Deal or No Deal was a popular game show that, for years, offered lucky contestants the opportunity to win life-changing amounts of money (up to $1 million) in a game of chance.

With an easily recognizable theme and series of music and sounds, the NBC hit show established itself as a familiar part of American culture. Even host Howie Mandel, despite an established acting career, is still probably best known for his line “Deal? Or no deal?!” This prompt let the show’s contestants know it was time to make a decision.

Helping to boost its notoriety, the show also presented its concept in a flashy way. Elegantly dressed models served as teammates of sorts for the contestants. The models frequently provided encouraging words and moral support. And the “banker,” a character designed to cause the contestant to win less money, served as an adversary.

Through all this adornment, it’s the game’s unique concept that became the basis for the Deal or No Deal slot machines.

The concept of the Deal or No Deal slot

The television version begins with each of 26 different fixed amounts of money randomly assigned to a number from 1 to 26. Each of the 26 numbers is represented by a briefcase. Each briefcase is assigned to one of the aforementioned models.

The contestant simply chooses any available number (briefcase) and claims whatever amount of money is in that briefcase. The caveat is that the contestant doesn’t know what amount of money — often ranging from $.01 all the way to $1 million — a given briefcase holds.

Throughout the game, the player chooses other briefcases to open. Doing this reveals which of the predetermined amounts of money their own briefcase doesn’t hold.

Periodically, the contestant receives cash offers from the “banker” to buy back his or her briefcase. These offers are largely determined by the remaining available amounts of money the briefcase could still have. The game continues in this way until the player has either accepted a deal from the banker or has turned down the offers and revealed the amounts in all the other briefcases, thus unlocking the selected one.

This game concept proved to be enticing for viewers. As such, the corresponding series of slot machines is one of the more popular choices for slot players.

The game concept itself is flexible, and that’s a big reason for its popularity. Since slot machines can vary greatly in how much they cost to play, this flexibility is necessary. By adjusting the amounts of money that can be won in each of the briefcases, this game concept can be used for games of any stakes.

The Deal or No Deal slot game experience

It’s likely that all fans of the show have at some point imagined themselves staring Mandel in the face as they exclaim, “No deal!” Deal or No Deal slot machines are a great way for these fans to gain this very opportunity.

Every Deal or No Deal slot machine features the theme and game concept of the popular game show as its crux. The models and the banker are often present, serving their roles on the slot as they would on the actual show.

The reel symbols also generally include images from the game show: briefcases, models, the red button, Mandel’s face. Even the music and sounds from the show are played during the slot, providing a complete Deal or No Deal experience.

While a player can expect to find this concept and theme on any Deal or No Deal slot, there is still variety within the brand. There are different ways to play, different bonus games, different reel and payout structures, and even different numbers of players that can play at once.

The original Deal Or No Deal slot is a three-reel game that offers a standard series of payouts. Activating its bonus game allows the player to participate in the actual Deal or No Deal game. On this machine, the game works almost exactly as it does in the show.

Deal Or No Deal: What’s Your Deal

Deviating from the more traditional slot is Deal Or No Deal: What’s Your Deal. This game, prominently advertising “No Reels All Deals,” does away with reels altogether. Instead, the player simply pays for spins on a wheel.

The wheel has minor enhancements that can be earned, but the main goal of the wheel spin is to land on the briefcase symbol that says “Bonus.” This allows the player to play the Deal or No Deal game. The fixed case amounts in this game are determined by how much is staked on the wheel spin.

Deal Or No Deal: In It To Win It

Deal Or No Deal: In It To Win It combines a bonus wheel game with a more modern reel game. It has five reels with payouts for the different symbols and, as expected, a trigger for the bonus game on the reels.

The bonus game is much like Deal Or No Deal: What’s Your Deal. There is a wheel that can provide different bonuses and multipliers and makes it possible to play the TV game. A small progressive jackpot called “the vault” can also add a bit of excitement for the player.

In It To Win It also features a large multiplayer screen, with which up to five players can interact simultaneously.

Deal Or No Deal: Las Vegas

Another bizarre game in the series is Deal Or No Deal: Las Vegas. Similar to the other games with reels, the game show aspect is a bonus game. The most glaring difference here is that each time the bonus game is triggered, the player can only play one round of TV game. This means that if the player does not accept the offer, they must continue spinning the reels to trigger the bonus game again before being able to continue playing the game they previously started.

The game incentivizes players to turn down early offers and continue playing by allowing a spin on a bonus wheel with each “No Deal.”

Deal Or No Deal takeaways

It’s difficult to predict whether this series of slots will continue to attract players in high numbers. The series is largely dependent upon a strong fan base for the original game show and concept. And that has the potential to dwindle if fans become more taken by something newer and more intriguing.

One of most important features supporting the series is that the Deal or No Deal game concept is the most flexible way for players to gamble in all of slot gaming. It allows players to gamble when they want to, but also gives them the opportunity to essentially cash out their equity in the game at any time.

In this way, players truly have the option to increase or decrease their own volatility in the game as they see fit.

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Image credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com