The first version of Balance Game into which the contestant had to balance a large scale using buckets of silver dollars bearing the show's host Bob Barker to win a big prize.
- The contestant was given five silver dollars and shown five prizes with two-digit prices, each with a bucket in front of it containing a number of silver dollars equal to the item's price. The contestant picked any item and its bucket of dollars was poured into the dish on one side of a scale. The price was also revealed on the bottom of the bucket, which was stacked near the dish. The contestant then had to pick another prize whose coins were poured into the other side of the scale, and whose bucket was placed next to that side.
- If the two items "balanced" the scale - were the same price - the contestant won a large prize. If the prices were within five dollars of each other, the contestant could use the free dollars they were given to balance the scale and win. If not, they had to select additional prizes whose dollars would be added to the scale in an attempt to balance them (or come within five dollars of doing so).
- The game continued until the scale balanced or until all the prizes had been used and the five free silver dollars could not balance the scale. The contestant won any small prizes they had used on the scale regardless of whether or not they won the game.
Barker Silver Dollars
- The silver dollars used in the game were called "Barker Silver Dollars", and were specially-minted coins with host Bob Barker's face on them.
- Contestants were allowed to keep any of their five free Barker Silver Dollars that had not been used in the game; several sets of them have been offered for sale on eBay. The remaining coins were recycled into use in the current Balance Game many years later.
- Balance Game premiered on April 9, 1984 (#5281D). On its first playing, it was lost. The first winner was on April 27, 1984 (#5305D), the third playing.
- 2 items can share the same price.
- 2 items have to have a difference of no more than $5 high or low to be ruled a win.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 14.
To view the gallery, click here.
- The most common explanation for the game's retirement centers on its rules, which critics say were too confusing for most contestants. Barker often had to explain each aspect of the game, short of revealing the prices of each item.
|1980s Pricing Games|
|Bargain Game | Trader Bob | Grand Game | Now....or Then | Hit Me | Super Ball!! | Check Game | Check-Out | Pick-A-Pair | Plinko | Master Key | Phone Home Game | Walk of Fame | Balance Game (1) | On the Nose | One Away | Bump | Add 'Em Up | Pathfinder | Credit Card | Spelling Bee | $uper $aver | Make Your Move | 2 for the Price of 1|
|Retired Pricing Games|
|Bullseye (1) | Double Bullseye | Give or Keep | Double Digits | Mystery Price | Poker Game | Hurdles | Professor Price | Finish Line | Shower Game | It's Optional | Telephone Game | Penny Ante | Trader Bob | Hit Me | Super Ball!! | Phone Home Game | Walk of Fame | Balance Game (1) | On the Nose | Bump | Add 'Em Up | Credit Card | $uper $aver | Gallery Game | Buy or Sell | Joker | Make Your Mark/Barker's Markers | Split Decision | Fortune Hunter | Clearance Sale | Step Up | On the Spot | Time is Money (1)|