The Bottom Line
- The half-hour format means more game play and less manufactured drama.
- Potential contestants hold the cases and rally around the one playing, giving it a team atmosphere.
- No supporters, no gimmicks, no stunts, and no celebrity appearances.
- Case selection comes in an unusual pattern of 5-5-4-2-2-1-1.
- The two models that do appear on the show are not highly visible most of the time.
- Potential contestants hold cases numbered from 1 to 22.
- The Deal Wheel is spun with a ball inside. The ball drops on a number, and the person holding that case plays the game.
- Contestants chosen to play can keep the case they are assigned or trade it for a new one.
- The game itself works exactly the same as the prime time version of Deal or No Deal.
- The top prize on the board is $500,000.
- The banker makes offers based on how well he likes the contestant, rather than solely on the state of the money board
- Only two models are on hand, Patricia and Tameka, and their main jobs are to spin the Deal Wheel and drop the ball.
Guide Review - Syndicated 'Deal or No Deal' - Smaller, Faster, Stronger
The syndicated version of Deal or No Deal is a stripped-down copy of the prime time game show that America has fallen in love with. In the past three seasons of prime time Deal, we've seen the game evolve into a glitzy and somewhat gimmicky production, where the contestants are the stars and their life stories play a huge part in the tone of the each episode.
Not so with the daytime version! This is the way the game was meant to be played, with the 30-minute time constraints eliminating all of the excess. Contestants don't have supporters to be introduced and consulted. We don't learn an awful lot about their personal lives, jobs, struggles, or dreams for the future. Host Howie Mandel doesn't draw out the drama by making us wait for commercial breaks to find out what's in a case. And there are no stunts or extra incentives added to the Banker's offers. It's just a straight-up game of luck.
Game show purists will continue to argue that there is no real skill involved in playing Deal or No Deal, in any form of the game. They're right, of course. Anyone can play, and anyone can win a sizable amount of money on the show. Nevertheless, it's still a fun game with a catchy format. When you strip out all of the extravagance of the nighttime version, it becomes a simple and enjoyable game that's well worth watching.