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With the Jesus
08-23-2010, 02:35 AM
I was just looking at bits and pieces of Wheel of Fortune strategy on Google, but it's all pretty basic stuff. If you were on Wheel of Fortune, what would you do to be a good actuary and make your appearance as +EV as possible?

One thing I always thought I'd do is, on my very first spin, figure out how far I'm spinning the wheel by seeing where the slice I started from ends up, then looking at the mirror image slice on the other side. That'd tell me where my future spins would end if I spun with the same force on every spin, and from that point forward I'd try to use the same strength on all spins, unless I saw a bankrupt or lose-a-turn lurking in that spot, then I'd give the spin a bit extra to power past it. Seems like a pretty basic idea, and I've noticed that the wheel usually turns roughly the same amount for any one contestant on each of his/her spins, but I don't know how often that idea is actually put into practice.

What would you do?

Mr. Micro
08-23-2010, 03:48 AM
I'd go the other way and focus on the words and phrases most likely to come up. I'd also analyze the letter frequencies that could be expected for given blank patterns.

OddSox
08-23-2010, 09:00 AM
I've noticed that the wheel usually turns roughly the same amount for any one contestant on each of his/her spins

You know they edit out a lot of the actual wheel spinning time, right? It seems like it's pretty tough to hit the exact middle between two bankrupts when you have to get at least one complete revolution every time you spin.

But yeah, probably would be a great idea to go over as many past answers as possible, see what patterns you can come up with -- especially for the bonus round where a lot of money depends on your four letter selection.

BG5150
08-23-2010, 09:07 AM
Semi-seriously, I think it's fixed to some degree.

Ever see someone getting too greedy when the puzzle is (to most people) obvious? The player spinning already has a bunch of money and it seems she's only spinning to get more money. There are a lot of "Bankrupts" and "Lose A Turn" in that situation. I think there's a guy in the back with a button that makes the wheel stop on those when someone is a bit too avaricious.

Kool-Aid Man
08-23-2010, 09:16 AM
They used to show the wheel spinning all on its own during the credits, which clearly indicated there was some sort of mechanism under there to control the speed. However, they would clearly be risking a lot by deliberately manipulating the wheel to favor or hinder certain contestants.

Miss Understood
08-23-2010, 09:36 AM
Semi-seriously, I think it's fixed to some degree.

Ever see someone getting too greedy when the puzzle is (to most people) obvious? The player spinning already has a bunch of money and it seems she's only spinning to get more money. There are a lot of "Bankrupts" and "Lose A Turn" in that situation. I think there's a guy in the back with a button that makes the wheel stop on those when someone is a bit too avaricious.

All networks have a Standards and Practices office that oversees the fairness of game shows so that they don't have a '50s type scandal again. This simply would not be tolerated.

The Drunken Actuary
08-23-2010, 09:38 AM
How long before Snickety Snake gets here?

08-23-2010, 10:52 AM
During the game:
If you have the cash and you don't know for sure what a consonant might be, buy a vowel
If you're close to solving but can't get one of the words, buy a vowel if you KNOW it's up there.
If you're on a specialty show, always keep the theme in mind for the toss-ups (e.g. Armed Forces Week--if the toss-up category is "Person", it's going to be a military rank or job)
The Prize Puzzle is a must-win. Remember that the answer is something vacation-y.
"What Are You Doing?" category almost always implies a gerund. I-N-G are freebies.
For the \$10,000/Bankrupt gamble--don't do this in most situations. If you just started a puzzle and are far behind 1st place, then knock yourself out.
If you have a wild card and you land on the \$2500 or better space and you KNOW another consonant, USE IT! Especially if there are multiple instances of that letter!

For Final Fortune:
Carefully consider what's up there. If one word starts [blank] H, try "C" and "P". The vowel will often make or break you, and they often try to put up a word with three or four instances of the same vowel and no others (ex: "_ _ E . _ _ L L _ N _" might be hard to figure out if you didn't pick "I" (Answer: pie filling).

That's all I've got. If you're reasonably good at Wheel, you'll probably get to the bonus round unless you just have a streak of bad luck, because most of the bozos on that show are awful.

Entropy
08-23-2010, 11:57 AM
It's about time someone started laying this out.

BG5150
08-23-2010, 12:13 PM
All networks have a Standards and Practices office that oversees the fairness of game shows so that they don't have a '50s type scandal again. This simply would not be tolerated.

I know. That's why I started with "Semi-seriously." ;)

Patrick Bauer
08-23-2010, 12:52 PM
I was just looking at bits and pieces of Wheel of Fortune strategy on Google, but it's all pretty basic stuff. If you were on Wheel of Fortune, what would you do to be a good actuary and make your appearance as +EV as possible?

One thing I always thought I'd do is, on my very first spin, figure out how far I'm spinning the wheel by seeing where the slice I started from ends up, then looking at the mirror image slice on the other side. That'd tell me where my future spins would end if I spun with the same force on every spin, and from that point forward I'd try to use the same strength on all spins, unless I saw a bankrupt or lose-a-turn lurking in that spot, then I'd give the spin a bit extra to power past it. Seems like a pretty basic idea, and I've noticed that the wheel usually turns roughly the same amount for any one contestant on each of his/her spins, but I don't know how often that idea is actually put into practice.

What would you do?

Just remember that after a win no matter what you do you'll end up with that ugly ceramic dog so you might as well pick it first thing.

nittanylions
08-23-2010, 04:00 PM

Using English language frequency analysis, most sources have the letters "H" and "D" occurring more frequently than L.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency#Relative_frequencies_of_letters_i n_the_English_language

FormLetter
08-23-2010, 04:14 PM
Using English language frequency analysis, most sources have the letters "H" and "D" occurring more frequently than L.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency#Relative_frequencies_of_letters_i n_the_English_language

While this could be true, it is probably more useful if you're on WoF to know
letters that frequently appear before or after the letters RSTLNE.

08-23-2010, 05:12 PM
I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to use strategy on Wheel of Fortune. They probably exclude smart people from the contestant pool intentionally.

Atleast once per show the person figures out the puzzle and then decides to spin a few more times. They know there are 3 Ps left and 1 C left. Their 1st spin is \$200 and they immediately shout out "P" and I turn the show off and decide never to watch it ever again.

FormLetter
08-23-2010, 05:25 PM
So how big is your sample size? How many times have you never watched it again?

PSU2002
08-23-2010, 05:26 PM
Just remember that after a win no matter what you do you'll end up with that ugly ceramic dog so you might as well pick it first thing.

OLD SCHOOL!

ElDucky
08-23-2010, 06:23 PM
You are most likely playing against two morans. Little strategy is required.

Mark Cavazos
08-23-2010, 06:23 PM
Semi-seriously, I think it's fixed to some degree.

Ever see someone getting too greedy when the puzzle is (to most people) obvious? The player spinning already has a bunch of money and it seems she's only spinning to get more money. There are a lot of "Bankrupts" and "Lose A Turn" in that situation. I think there's a guy in the back with a button that makes the wheel stop on those when someone is a bit too avaricious.

It would be ironic.

Merv Griffin came up with Wheel of Fortune when he was playing hangman with his wife.

He also came up with Jeopardy. When the game scandal arose, his wife posed the question "What if you just gave all the contestants the answers?"

keyser soze
08-23-2010, 09:21 PM
We wouldn't be allowed to play. I don't think anyone with an IQ over 80 is allowed on Wheel of Fortune.