Blindfold Deal or Not

User Guide

Blindfold Deal or Not is a fully accessible guessing game inspired by the TV show Deal or No Deal, for both sighted and visually impaired people, designed for rapid audio play.

The original Deal or No Deal game was the Dutch Miljoenenjacht, which translates to Hunt for Millions, produced by Dutch producer Endemol.
It is played with up to 26 cases or envelopres containing certain sums of money.
The player chooses a case or a envelope to knock an amount of money off the board.

Objective

You start off by picking an envelope that contains cash, but you are not told how much cash is in your envelope.
The game board starts with 26 envelopes, and once you’ve picked your envelopes, there are 25 envelopes remaining.

In the first round, you pick 7 envelopes to remove from the game board, and as each is removed, you are told how much was in that envelope.
At the end of the first round, the banker will make you an offer to pay you for your envelope.
If you accept the offer, you receive the money offered by the banker.
If you reject the offer, you continue to the next round.

In the second round, there are 18 envelopes remaining, and you pick 6 from the game board.
At the end of the second round, the banker will make you another offer.
If you accept the offer, you receive the money offered by the banker.
If you reject the offer, you continue to the next round.

In the third round, there are 12 envelopes remaining, and you pick 5 from the game board.
In the fourth round, you pick 3 envelopes from the game board.
In the fifth round, you pick 2 envelopes from the game board.
In the sixth round, you pick one envelope from the game board.

In the seventh round, there’s just one envelope remaining.
You can either pick that envelope, or keep your envelope.
Once you pick one of the envelopes, you are told what you now have, and what you gave up.

Gestures

There are three lists that you can access. To move between lists, swipe left and right.
The lists, from left to right, are: the envelopes, the hidden cash prize list, and the rejected cash prize list.

The left-most list are the envelopes that you can select.
To move through the envelopes, numbered 1 to 26, swipe up and down with one finger.
To select an envelope, tap the screen twice with one finger, when the envelope list is active.

There are two lists of cash prizes that you can access by swiping up and down with one finger.
The hidden list is the middle list. Swipe right with one finger to read the hidden list.
By reading this list, you’ll know which cash prizes may be in either the original envelope you picked or in the envelopes you have not picked yet.
For example, if there are 3 cash prizes left, $50, $1000 and $25000, then you know that your envelope will contain one of those prizes.

The rejected list is on the right. Swipe right with one finger to read the rejected list.
By reading this list, you’ll know which cash prizes are not in either your original envelope or remains to be picked, because you have already picked an envelope with that prize.

When the banker makes you an offer, you can accept his offer by swiping left with 2 fingers.
To reject the banker’s offer, swipe right with 2 fingers.

In the final round, with just one envelope remaining, swipe left with 2 fingers to keep your envelope, and swipe right with 2 fingers to exchange your envelope for the remaining envelope.

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Gestures

To move through the envelopes, numbered 1 to 26, swipe up and down with 2 fingers.
To select an envelope, tap the screen twice with one finger.

There are two lists of cash prizes that you can access by swiping up and down with one finger.
The hidden list is on the left. Swipe left with one finger to read the hidden list.
By reading this list, you’ll know which cash prizes may be in either the original envelope you picked or in the envelopes you have not picked yet.
For example, if there are 3 cash prizes left, $50, $1000 and $25000, then you know that your envelope will contain one of those prizes.

The rejected list is on the right. Swipe right with one finger to read the rejected list.
By reading this list, you’ll know which cash prizes are not in either your original envelope or remains to be picked, because you have already picked an envelope with that prize.

In summary, to move through the hidden list of envelopes, swipe left with one finger, and then swipe up and down.
To move through the rejected list envelopes, swipe right with one finger, then swipe up and down.

When the banker makes you an offer, you can accept his offer by swiping left with 2 fingers.
To reject the banker’s offer, swipe right with 2 fingers.

In the final round, with just one envelope remaining, swipe left with 2 fingers to keep your envelope, and swipe right with 2 fingers to exchange your envelope for the remaining envelope.

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Game Strategy

The banker will tend to offer you an average of what’s probably left in the envelopes on the game board.
The more risk you want to take, the longer you should wait before you accept an offer, or play to last round.

Starting Cash, Entrance Fees and Reserves

Each room has a different entrance fee and reserve required.
The least expensive room, San Francisco, costs $25,000 to enter, and does not have a reserve.
Your cash will never drop below the San Francisco room entrance fee.
The maximum prize in the San Francisco room is $1,000,000.
You start this game with $50,000.

The other rooms have higher entrance fees and reserves.
For example, the New York room costs $100,000 to enter, has a top prize of $2,000,000 and you must have at least $250,000 to enter.

Other rooms have higher entrance fees, higher top prizes, and higher reserves.

Throwbacks

During the game, you can buy up to two throwback for the cost of the entrance fee. You can use throwbacks only in the first 3 rounds.
The number of throwbacks allowed in each game is either one, two or none, and each costs the same as the entrance fee.

A throwback lets you send back the highest cash prize back to the un-opened envelopes.
For example, if in round 1, you picked an envelope containing 1,000,000, prior to accepting or rejecting the banker’s offer, you can send that envelope back to the game board. The envelope with the lowest value will be removed from the game board, but you won’t know which envelope contains the 1,000,000.

To buy and use a throwback and reject the banker’s offer, swipe right with 3 fingers.

Game Theory

The game show has attracted attention from mathematicians, statisticians, and economists as a natural decision-making experiment.
In 2008 a team of economists analyzed the decisions of people appearing in Dutch, German and U.S. episodes and found, among other things, that contestants are less risk-averse or even risk-seeking when they saw their expected winnings drop.

They went so far as to say that the show, “almost appears to be an economics experiment rather than a TV show.”
They found that contestants behave similarly in different versions of the show, despite large differences in the amounts at stake; amounts appear to be evaluated in relative terms, for example in proportion to the initial average, and not in terms of their absolute monetary value.

The research received a great deal of media attention, appearing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and being featured on National Public Radio.
This work was built upon by de Roos and Sarafidis, who analysed the Australian version of the show and determined that the risk-taking behaviour of a number of contestants would be inconsistent within each game (i.e. their aversion to risk would change), depending on the state of play and relative risk aversion of their confidant on the show.

Algorithm used by the banker

There are several theories concerning the algorithm that the banker uses to determine the appropriate bank offer.
Naturally, this is a secret held by the various publishers around the world, however a number of people have approximated the algorithm with various levels of accuracy.
It is a common understanding that the banker does not know the contents of the briefcase, and therefore the “Monty Hall Problem” does not apply to the probability calculations.

One person suggested othat a simple approximation could be banker’s offer equals average value times the turn number divided by ten.

Statistical studies of the US version of the show were undertaken by Daniel Shifflet in 2011, and showed a linear regression of bank offers against expected value.
In summary, Shifflet found that the bank would offer a percentage of the expected value of the remaining cases, and this percentage increased linearly from approximately 37% of expected value at the first offer to approximately 84% of expected value at the seventh offer.

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