A History of Deal or No Deal in Gaming

During the nineties, television gameshows became a stale format. The back-to-basics ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ sparked a renaissance, with a host of innovative shows arriving afterward. One of those was Endemol’s ‘Deal or No Deal.’ With its unique premise, it quickly went global and became a home gaming phenomenon. Below, we discuss the history of Deal or No Deal in gaming. 

The Deal or No Deal Format

The gameplay for Deal or No Deal differs depending on where in the world it is televised. Some shows offer a trivia element, while others opt to have multiple players, each holding their case. However, the core concept remains the same. 

In the game, there are a set of numbered briefcases. Each of them has a different prize, cash or otherwise, with each increasing in value. The prizes are known at the start of the game, but their locations are not. The contestant has their case, and as the game goes on, the contents of the other cases are revealed. The banker then makes them an offer for their case, which they can then answer deal or no deal. 

Deal or No Deal in Games

Source: Unsplash

The format was transferred to several different consoles, including Nintendo DS and PlayStation, along with a popular mobile game. It even had its own handheld electronic title. However, its biggest concept was also its downfall. Without playing for cash prizes, the game lost its impetus. Players could skip right to the end of the game and just open their box, without playing the game to completion.

Deal or No Deal’s format was successful in the iGaming sector. The first foray into this was a standalone arcade machine, dispensing tickets relevant to the amount the player won. 

The first online version of the game was a collaboration between the developer Playtech and Endemol’s gaming division. This saw the introduction of a themed slot game, along with two online bingo titles that held the license. The concept was that anyone who got a full house in the bingo game would be entered into the bonus round where they spoke with the banker, and decided to make a deal with him or stay with what they already had. As other players could discuss this via the chat function, it played upon the interaction found in certain television versions of the show. 

Most of the major slots site providers should have it in their game choices and allow players to try and get to the bonus round to make a deal with the banker. 

The Bankers Offer

The main hook of the show centers around the offer that the banker will make to players. This is a closely guarded secret, and changes depending on where in the world you watch the show. There have been some studies into how the banker operates. In most versions around the world, the banker doesn’t know what the player has in their box, and all his offers are carefully calculated. Some theories have involved a percentage value of the remaining cases and even a linear regression of offers against the value that is expected. 

Where will the game innovate next? There are live versions, blending interactive streaming elements with the actual show. Whenever innovation in gaming is at hand, Deal or No Deal won’t lag behind.