When it comes to Channel 4's ultra-successful Deal or No Deal game show are you an addicted fan, or are you scratching your head wondering what all the fuss is about? Like it or not Deal or No Deal is continuing its inexorable rise in popularity, but why is it so universally popular? Is it symptomatic of a world that is obsessed with achieving instant riches by sheer chance, is it simply compelling TV, a bit or both or neither?! Launched onto our screens in the UK featuring Noel Edmonds as the host, the show has trashed the competition in the ratings, and reinvigorated Edmonds' TV career at the same time. The 'infamous' Dutch company Endemol, responsible for a series of successful shows such as Big Brother and Fear Factor, are the production brains behind the Deal or No Deal franchise. Originally broadcast in Holland, it was quickly followed by an Australian version before being adopted by the rest of the world in countries ranging from Argentina to the USA. So, how does the game work? Before it starts differing amounts of money are sealed in numbered boxes or cases by an independent adjudicator.
In the UK Deal or No deal is played with 22 boxes, but in other parts of the world the amount of boxes or cases varies. They are arranged in front of a contestant who picks five boxes before receiving an offer from the anonymous banker on the telephone. The host asks whether the contestant decides to accept the offer or decline it.
Then the fun starts! The contestant must say "Deal" to accept the offer or "No Deal" to reject it and carry on. The boxes are opened and the amounts revealed. If low amounts are revealed in the rejected boxes the banker will subsequently offer higher amounts to achieve a deal with the contestant, but the offers will be significantly less than the top amount that remains sealed in an unopened box.
The process of selecting boxes and rejecting the bankers offer is continued until an offer is accepted by the contestant, or until only two boxes remain. For the contestant the risk throughout the game is rejecting a firm offer from the banker against the potential of winning more in an unopened box. For the viewer it's wondering whether they'll end up with more or less than they've been offered! When all the boxes have been whittled down to the last remaining two the contestant will be offered the opportunity to swap the box in their possession with the last remaining box. This is the last opportunity to "Deal or No Deal" before the box they have chosen is opened and they receive the amount detailed in the last box. This can prove nail-biting if there is one huge amount and one tiny amount remaining! Which will the contestant win?! The game is all about gambling on risk and luck, and is highly watchable and addictive. International TV versions may vary; for example in the USA the cash amounts are not held in boxes but by 26 identically dressed stunning-looking models - another bid by NBC to increase ratings, but essentially it has the same format the world over.
Just like its forerunner and stable mate Big Brother it looks like Endemol have produced another global winner with Deal or No Deal. Now the TV game has been successfully replicated online, anyone can play, and in some cases there is big money at stake! But beware; the suspense and the risk can prove addictive!.
Play Deal or No Deal online, for fun or real money at http://www.vernons.co.uk/info/deal-or-no-deal/ Other games include Wheel of Fortune, Aces High and Dice Games