Types of Game Theory

Game Theory
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mudita rajgarhia
Student (MBA), India

Types of Game Theory

Are there different types of game theory? If yes, what are they and how one can we use them?


Hassaan Khalid, Pakistan

Only One Type of Game Theory

The game theory is only one. It emphasizes teamwork and promotes healthy competition. It shows that if firms cooperate and engage in only healthy competition instead of resorting to trying to get the other to take losses they will both win. Their profits will increase and the industry will grow. Many different games like one above emphasize the theory. Game theory is one but many different games demonstrate it.

Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Game Theory Types

There are actually several types of game theories (games). For example:
  • Symmetric / Asymmetric
    • In symmetric games, the strategies adopted by all players are the same. An example of a symmetric games is the prisoner’s dilemma.
    • In asymmetric games, the strategies adopted by players are different. The strategy that benefits one player may not be equally beneficial for another player. Decision making in asymmetric games depends on the different types of strategies and decision of players. An example of an asymmetric game is entry of a new firm in a market, following a unique strategy.
  • Simultaneous / Sequential
    • Simultaneous games are the one in which the move of two players (the strategy adopted by two players) is simultaneous. In simultaneous move, players do not have knowledge about the move of other players.
    • Sequential games are the one in which players are aware about the moves of players who have already adopted a strategy. However, even in sequential games, the players do not have a deep knowledge about the strategies of other players.
  • Cooperative / Non-cooperative. These theories are the most common.
    • Cooperative game theory deals with how cooperative groups (coalitions) interact. It is a game between coalitions of players rather than between individuals, and it questions how groups form and how they allocate the payoff among players.
    • Non-cooperative game theory deals with how rational economic agents deal with each other to achieve their own goals. The most common non-cooperative game is the strategic game, in which only the available strategies and the outcomes that result from a combination of choices are listed. A simple example of a real-world non-cooperative game is Rock–Paper–Scissors.
  • Normal Form / Extensive Form
    • Normal form games refer to the description of game in the form of matrix. In other words, when the payoff and strategies of a game are represented in a tabular form, it is termed as normal form games.
    • Extensive form games are the one in which the description of game is done in the form of a decision tree. Extensive form games help in the representation of events that can occur by chance.
  • Constant Sum, Zero Sum, and Non-Zero Sum
    • A constant sum game is the one in which the sum of outcome of all the players remains constant even if the outcomes are different.
    • A zero sum game is one form of constant sum game in which the sum of outcomes of all players is zero. In a zero sum game, the strategies of different players cannot affect the available resources. Examples of zero sum games are chess and gambling.
    • A non-zero sum game is one in which sum of the outcomes of all the players is not zero. All players can win.


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