Hangman is a pencil-and-paper game of guessing a word.
- Guessing a letter in the puzzle reveals all instances
- Guessing a letter not in the puzzle is a fault
- Seven faults in one round are a failure
Merv Griffin's Wheel of Fortune is a syndicated television game show of guessing a phrase. Wheel is based on Hangman according to its description in TV program guides, but it has several key differences:
- Multiple-word phrases instead of single words, reducing faults for guesses of common consonants early in a puzzle and allowing the player to rely more on context later on
- Requirement to guess a consonant unless the player has earned vowel credits by guessing consonants
- 1/36 probability of a fault before guessing a consonant
- 1/18 probability of a fault with loss of vowel credits before guessing a consonant
- Instead of accumulating toward failure, a fault causes the next of three players to gain control
- Random chance that guessing a consonant produces a prize instead of vowel credits
- Scoring is based on vowel credits and prizes possessed at the time of solving each of four puzzles
Some viewers prefer Griffin's Jeopardy!, often syndicated alongside Wheel, because of less random chance.