Hit Me was a pricing game based on blackjack. This blackjack-based game was played for a prize worth between $2,500 and $10,000 and used grocery items.
- Six grocery items were shown, each concealing a standard playing card. A price was also displayed with each item, which represented the actual price of the item multiplied by the value of the concealed card - face cards were worth ten and aces worth one (showing the actual price). Note that, as in blackjack, an ace is worth either one or eleven in a player's hand - whichever is most beneficial to the player.
- The contestant would cut a deck of playing cards and a hand would be drawn for the "house" - the hand against which the contestant would play. The house received a standard blackjack hand consisting of a face-up "up" card and a face-down "hole" card, both placed on a game board. Unlike regular Blackjack, the "hole" card was never checked nor revealed, should the "up" card be an ace or face; the game simply went on.
- The contestant was then asked to select a grocery item. The actual price was revealed and the playing card was placed in the contestant's hand on the board. The process was repeated for a second item. The contestant could then stand, or continue to select grocery items if they wanted. If the contestant's hand totaled 21, they automatically won; if they exceeded 21, they busted and automatically lost; otherwise, the game continued.
- Once the contestant's hand was complete, the house's hole card was revealed. The house would then draw additional cards from the deck, if needed, until its hand totaled 17 or above (like regular Blackjack, it must hit on 16 or less). If the house went over 21, it busted and the contestant automatically won. Otherwise, the contestant's hand was compared to the house's, with the larger total winning, and ties going to the contestant.
- The rules for dealing with a house "soft" 17-21, in which an ace treated as an eleven forms a value which the house would stand on, were never particularly clear (in standard Las Vegas blackjack a dealer ace is always initially treated as an eleven unless it would make the hand go over 21; in which case it would then count as one). Sometimes, host Bob Barker treated the ace as a one and continued drawing. Other times, he treated the ace as a hard 11 and stood. There was no apparent pattern to this behavior, although it seemed to hinge on his current mood. If the sum of both the house and the player hands is the same, this counts as a "push", which the contestant wins (in regular Blackjack, the player just got his/her bet back and neither won nor lost).
- The Hit Me board always contained one item that was marked at its actual price and one whose price was multiplied by 10. The ideal outcome would be for the contestant to choose these two items, to get an ace and a ten or face card. The contestant would then have a "blackjack" and would automatically win.
- The rules of multiplication could be used to aid the contestant in determining their choices. For example, a price multiplied by ten would have to end in a zero; there was sometimes only one price displayed with a last digit of zero, ensuring that product was multiplied by ten. Conversely, a price which could not mathematically be a multiple of two to ten had to be the actual price. For example, an inexpensive price which was plainly a prime number would have to be the actual price. Outside of the always available ace and ten, the other four cards were often (but not always) two pairs of numbers which each added up to 10.
- Hit Me was created by then-associate director Andy Felsher.
- The debut of Hit Me (and the entire week it falls in) was actually taped after the second through fifth playings; the first taped playing aired on November 13, 1980 (#3864D) and several times during the episode Bob half-erroneously implies that it has never been played before.
- Hit Me was originally played with no face cards; they were added to the game on February 4, 1981 (#3983D).
- Any 6 grocery items can be used in this game. The exact actual retail price is placed on 1 of the 6. Next, an actual retail price multiplied by 10 is placed on another grocery item. Finally, the remaining 4 grocery items can be multiplied between 2-9.
- If there's a grocery item whose actual retail price is multiplied by 10, that does not mean a 10 of any suit will come out of the slot. It can be a face card of any suit.
- The most number of times this game was played in any season was 23.
- Hit Me was retired because its rules were beginning to confuse too many contestants, especially with newer contestants who were unfamiliar with the concept of blackjack. Having been played for nearly 26 years, it is the second longest-lived pricing game ever to be retired, behind Poker Game, which incidentally was also based on a card game (although Poker Game did not use actual cards and Hit Me did).
- Hit Me was the final retired pricing game to be taken out of the active rotation during Barker's tenure as host. Penny Ante was officially retired in April 2007, but had not been played since June 14, 2002 (#2215K). The aforementioned Poker Game, along with Joker, were also played for the last time under Barker (and after Hit Me had been removed), but were not removed from the rotation and retired until after Drew Carey took over as host.