The first game show, Spelling Bee, was broadcast in 1938, and by the 1950s the genre had become a fixture in American households. While early examples took place in a studio and often revolved around answering trivia questions, modern versions occur in all manner of settings, from taxi cabs to the sidewalks of Manhattan. Game show themed slots capture all the energy and excitement of these popular television programs, and the fact that prizes are waiting to be won further blurs the line between reality and what we seen on our screens.
Game shows are especially popular with older viewers, and numerous slots players tend to be over the age of 60. This creates a perfect situation, as a senior can watch their favorite programs and then head to the casino to simulate the experience. Of course, you don’t have to be retired to like game shows, and the same goes for slot machines.
If you’ve never played a slot machine based on a game show, the machines listed below provide a solid starting point. Their denominations range from the modest to the prohibitively expensive, but each one provides a reasonable opportunity of receiving a payout on your investment.
Popular TV Game Show Slot Machines
Wheel of Fortune – Pat Sajak and Vanna White have been hosting the syndicated version of this program since 1983, and it remains popular despite numerous changes in the format over the years (remember the shopping sprees following each round). International Game Technology owns the license of the slots version of the game, and they haven’t been shy about putting out as many versions as possible.
Multi-level progressives for Wheel of Fortune slots include the following: Dazzling Gems, Big Money, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York, and San Francisco. Wide-area progressives include Jackpot 7s, Double Diamond, Black Pearl Sevens, Triple Dollars, Triple Strike, San Francisco, Miami, Nashville, New York, Hawaii, Topaz, Wolf Run, Cleopatra, and many more. Numerous standalone games for Wheel of Fortune are also available from IGT, with some of the leading variations being Triple Double Butterfly 7s, Pink Diamond, Video Reel Triple Action, Red Hot Wild, Triple Stars, and Triple Extreme Spin.
The Price Is Right – Bob Barker was the host of The Price Is Right for 35 years, and comedian Drew Carey took over after his retirement in 2007. The latest slot machines reflect this change in hosts, although dedicated fans may still be able to locate a few Bob Barker versions.
The Price is Right slot version I’m discussing is a 5-reel machine with a community gaming feature. If you’ve never played a slot with a community feature, then I highly recommend it; you’ll quickly make new friends and be able to cheer each other on. The community feature is triggered at random, and a spinning wheel determines if a player wins. If they do, everyone else participating also shares in the win.
The Plinko Bonus is also a lot of fun, as it recreates the famous peg board from the show. You must get Plinko symbols on reels 3, 4, and 5 to trigger it, which gives you a chance to drop Plinko chips in the hopes of winning big.
Wheel symbols on reels 3, 4, and 5 trigger the Wheel Bonus, which means you can spin the wheel and win an equivalent amount of money. Just like the show, going over 100 results in a loss. The player can stay after their first spin, or they may choose to spin a second time. Getting exactly 100 results in a big bonus and anywhere from 55 to 100 allows the player to advance to the Showcase Round.
The Showcase Round presents the player with two showcase options, and they must choose one. The player then chooses items from within their showcase, and each of these will reveal various amounts of bonus money. Once you uncover the “collect” item, however, the showcase is concluded.
Amazing Race – Manufactured by IGT, the full name of this video slot is Amazing Race: In It to Win It. Based on the hybrid game show and reality program from CBS, this 5-reel, 30-payline slot features a 200-credit max wager and a 40-credit cost-to-cover. Three bonus rounds are featured, and they are known as Flag Hunter, Global Challenge, and Spin Till You Win. When large wins occur, the show’s theme music will play to add to the experience.
The Amazing Race TV show is filled with numerous symbols that allow contestants to get an advantage over their opponents, and the slot version also uses these to make frequent viewers feel at home. Unlocking the Road Black feature allows players to select a symbol that will turn their game symbols wild, while the Intersection feature turns random symbols wild. The Detour symbol awards credits or bonus games, while the Fast Forward feature spins until the player wins (with multipliers for each non-winning spin).
My favorite feature, however, is the U-Turn symbol. While the TV version of this symbol is used to trip up the competition, the slot version automatically pays out the last three wins.
Jeopardy – IGT once again shows why they’re a leading name in the slot machine industry, as they’ve went out and secured the rights to my favorite game show of all time. While some programs demand nothing more than dumb luck, Jeopardy requires its players to actually have a brain in their head.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a genius to enjoy the various Jeopardy slot machines. Available titles include the following: Penny Spinning Reel, Double Diamond, Five Times Pay, Triple Diamond, Triple Double Diamond, Triple Double Red Hot 7s, Triple Lucky 7s, Triple Stars, and Wild Star Red White & Blue.
Game shows aren’t going anywhere, and neither are game show themed slots. While studio quiz shows may not be as popular as they once were, they’ve simply been replaced by more innovative contests such as Cash Cab, Repo Games, and The Amazing Race. People love to watch other individuals win or lose large sums of money, and that element remains a constant in both TV game shows and casinos.