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Author Topic: J! Category Choices  (Read 22268 times)

alfonzos

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J! Category Choices
« on: July 23, 2023, 11:33:29 PM »
For my one thousandth posting, I want to express my gratitude for being part of this community. Game shows were my first educational experience and I appreciate being able to share  experiences and my opinion with like-minded people. Thank you.

As an occasional viewer of “Jeopardy!” I find the contestants’ strategy of shopping for Daily Doubles by avoiding the easiest answers and choosing the more difficult answers unpredictably unnerving. As someone who enjoys playing along with the contestants it is like sitting down to dinner and getting servings of random foods during the meal.

I would like to see a rule to lets the contestant choose a category but the least valuable answer is revealed. This would make the round build to have roughly the toughest answers appear last. I would like to see it but it probably won’t happen because the contestants would balk at having their choices limited.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2023, 09:46:28 PM by alfonzos »
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TLEberle

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2023, 12:45:37 AM »
I’d like to see a rule where a dancing light border stops when the contestant in control clicks her signaling button, and Daily Doubles are at the same prescribed point each day.
Travis L. Eberle

SuperMatch93

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2023, 02:02:12 AM »
I’d like to see a rule where a dancing light border stops when the contestant in control clicks her signaling button, and Daily Doubles are at the same prescribed point each day.

Would they shout "JEOPARDY!" when pressing it?
-William https://dekochunterzz.bandcamp.com/
"30 years from now, people won’t care what we’re doing right now." - Bob Barker on The Price is Right, 1983

Dbacksfan12

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  • Just leave the set; that’d be terrific.
Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2023, 08:18:24 AM »
For my one thousandth posting, I want to express my gratitude for being part of this community. Game shows were my first educational experience and I appreciate being able to share  experiences and my opinion with like-minded people. Thank you.
And a doozy of a 1000th post this is.

Quote
As an occasional viewer of “Jeopardy!” I find the contestants’ strategy of shopping for Daily Doubles by avoiding the easiest answers and choosing the more difficult answers unpredictably unnerving. As someone who enjoys playing along with the contestants it is like sitting down to dinner and getting servings of random foods during the meal. 
I’ve done this before.  It’s called a buffet.

Quote
I would like to see a rule to lets the contestant choose a category but the least valuable answer is revealed. This would make the round build to have roughly the toughest answers appear last. I would like to see it but it probably won’t happen because the contestants would balk at having
Then go watch a second season episode of Debt and leave Jeopardy! alone.
--Mark
Phil 4:13

Matt Ottinger

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2023, 10:18:43 AM »
I would like to see a rule to lets the contestant choose a category but the least valuable answer is revealed. This would make the round build to have roughly the toughest answers appear last. I would like to see it but it probably won’t happen

I'm going to +1 this.  I think the game flows better when the categories are played from top to bottom.  For the record, so did Alex Trebek.

This poking around all over the board used to be rare.  For a while it was known as the "Forrest Bounce" because of the one champion who did it back in 1985, and hardly anybody else copied it for decades.  Nowadays it's common, and I don't like it.  Now get off my lawn so I can yell at some more clouds.
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

bscripps

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2023, 10:39:34 AM »
I'll counter Matt's +1 with a -1.  Not because I disagree with the premise; whether it's the "Forrest Bounce" or a bottom feeder calling all the $1,000 clues first or whatever, it's not as fun to watch.  I'm all in favor of playing the board from top to bottom.  I just don't think it's deserving of an actual rule.

FWIW, when I taped three years ago, the contestant coordinators actively encouraged us to play the board from the top down--the writers design the categories to be played in order, they told us.  And I agree--among other things, hitting the low-value clues eliminates possible answers for the high-value clues (e.g. if the $200 clue was Beethoven, the $1,000 clue isn't likely to be ol' Ludwig van again).  There's a rhythm in playing from top to bottom.

But forcing players to play the board that way just doesn't sit right with me. 
Ben Scripps. Professional button-pushing monkey.

chrisholland03

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2023, 10:46:09 AM »
Password 75 Chaos option:

In the Jeopardy! round, each player may declare 'Switch' once per game, but only if they have control of the board.

The Jeopardy! round categories are replaced with the Double Jeopardy! round categories with no introduction or explanation of the categories.  Played squares remain out of play for the round, and the clue values remain appropriate to the Jeopardy! round.  A clue square may only be played once, regardless of category.  Round ends when all squares are played (regardless of category), or time for round expires.

Double Jeopardy! begins with introduction/explanation of the remainder of the DJ! categories, and any remaining clue squares for those categories.  Once all clues for a category are played, the column reverts to the category from the J! round if there are remaining clues for it.  Clue values remain appropriate to DJ! round.

Matt Ottinger

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2023, 11:30:38 AM »
Password 75 Chaos option:

In the Jeopardy! round, each player may declare 'Switch' once per game, but only if they have control of the board.

The Jeopardy! round categories are replaced with the Double Jeopardy! round categories with no introduction or explanation of the categories.  Played squares remain out of play for the round, and the clue values remain appropriate to the Jeopardy! round.  A clue square may only be played once, regardless of category.  Round ends when all squares are played (regardless of category), or time for round expires.

Double Jeopardy! begins with introduction/explanation of the remainder of the DJ! categories, and any remaining clue squares for those categories.  Once all clues for a category are played, the column reverts to the category from the J! round if there are remaining clues for it.  Clue values remain appropriate to DJ! round.

I hope this is a joke because I don't understand it and it makes my brain hurt.

It's interesting to see Ben say that even three years ago the coordinators encouraged you to play from top to bottom.  I got the same talk back in 2004.  It's weird to me that they continue to make a point of it privately to the contestants, but don't simply make it a requirement.

Fun fact:  Back in the era I played, if there was a category that required video (Clue Crew, celebrity readers, even still pictures) that category would be pointed out to the players in advance, and we were told that category HAD to be played top to bottom.  Not necessarily consecutively, but in order.  The video servers of the day were loaded that way and couldn't handle the skipping around.  I'm sure that's changed today.
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

joelvanderveen

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2023, 11:42:03 AM »
I also don't care for the jumping around the board. Like others have said, I find it goes against the normal rhythm of the game. It's anticlimactic when the low-value clues are the last ones left in a round. And the strategy of getting the DD(s) out of the way early seems self-defeating. You might keep your opponents from finding it, but where's the fun in finding a DD when you don't have enough cash to actually take proper advantage of it?

I'm somewhat intrigued by the idea of forcing the contestant to choose the lowest-value clue available in the category. Like Matt said, it is funny that they clearly want contestants to play the categories from top to bottom, but apparently not enough to force them to play that way.

nowhammies10

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2023, 11:54:56 AM »
I'm on the fence. While I don't love the DD fishing and bouncing around the bottom of the board from a viewership perspective, from a gameplay and strategy perspective it makes complete sense. A player can put a tight game out of reach with a correct response; on an incorrect response, there likely will still be enough clues left on the board to build your total back up.

To that end, "book" strategy says you should always wager the house maximum on the DD in the Jeopardy! round whenever you find it.

SuperMatch93

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2023, 01:08:54 PM »
While I do prefer questions to be taken in order, a rule requiring it would effectively negate the idea that the Daily Doubles can come up at any point during the round, and that's not my cup of tea.
-William https://dekochunterzz.bandcamp.com/
"30 years from now, people won’t care what we’re doing right now." - Bob Barker on The Price is Right, 1983

chrisholland03

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2023, 01:42:47 PM »
Password 75 Chaos option:

In the Jeopardy! round, each player may declare 'Switch' once per game, but only if they have control of the board.

The Jeopardy! round categories are replaced with the Double Jeopardy! round categories with no introduction or explanation of the categories.  Played squares remain out of play for the round, and the clue values remain appropriate to the Jeopardy! round.  A clue square may only be played once, regardless of category.  Round ends when all squares are played (regardless of category), or time for round expires.

Double Jeopardy! begins with introduction/explanation of the remainder of the DJ! categories, and any remaining clue squares for those categories.  Once all clues for a category are played, the column reverts to the category from the J! round if there are remaining clues for it.  Clue values remain appropriate to DJ! round.

I hope this is a joke because I don't understand it and it makes my brain hurt.

Yes - in the same vein as making a word game a math game

The intent in jest was to amplify the bounce.  Functionally you're blindly substituting the Round 2 categories into the top of the board during Round 1, when called for.  The Jeopardy is you don't know what the Round 2 categories are when you call for it, and even then you may not have the context for the clues until you call for one.  Once the player has exercised their Switch for the game, they're locked into the Round 2 categories unless a competitor calls for a Switch, returning the categories to originals.

Double Jeopardy becomes an exercise in completing the remaining clues across all 12 categories for double the value. 

Again, completely in jest!

« Last Edit: July 24, 2023, 02:23:22 PM by chrisholland03 »

MSTieScott

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2023, 02:09:28 PM »
While I acknowledge that Daily Double hunting is the mathematically optimal strategy for winning the game, as a viewer, I also hate it when the clues are taken out of order. However, I'm more likely to put up with it if the following two things occur:

1. A contestant who finds a Daily Double because they were hunting for it proceeds to make a huge, gutsy wager (if we're still using the term "Forrest Bounce," then I will continue to call this "doing a Roger Craig"). If you're going to diminish my entertainment by throwing clues at me in an nonintuitive order, then I want you to replace that entertainment with a big gamble.

2. Once all of the Daily Doubles in a round are gone, the contestants go back to playing the categories top to bottom. Unless there's less than a minute left in the round, there's no more reason not to play the board that way*, and if you're such an amazing Jeopardy! player that you'll benefit from Daily Double hunting, you should be answering quickly enough that there won't be any chance of time running out before all the clues are exposed.

I can understand why the show doesn't want to create rules forcing the contestants to play the game a certain way, and I'm sure the contestants don't care whether I'm rooting against them, but it is one of those things that might make me less likely to tune in on a given day.

*Okay, I suppose there might be some game theory in trying to unbalance weaker players by keeping them from settling into a mindset of a specific category or by not eliminating the potential responses used in the lower-value clues. The counterargument is that that no longer has any effect now that everybody has rigorously prepared for the show and is ready for category shifts. I miss the days when Jeopardy! could be played by good-natured contestants who were simply familiar with the game as opposed to everybody training for the show like it's the Olympics.

Jeremy Nelson

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2023, 02:20:08 PM »
I like the idea of most contestants still being able to make a comeback at the end of DJ because the high dollar clues (and at least one DD) are still in play. It's already one thing when FJ is anticlimactic- it's a whole other when you're halfway into the DJ round and viewers are figuratively heading for the exits because you're playing bottom up. I understand why people do it, but the viewing experience is worse because of it.

Former J champ Bill Schantz runs an event called 5X5 at many trivia conferences- the game is played exactly as the OP suggests- top to bottom. The last clue in every category is a Daily Double-like power up- the contestant can answer the question a double or nothing, or pass altogether and open it up to the others. Video below- it's from a decade ago, but you'll get the gist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv2zn6HDdOI

Fact To Make You Feel Old: Just about every contestant who appears in a Price is Right Teen Week episode from here on out has only known a world where Drew Carey has been the host.

rjaguar3

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Re: J! Category Choices
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2023, 03:36:45 PM »
My unpopular suggestion: require Daily Double wagers to be in $100 increments.

  • There's not really any strategic reason to have an oddball wager
  • Simplifies FJ math for viewers and contestants
  • Prevent circumvention of banned FJ wagers by engineering the total to be a forbidden number
  • Harmonize the new $100 minimum for a Daily Double as the smallest nonzero wager possible (just like the original $5 wager was in 1964)