Ever since we moved to Seattle we have been watching TV game show – Deal or No Deal (for lack of better things to do in the hotel) The game provides an interesting look at human nature and risk taking abilities. People who wouldn’t risk their retirement savings or jobs would go to these game shows and take risks to win all or nothing. It is fascinating to see how one makes judgment to accept an offer and take money or continue to play hoping to win even more.
Out of curiosity and my passion for simulating games, I have made a small excel file using which you can play the deal or no deal game. It is a reasonably good simulation of the game on the TV.
Download and play Deal or No Deal Game in Excel
(the file has no VBA or anything, so go ahead and be curious)
How to Play the Excel Deal or No Deal Game?
- When you open the downloaded excel you will something like this.
The green cells are editable and everything else is locked. Start the game by setting “accept offer?” to “No” and “Play game?” to “Yes”.
If you would like to randomize the suitcase – value assignments, just set “Play game?” to “No” and excel shuffles the values for you. (How to shuffle a list of values in excel using formulas?)
- Start selecting your suitcases one by one. After each pick, the latest offer is shown in the orange color box at the bottom. You can also see that picked suitcases and values already picked getting de-highlighted. See the below illustration:
- Finally, when you like an offer, just say “accept offer” to see how much your suitcase had. Of course excel cannot pay you the money for the accepted offer. So just have a big smile and enjoy. 🙂
- When you want to play again, just select the your suitcase picks (the green tabular area) and hit delete. Go back to first step.
How the Excel simulation of Deal or No Deal game works?
- Please note that I have protected the workbook so that you wont accidentally delete any formulas. Just unprotect the sheet (Menu > Tools > Protection > Unprotect Sheet) so that you can understand how the simulation works.
- When you enter “Play Game” value as “No” the values assigned to suitcases are shuffled. How? The shuffling goes on whenever you press F9 or make some changes to the sheet until you change the “play game” to “yes”. The random shuffling formulas use circular reference, something like this:
g10 = if(playgame="no", shuffled-suitcase-value,g10)
- Whenever you pick a suitcase, the formulas check 2 things: (1) whether you have already picked that suitcase (2) whether your pick is same as the case assigned to you. If both conditions fail, then the formula would display the value assigned to that suitcase.
- How the latest offer calculation works: As a game player our objective is to take an offer when the value is as close as possible to the expected value (total amounts remaining / total no. of suitcases remaining) at any point. In the TV show the latest offer is derived from expected value of your suitcase . I have used deal or no deal formula from here. This formula takes a random percentage between 20% and 95% of the expected value based on number of suitcases already picked.
- Finally I have used conditional formatting to make the presentation better.
More posts on games & excel that you may enjoy:
Simulating Dice throws in Excel
Generate and Print Bingo / Housie tickets using this excel
Understanding Monopoly Board Game