Game Theory – Board Games

I played a couple of games to look deeper into the strategy, the information you get given during the game and the payoff (outcome).


One of the games I played was Cluedo. It is a murder mystery game in which there is a killer, and you have to find and expose them.

Strategy: You have to figure out which character killed the victim, what weapon they used to do it and what room they killed the victim in. To do this you have to move around the board, as your selected character, and go into the different possible rooms and make accusations and then figure out the who did it, in what room with what weapon. To make a final decision, you have to go to the room in the centre of the board and make an accusation.

Information set: In the beginning of the game, you get given three cards. These tell you three things, the person,weapon and location which weren’t involved with the murder, so you can cross them off the list of possibilities. As you go around the board and make accusations, you get more information to make a final judgement and you can eliminate certain possibilities, increasing your chances of getting the right answer. You also have special abilities, depending on your character, which can help you get information from other players.

Payoff: In the end, you need to have figured out the killer, the weapon and the room. If you get it right you win the game. However if you guess incorrectly, from getting either not enough/the wrong information, then your character dies and you loose while the other players carry on until someone has won.

This game, while the factor of chance comes into play due to rolling dice, mainly revolves around the players deductive skills and how well they can deduce the victims killer and eliminate all other options.


Another game I played was Monopoly.

Strategy: You have to buy properties, with the money you are given in the beginning, as you travel across the board and think about if you are going to invest money on the properties to make other players pay you more money for landing on your properties. You also need to try and avoid landing on other peoples houses, in which you need to pay the owner of said property the rent for staying on that spot.

Information set: The game gives you a set amount of money that you can invest in buildings and expanding on properties. It also tells you how much it is worth if someone lands on it and how much you can increase the value of the building. There are also cards that you can pick up which can either benifit you, e.g. by making other players pay you for tax, or they can be your downfall, e.g. send you to jail.

Payoff: to win the game, you have to have driven the other players into bankruptcy, leaving you with the most money, properties and control over the entire economy of the game.

This game is highly based on chance from rolling dice to move you across the board, which can make it unpredictable on how the game will progress. However you also need to be wise and act on the changes that happen and come up with your own strategy that you can adapt to help you win.