Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Ultimate Price is Right Strategy Guide: Stack the Deck

Stack the Deck

Rules
A car is shown as are seven numbers. Five of these make up the price of the car. Three pairs of grocery items are revealed along with one prices per pair. For each pair of items, the contestant must decide which grocery item has that price. If they guess correctly, they get to choose which digit of the car they want to reveal. After the grocery portion is finished, the contestant fills in the missing digits to complete the price of the car. If the price they have created is the price of the car, they win the car.

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:
(Jump to the 9:00 mark to see the Stack the Deck playing)

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

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

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

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

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

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