Four contestants are selected by the announcer (ex. Rich Fields), and proceed to Contestant's Row with loud cheers, high fives, and fanfare. A prize is showcased, and each contestant gives a bid on it.
The four contestants bid in order from left to right and must bid as close as they can to the actual retail price without going over. Contestants bid in dollars and not cents as the retail prices are rounded off to the nearest dollar and may not bid the same amount as any player bid previously for that prize.
The contestant who bids closest to the actual retail price without going over wins the prize and then gets to play a pricing game.
The contestant in the red podium begins the first One Bid. For subsequent rounds, a new audience member is then selected to fill the vacated seat on Contestant's Row and gives the first bid.
If all four contestants overbid the bids are higher than the prize's actual retail price, three short buzz tones sound, the lowest bid is announced and the bids are reset, and the process starts over lower than the announced lowest bid until one contestant gets a proper winning bid.
If one of the contestants bids the exact actual retail price, a bell sounds and the host gives the winner a cash bonus of a $100 cash prize from May 23, 1977, #2391D, to November 9, 1998, #0891K, and since November 10, 1998, #0892K, the cash bonus was increased to $500.
Contestants who were in Contestant's Row but failed to win a bid by the sixth game would be given various consolation prizes, which would be detailed by the announcer before the 2nd Showcase Showdown. As of 2012, the prize awards to contestants still in Contestant's Row is $300.
Early on, perfect bids weren't awarded a $100 bonus or any fanfare at all. This began in the second season. From then until around 1993, women who placed a perfect bid often kissed Bob on the cheek then were invited to reach into Bob Barker's jacket pocket, and they would pull out a $100 bill. If a man won the perfect bid, Bob Barker would shake his hand then hand him the cash. In 1993, when Dian Parkinson resigned on allegations of sexual harassment, Bob Barker changed the disbursement of prizes, simply handing out cash to contestants of both sexes once they got up on stage. This means of awarding the cash prize is continued today by Drew Carey.
Occasionally, the prize given away in One Bid fits with the prize in the pricing game that follows -- for example, car stereo equipment before a game played for a car, or luggage before a game played for a trip. Usually, though, the prizes are unrelated.
This game, along with the Showcase, are the parts of the current version of The Price is Right that most resemble the gameplay on the original version, hosted by Bill Cullen.
In promoting Bob Barker's devotion to animal rights, occasionally a dog or cat would be brought out on stage by one of the Barker's Beauties during One Bid where Barker would promote the animal rescue shelter the pet was boarded at. Occasionally this would cause mild confusion as contestants sometimes thought they were there to win a pet, to which Barker humorously added before One Bid began "And no, the dog is not part of the bid".
Prior to the second Showcase Showdown the announcer would do a quick announcement saying that those who played One Bid but failed to make it on stage would be given a set of consolation prizes. The consolation prize would vary, but often had to do with kitchen appliances. In addition to the material items announced, losers of One Bid would get a check for $300.
Sometimes, contestants will get up on stage right away before the announcer selected, it is not the right way to get up on stage first.
There are two very common strategies in this game. They are usually done by the contestant bidding last, but occasionally you see them by people bidding earlier in the round:
1. One dollar bid: If you think all the other contestants are over, bid $1 on the prize because it doesn't matter how far off you are from the actual price if everyone else is over. However, this can backfire if you are the first contestant to do so. In cases where the first contestant has bid $1, the second contestant may bid $2. If the third contestant is not confident of the actual retail price, he may bid $3, to which the fourth contestant will make a bid of $4. This effectively guarantees the contestant who bid last to win One Bid and get on stage, as virtually all prizes were more expensive than $4.
2. Bidding one dollar more than the highest bid: On the other hand, if you believe everyone else is too low, bid $1 more than the highest bid anyone else placed so that you will be closest to the actual price without risking going over yourself. Try to avoid the person you do this to for the rest of the taping, however, since this means that the person you do this to can only win if they have gotten their bid exactly right.
Every version of TPIR around the world uses the same format, with the only notable difference being cash bonuses for getting the price on the nose, while some, like Italy and Vietnam, do not award bonuses at all:
|United Kingdom||£100 all versions, though the Bob Warman version had it in a gift certificate form|
|Australia||$50 Ian Turpie era|
$100 Larry Emdur era
|Mexico||$1,000 both versions|
|Philippines||₱1,000 Dawn Zulueta era|
₱5,000 Kris Aquino era
Many contestants on foreign versions do not use the two strategies commonly used in the US. However, the two strategies format was first used on the Vietnamese version since October 26th, 2019, and each contestant gives a bid on the total value of it.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- When the one bid is in session, the control booth takes a look and a listen to who went over, who was below the retail price of the prize and who gave the exact bid.
- When a perfect bid was given at any time, the stage manager puts the cash bonus in the host's pocket.
On October 9, 2017 (#8041K), during Dream Car Week, history was made when a car was offered for the first time, giving the show the first guaranteed car win outside of a pricing game or a showcase.
On September 4, 1972 (#0011D), during the One Bid, the audience was completely silent during the One Bid game. Now, though, clamor and noise abounds when a contestant attempts to make a bid, with no attempt by the host, announcer or crew to silence the audience in any way.
An episode of The Flintstones called "Divided We Sail" from 1962 parodied One Bid from the original Cullen version, where Barney Rubble finds himself a contestant on a game show called The Prize is Priced When it's Barney's turn to bid, he says "Well, uh, I'll just put in my two cents, and--" which results in his bid immediately being registered as $0.02 before he gets to place his actual bid. However, Barney wins because the other contestants overbid.
The highest bid in the entire game's history is $2,000,000. The producers were unable to put that on the screen due to them being 4-digit displays.
For more pictures, see One Bid/Gallery.