Are you a Deal or No Deal Fanatic? Do you love to yell at the television offering your advice to the contestant when he deals with the banker? It is a suspenseful and anxious few moments when the show host calls the mysterious banker for the offer to which the contestant must decide to answer ‘Deal’ or “No deal”.
There are a few general tips you can use to help you decide what type of armchair advice to offer the contestant. When it is early in the game, the banker has more leeway and less risk, so he may make more generous offers. But there is actually a financial principal which helps you decide if an offer is good or bad.
This principal is called ‘expected value’ and it lets you assign value to something now even though the future is uncertain.
In the instance of Deal or No Deal, the idea is to determine what the expected value is of the case the contestant selected.
First, you must ascertain the potential gain. The highest amount on the board is the maximum amount the contestant could win. As the game is played out and cases get eliminated, this causes the potential gain to spiral downward.
Next you must determine the probability of the gain. There are 26 cases and spots on the board so the probability that the contestant has the highest value case is calculated by the number of high value prizes left divided by the number of total cases left.
As an example: during a game of Deal or No Deal, there are 9 cases left in play plus the one originally selected by the contestant for a total of 10 cases. The board has 3 prizes left of $100,000 or more. Therefore, the probability that the contestant has a case with a prize amount of $100,000 or more is 10%.
To further clarify the example, let’s assume the three high prize cases contain these amounts: $100,000, $400,000, and $750,000. Now multiply each of these amounts by the 10% number we obtained earlier and add the three sums together for a final tally of $125,000.
This is the expected value of the contestant’s case. So if the banker offers him less than $125,000, you can advise, “No deal!” The show doesn’t lose money because they rarely offer more than expected value when large sums are left in play. Plus it is very hard for a contestant to accept $125,000 when there is a good chance he could yet win $1 million.
Now you have a few guidelines you can use to assist you in giving armchair advice to your favorite contestants on the wildly popular TV game show Deal or No Deal.