Two Plus Two Poker Forums Final Jeopardy wagering strategy
 Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Video Directory TwoPlusTwo.com

 Notices

 Science, Math, and Philosophy Discussions regarding science, math, and/or philosophy.

 01-07-2011, 07:15 AM #2 rmoriar1 old hand   Join Date: Dec 2007 Posts: 1,981 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy A lot of time the guy in the lead will bet an amount that will bring him to 2x (2nd place) +1\$. The justification for it is that it eliminates being tied with an above average player, in which case he can face 2 weaker players in the next round. A bigger mistake is when its something like A 18000 B 14000 C 3000 A's expected wager is 10000/10001. B, anticipating this should choose to wager between 5999 and 4000. Since he will win automatically if A gets the question wrong. Betting more than 6000 is a massive mistake since B can only win if he gets it correct and A gets it wrong. A sick move by A would be to anticipate this and bet 2001. Last edited by rmoriar1; 01-07-2011 at 07:23 AM.
 01-07-2011, 10:45 AM #3 durkadurka33 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: Toronto, ON Canada Posts: 8,709 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy OP's mistake is that if the values of people's 'stack' going into final jeopardy are different, then people have to get the answer 'right' regardless. So OP's argument doesn't work. Stacks of 14000, 10000, and 8000. Leader should wager 6001. Why do you think that this is irrational?
01-07-2011, 11:46 AM   #4
gumpzilla
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 13,973
Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy

Quote:
 Originally Posted by durkadurka33 Stacks of 14000, 10000, and 8000. Leader should wager 6001. Why do you think that this is irrational?
That's kind of what his whole post is about. You need an argument like rmoriar suggests to explain why outright winning is better than a tie, since the winner gets the same money (minus 1 dollar, obviously) regardless.

That said, rmoriar's explanation that a tie will often suggest a stronger than average player is a good reason why you might not play to tie. I have seen it said that they also strongly discourage people from playing that way, so perhaps it's just respecting the wishes of the producers.

EDIT:
Quote:
 A sick move by A would be to anticipate this and bet 2001.
I think most leaders are much better off betting with the expectation they'll get it right, as there are substantial money gains to be made from it. The only scenario where A is better off doing this is a triple-stumper type thing. Planning for those as one of the trailing contestants makes sense because it's the only way you can win, usually, but I think it would be pretty wrong from the leader.

 01-07-2011, 02:01 PM #5 revots33 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Aug 2004 Posts: 8,799 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy Hmm I think your post has merit... all I can think as an explanation is that Final Jeopardy is generally easier than the rest of the game, as there is no time pressure to buzz in first. So I think all contestants usually wager on the assumption that all 3 will get it right. This is similar to double jeopardy... I don't have the stats but I'm sure Double jeopardy questions are answered correctly a large majority of the time, and there is no time pressure to be first on the buzzer which is a huge edge over a typical question. It seems that the most +EV thing would be to bet it all every time you land on a DD, as that is almost like getting pocket AA in holdem, you want to get all your money in when you have the edge.
01-07-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
Cody Ross
grinder

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 538
Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy

Quote:
 Originally Posted by durkadurka33 OP's mistake is that if the values of people's 'stack' going into final jeopardy are different, then people have to get the answer 'right' regardless. So OP's argument doesn't work. Stacks of 14000, 10000, and 8000. Leader should wager 6001. Why do you think that this is irrational?
Because 2nd should risk 2000 or 0 and 3rd should risk 0. If 1st is wrong he will lose by 1 dollar. 6001 is literally the worst possible wager he could make, even 14,000 would be preferable. If he does the smart thing and bets 6000, he will win unless he is wrong AND second place is correct.

The argument for eliminating a strong opponent may be valid in theory but in practice you can almost never be certain enough that your opponent is in fact above average to justify the EV loss of risking losing by \$1. The culprit is most often the leader who bids a dollar more than 2nd place can match. Unless 2nd was a champion of twice or more, the best case for knowing that 2nd place is well above average is if you and him both have really high scores (like ~17k+ without substantial help from double jeopardy) and even that could be because the categories were favorable or the third player just flat out sucked. The vast majority of the time there is insufficient evidence, due to sample size and variance issues, to assess how good your opponent is.

So it makes the most sense that the producers tell them to win by a dollar, which of course destroys the credibility of the show because it's not supposed to be, you know, rigged. Even if it was just tying that they didn't like, that still wouldn't explain the win-by-a-dollar strategy. Take rmoriar's example of 18k, 14k, 3k. If 1st is going to bet 10,001, he might as well bet 11,999, or at least 10,999, to beat 3rd place and undercut B's potential strategy to do the same (this is in the case that 3rd place is correct and the other two are wrong).

But of course nobody does that, so it must be that they are told to outbid by a dollar if they are in the lead. Doing it on their own would be abject stupidity. And Jeopardy is a difficult game that requires a lot of academic knowledge and good recall ability, which more often than not belong to intelligent people.

 01-07-2011, 08:20 PM #7 durkadurka33 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: Toronto, ON Canada Posts: 8,709 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy So 1st place wagers 6001. You argue that 2nd should wager 2000. But what if 3rd bets it all and wins? Now 2nd can't possibly win unless both 1^3 get it wrong. I don't think that you've worked out the game theory properly. Game theoretically optimal strategies are those which allow the agent to do best regardless of what their opponent does.
01-07-2011, 11:18 PM   #8
rmoriar1
old hand

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,981
Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Cody Ross Because 2nd should risk 2000 or 0 and 3rd should risk 0. If 1st is wrong he will lose by 1 dollar. 6001 is literally the worst possible wager he could make, even 14,000 would be preferable. If he does the smart thing and bets 6000, he will win unless he is wrong AND second place is correct.
This is assuming 2nd is going to bet exactly 2000. In which case A betting 0>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>6000>>>>>>>>>>>6001

 01-07-2011, 11:25 PM #9 Cody Ross grinder   Join Date: Oct 2010 Posts: 538 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy "Optimal" strategy isn't best if you have high enough confidence in what your opponents will actually do. 2nd can't win unless 1st is wrong in any case. 3rd place is almost never going to bet everything. If 3rd knew for certain that 2nd was going to bet 2k, even then he should only bet 8000 when he is at least roughly two thirds as likely to be right as his opponent is to be wrong. In other words, not if they are both likely to miss. So since 3rd likely won't (and shouldn't) bet everything, 2000 is the correct wager for 2nd. This chain of reasoning only applies because 3rd place can win without adding to his score. If he had 7800, then betting everything would be a no-brainer because he cannot win unless he is correct. But 2nd should still bet 2000 unless the category was quite easy.
 01-07-2011, 11:39 PM #10 Cody Ross grinder   Join Date: Oct 2010 Posts: 538 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy Tonight's episode featured contestants entering final jeopardy with 8600, 9600, and 11,600 (the 1-time defending champ). Their respective wagers were 4599, 2001 (LOL), and 7601. More evidence that the producers are rigging the show. I'm just wondering how they incentivize people to wager that way, when the rules of the show state that you get all your money and return for the next show if you tie.
 01-08-2011, 08:02 AM #11 Brons Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 6,565 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy In what order do they bet?
 01-08-2011, 03:46 PM #12 Cody Ross grinder   Join Date: Oct 2010 Posts: 538 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy all at the same time. they are first told the category, then make their wager during the "commercial break" (of course it's taped though so idk how long they actually have), then they get the "clue" and have 30 seconds to answer.
 01-08-2011, 05:14 PM #13 jontsef veteran     Join Date: Oct 2004 Posts: 2,065 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy They give you as much time as you need and the staff can even "help" with the math.
 01-08-2011, 07:32 PM #14 Rollos adept     Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: 1,007 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy According to j-archive, last season there was a 51.69% chance of supplying the correct Final response. Doesn't this mean that the leader should just double or nothing every time? It seems to me that you should only maximize you chance for first when you have a legit shot at making it into the TOC, otherwise the best play is to just maximize your winnings.
01-11-2011, 02:25 PM   #15
revots33
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,799
Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy

Quote:
 More evidence that the producers are rigging the show. I'm just wondering how they incentivize people to wager that way, when the rules of the show state that you get all your money and return for the next show if you tie.
I doubt there is any rigging. And I also doubt that people play to win and not tie, because they want weaker opponents the next time. For the most part all Jeopardy contestants are strong and there is no guarantee the next night's opponent won't be better than the one you (could have) tied with.

I really just think the mindset of the players is to win, and the thought process goes no further than that... I could be wrong

 01-11-2011, 04:32 PM #16 Aaron W. Carpal \'Tunnel   Join Date: Sep 2002 Location: Henderson, NV Posts: 27,688 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy Here are a couple links: From 2000: http://www.slate.com/id/86351/ From 1994: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2690846
 01-11-2011, 07:02 PM #17 Cody Ross grinder   Join Date: Oct 2010 Posts: 538 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy Think about this one: 1st place has 12k 2nd has 9k 3rd has 6k How do you bet as each player?
 01-11-2011, 07:24 PM #18 TomCowley Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Sep 2004 Posts: 5,550 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy There's not a unique answer to that question.
 01-11-2011, 07:27 PM #19 jontsef veteran     Join Date: Oct 2004 Posts: 2,065 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy So his use of the word "you" was fitting then.
 01-11-2011, 07:29 PM #20 TomCowley Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Sep 2004 Posts: 5,550 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy No. There's not even a unique answer to how *I* bet that.
 01-11-2011, 07:32 PM #21 jontsef veteran     Join Date: Oct 2004 Posts: 2,065 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy So if you were playing you would choose not to bet? flip a coin? read your opponents' body language for tells?
 01-11-2011, 07:34 PM #22 TomCowley Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Sep 2004 Posts: 5,550 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy It depends on the (perceived) difficulty of the category.
 01-11-2011, 07:37 PM #23 Cody Ross grinder   Join Date: Oct 2010 Posts: 538 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy How about for this category: Sides of a coin.
01-12-2011, 01:04 AM   #24
Melkerson
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 6,019
Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Cody Ross Think about this one: 1st place has 12k 2nd has 9k 3rd has 6k How do you bet as each player?
If I'm first, I best 6K
If I'm second, I bet 3K
If I'm third, I bet zero.

This seems obvious, but if it's not, let me know and I can clarify. The only assumption that I'm making is that when I put myself in each player's shoes, is that I assume the opponents are level one thinkers. I think this is a reasonable assumption since you don't normally know your opponents well enough to "out-level" them.

 01-12-2011, 05:28 PM #25 Cody Ross grinder   Join Date: Oct 2010 Posts: 538 Re: Final Jeopardy wagering strategy Yeah based on your assumption you are right. 1 can only lose if he is wrong and 2nd is right. However in this particular case, it would be a lot easier for 1 and 3 to think on level 2 or higher, because #1 has a high incentive to bet \$0. The reason being that 2's wager seems obvious to be the only correct wager no matter what the others do, and if he makes it then 1 can guarantee a win (and a future appearance) by betting \$0, even if he gets it wrong. This possibility may compel 3 to bet 6k as it will guarantee him a \$12k win if he is right, compared to needing a wrong answer from both 1 and 2 (and an 6k wager by 1) to win if he bets \$0. Of course #2 could throw a wrench in the works by making a foolish bet of say 3001, or 9000, for which your proposed wagers would work the best.

 Thread Tools Display Modes Linear Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is On HTML code is Off Forum Rules
 Forum Jump User Control Panel Private Messages Subscriptions Who's Online Search Forums Forums Home Two Plus Two     Two Plus Two Magazine Forum     The Best of Two Plus Two     The Two Plus Two Bonus Program     Two Plus Two Pokercast     Two Plus Two Videos     Marketplace         General Marketplace         Staking - Offering Stakes         Staking - Seeking Stakes         Staking - Selling Shares - Online         Staking - Selling Shares - Live         Staking Rails         Transaction Feedback & Disputes     Commercial Marketplace     Staking - Offering Stakes     About the Forums Fantasy Sports     Fantasy Sports         Sporting Events General Poker Discussion     Beginners Questions     Live Casino Poker         Poker Venues         Regional Communities     Poker Goals & Challenges     Books and Publications     Poker Theory     Poker Tells/Behavior, hosted by: Zachary Elwood     News, Views, and Gossip     Twitch - Watch and Discuss Live Online Poker     Televised Poker     Home Poker     Poker Legislation & PPA Discussion hosted by Rich Muny     That's What She Said!     Poker Beats, Brags, and Variance Coaching/Training     Coaching Advice     Cash Game Poker Coach Listings     Tournament/SNG Poker Coach Listings International Forums     Deutsch         BBV [German]     Français     Two Plus Two en Espańol No Limit Hold'em     Medium-High Stakes PL/NL     Micro-Small Stakes PL/NL     Medium-High Stakes Full Ring     Micro-Small Stakes Full Ring     Heads Up NL     Live Low-stakes NL Limit Texas Hold'em     Mid-High Stakes Limit     Micro-Small Stakes Limit Tournament Poker     STT Strategy     Heads Up SNG and Spin and Gos     Mid-High Stakes MTT     Small Stakes MTT     MTT Community     MTTc - Live         WPT.com Other Poker     High Stakes PL Omaha     Small Stakes PL Omaha     Omaha/8     Stud     Draw and Other Poker General Gambling     Backgammon Forum hosted by Bill Robertie.     Probability     Psychology     Sports Betting     Other Gambling Games Internet Poker     Internet Poker         Winning Poker Network         nj.partypoker.com         Global Poker     Commercial Software     Software         Commercial Software         Free Software     nj.partypoker.com         WPT.com 2+2 Communities     Other Other Topics         OOTV         Game of Thrones     The Lounge: Discussion+Review     EDF     Las Vegas Lifestyle     BBV4Life         omg omg omg     House of Blogs Sports and Games     Sporting Events         Single-Team Season Threads         Fantasy Sports     Wrestling     Golf     Pool, Snooker, and Billiards     Chess and Other Board Games     Video Games         League of Legends         Hearthstone     Puzzles and Other Games Other Topics     Politics         Economics     Business, Finance, and Investing     Travel     Science, Math, and Philosophy     History     Religion, God, and Theology     Health and Fitness     Student Life     The Studio     Laughs or Links!     Computer Technical Help     Programming

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:45 AM.

 Contact Us - Two Plus Two Publishing LLC - Privacy Statement - Top