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Bob Barker and a contestant at the "Poker Game" board.

Poker Game was a pricing game on the American television game show The Price Is Right. Played from September 9, 1975 (aired on September 12) to May 10, 2007,[1] it was played for four prizes, each worth between $300 and $999. It is based on the card game of the same name.

Contents

Gameplay

The purpose of Poker Game was to create a better poker hand than the house, a nominal player representing the show itself. The game did not use playing cards, but digits found in the prices of four prizes, with zero low and nine high.

The contestant selected two of the four prizes and was shown their prices. The six digits in the two prices were used to make up the contestant's 5-digit poker hand (with the worst digit discarded). The contestant then decided if they wished to keep the hand, or pass it to the house. The prices of the remaining two prizes were then revealed to make up the other poker hand. If the contestant finished with a better hand than the house, they win the four prizes.

While based on poker, only hands based on matching digits were used in ranking. There were no suits for a flush, and straights did not count. The hands were ranked in the following order:

  • Five of a kind
  • Four of a kind
  • Full house (three of a kind and a pair)
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • One pair
  • High card

The best possible hand was 99999, and the worst possible hand 12345 (with a discarded 0 and straights not counting).[1]

History

The first time Poker Game was played, the player was allowed to form his hand from any five of the six digits in the prices he had selected, and he did not have the option of passing his hand to the house; this format proved confusing for the game's first contestant and was immediately discarded in favor of the more familiar rules.

In addition, the background behind the number lights was originally white; this rendered the numbers hard to read and was changed to black on November 3, 1975. The dollar sign graphic found below the prices was added sometime in 1989.

Retirement

Poker Game was retired when host Bob Barker retired, although its retirement was not made public until April 2008. According to then-producer Roger Dobkowitz the game was retired due to an awkward strategy needed to win the game, confusing truncated rules of poker used during the game, and the low value of prizes offered (the game's rules rendered it incompatible with four-digit prices); the prices of the prizes in any given playing during Seasons 33-35 usually totaled between $2,500-$3,500 and with a maximum payout of $3,985. Far below the typical offering of the other four-prize games.

Poker Game holds the record as the longest-lasting pricing game to be retired, having been in the rotation for nearly 32 years.

References

  1. ^ a b Pricing Game Notes - Golden-Road.net FAQ







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