How to Play 3x3 Games: A Strategy Method Experiment

R. Selten, K. Abbink, J. Buchta, A. Sadrieh

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Using the strategy method (Selten 1967) we elicit subjects' strategies for playing any 2-person 3x3-game with integer payoffs between 0 and 99.In each of 5 tournaments, every strategy pair plays 500000 games.The frequency of pure strategy equilibrium play increases from 51% in the first to 74% in the last tournament, with the equilibria that maximize joint payoff being preferred when multiple exist.For games without pure equilibria, strategies are typically based on elements of the best-reply cascade: MAP (maximize the expected payoff against uniformly randomizing opponents), BR-MAP (best reply to MAP), and BR-BR-MAP (best reply to BR-MAP).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • game theory
  • experimental economics


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