in watching shows and reading recaps, most of the cars were in the $40,000-50,000 range, with some going a few thousand higher or lower in either direction; there were the occasional cards that went $60,000 or more. (This, of course, not accounting for the Dream Car weeks were cars worth more than $100,000 were offered.)

Point being:

* After listening to the car description, pay attention to the numbers Drew presents.
* If one of the drawn digits is a 4 or 5, try that in the first (the 10-thousands) spot first; if both are present among the numbers my gut would tell me one of those two numbers is the 10-thousands digit.
** Same strategy goes if a 6 is among the digits (assuming a 3, 4 and 5 are not among the numbers) ... that will probably be the first digit; if a 4, 5 and 6 are all present, the first number will more than likely not be 6.
* From there, I'd try one of the lower numbers in the second (thousands) position first, and from there fill in the price from there.

Brian
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on October 21, 2019, 05:03:06 PM
Here's some more insights on 10 Chances.

Excellent stuff! I've linked to your post from my blog post on 10 Chances (https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_18.html).

A note about Pathfinder:

Let me suggest a simple strategy based on your data for the case where you get the last digit wrong but you've gotten no numbers wrong up to that point: guess the higher price for all three items. Per your data, the chances of all three items being lower are about 2.5%*. (Of course, you could also guess the lower price for all three items to get the same result.)

*Assuming the 5% you state where all 3 prizes were higher or lower is split evenly between the "higher" case and the "lower" case.

Going back to Three Strikes, which you had earlier this year, I wonder what the range of the car prices was?

From seasons 40-47, excluding dream cars that were over $100k, here were the prices of cars in 3 Strikes:

$30,000-$39,999: 3 cars [none since season 44]
$40,000-$49,999: 11 cars
$50,000-$59,999: 13 cars
$60,000-$69,999: 2 cars
$70,000-$79,999: 2 cars

So I agree that the first digit is by far most likely to be 4 or 5, and if there is no 4 or 5, then 6 is the next best bet. (Those $30k cars haven't appeared in a while and I doubt they're coming back.)
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on October 21, 2019, 08:19:06 PM
Any insights into wheel-spinning strategy? If you spin a 55 and you’re the first spinner, you should spin the wheel trying to avoid the 5 consecutive spaces on the wheel that would put you over.

 5, 100, 15, 80, 35, 60, 20, 40, 75, 55, 95, 50, 85, 30, 65, 10, 45, 70, 25, 90

After spinning a 55 on the first spin, there are 11 bad spaces and 9 good spaces.

If the wheel is spun to avoid that area of the wheel, the contestant still has 9 good spaces and only 6 bad spaces that would put the contestant over.

Any other thoughts on wheel-spinning strategy?

Additionally, there are occasional contestants  that try to aim for a dollar and are often unsuccessful and are booed if they come up short. I don’t think this method is a strategy encouraged by the show.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on October 22, 2019, 01:20:16 AM
I very much like the thought, but this is much much harder than it looks on TV. There are no practice spins and the wheel is heavy, so even trying to aim toward (or away from) a specific segment of the wheel is hard. But if you're the contestant, you have nothing to lose by trying, except perhaps some of your dignity if you don't get the wheel all the way around.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: jhc2010 on October 22, 2019, 09:43:00 AM
An example is Afshin on Monday’s show. He led off the first SCSD with a dollar spin that took two revolutions or 40 spaces. When he came up for his bonus spin, it was practically identical to the first one, traveling 42 spaces and landing on 15. I’m sure if Afshin wanted to, he could have taken a little off or put a little more on his bonus spin if he wanted to and the wheel would have travelled slightly more or less  than 40 spaces thus not landing in the same spot on the wheel.

After watching the wheel spin for decades, I think most fans of the show would be able to pull off what I described in my previous post to decrease odds of going over. The odds of going over on the second spin would decrease from 55% to 40%.
Title: Re: The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide
Post by: LiteBulb88 on October 23, 2019, 04:39:31 AM
Check Game

(Blog post: https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_6.html)

<snip>

Due to the fact that they increased the range on Check Game to $8,000 to $9,000, the above article is now out of date. I'll need to see at least a season's worth of data before I can say much about how this will affect the strategy, but I will state one thing: due to the "prize floor" of $5,000 in one prize games, you now should not write the check for more than $3,000.