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7 Good Book On Game Theory


Is there a specific good book on game theory? Yes, there is. However, due to the diverse books out there,  you might seem a bit confused about which is good and which is not.

A good book on game theory will open you up to different areas of your life and how decisions are made based on uncertain outcomes. Examples of such books are Game Theory 101, a course in game theory and game theory in economics and business.

If you are excited to learn more about game theory, you are in the right place. We have taken the time to list the top 7 good books on game theory after much research, reviews, and recommendations. Let’s delve into our topic properly.

An Overview Of Game Theory

It’s important to know what game theory means before talking about a good book on game theory. Game theory can be said to be a branch of mathematics and economics that studies the interactions between logical decision-makers. It examines the strategic relationship where the outcome of one person’s decisions depends on the decisions of others.

Game theory is applied to our everyday lives in various fields, such as politics, social situations and economic activities. These games can be cooperative or non-cooperative, zero-sum or non-zero-sum and they range from simple to complex scenarios. The key concepts of game theory include players, strategies, payoff and equilibrium.

Game theory dates back to the early 20th century, with the help of some mathematicians such as Ernst Zermelo and John Von Neumann. Moving forward, game theory gained dominance in the mid-20th century.

In 1944, the theory of games and economic behavior was published by Oskar Morgenstern and Von Neumann, which helped to affirm the basis and root of game theory. John Nash also introduced Nash equilibrium in 1950 and the evolution of cooperative game theory.

7 Good Books On Game Theory

Here are 7 good books on game theory that will guide you in strategic decision-making.

1. Game Theory: An Introduction by Steven Tadelis

Steven Tadelis discusses applications in economics, business and other fields using a mathematical approach, making the book suitable for students and professionals seeking a solid understanding of game theory.

A review by Yumiko Baba “This is a great textbook for intermediate game theory. Balance of the Balances theory and practical applications are incredible. Everyone, I mean those who would like to follow a mathematical approach and those who only use game theory for daily practical problems and do not like math, can fully enjoy this book”.

2. A Course in Game Theory by Martin J. Osborne and Ariel Rubinstein

The authors begin with the basics, introducing strategic and extensive-form games where players make decisions based on their understanding of others’ choices.

This book explores various game forms, including repeated games, shedding light on how strategies evolve. The authors of this book assume that you are no longer a novice in game theory, which means that this book might not be suitable for beginners.

This book states the requirements for each player: each player’s action should be optimal and there is room for the possibility of slight mistakes. This book strikes a balance between theory and application, offering practical insights into decision-making in economics, political science and other fields.

3. Theory Of Games And Economic Behavior by John Von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, 1944

The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior is a foundational book that explains game theory as a discipline. It teaches the reader how to use mathematical methods in rational decision-making under uncertainty, politics, strategic planning, and economics.

The authors introduced concepts such as utility theory, equilibrium and dominance to the analysis of games. This book is recommended for anyone who wants to gain a foundation in game theory in different spheres of life and also understand human relations and predict consequences in difficult social systems.

4. Game Theory and Strategy by Philip D. Straffin

This book is applicable to a wide variety of disciplines. It analyzes the fundamentals of game theory, which include strategic decision-making and Nash equilibrium. It gives insight into how individuals make decisions in complex and competitive situations.

This book is an introduction to the fundamental process of mathematical modeling as well as axiomatic mathematical thinking.

5. Learn Game Theory By Albert Rutherford

Are you battling with making the right decision and solving problems? Learn Game Theory is the perfect book to guide you into making the right decisions and solving problems with ease by using logic and reason.

Furthermore, it’s always assumed that humans are not always logical.  However, this book will teach you how to deal with the qualities that are unique to human experiences and also how to deal with your fellow humans, whether in politics, business or relationships.

A review of Learn Game Theory by SB says, “ The book is a mixture of everyday applications of game theory to large-scale applications, and having both of these is extremely helpful. The math gives the reader a sense of how calculations are made, again broken down step by step.

Learn game theory presents classic examples such as the prisoner’s dilemma and stag hunt but it also dives deep into other, less-known examples. It’s heavily focused on the utility of the Nash equilibrium, illustrating it through pure and mixed strategies… ”

6. The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff

The first chapter of this book, “Ten Tales of Strategy” gives a clear summary of this book. A few of these strategies include prisoners’ dilemmas, dominant strategy, the art of backward reasoning, and lots more.

This book provides decision-makers with methods on how to make decisions based on this opponent’s decision. For instance, it entails putting oneself in another person’s shoes to predict their moves and strategies yours.

7. Game Theory 101–The Complete Textbook by Williams Spaniel 2011

Another good book on game theory is Game Theory 101. This book provides a practice application that makes it accessible to both beginners and experts.

A review by James W. Picht “This book is a good, non-technical introduction to game theory. I’ve used it at the beginning of an introductory game theory course to give students an easy immersion into the subject”.

Final words

After reading through this article, you will make a great pick for a good book on game theory that will give you a sound understanding of decision-making dynamics and a real-world application of them.




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