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Common Final Jeopardy! misconceptions

September 12, 2013

“Teach me the tricks!” you insist. And I will – don’t worry.

But I’ve had enough questions about the basics of Final Jeopardy! that we should make sure we’re all on the same page first.

 Final Jeopardy 20130327 Slide1
 Final Jeopardy 20130327 Slide2 Rule #1: The leader always wagers to win
Tom looks to guarantee himself a victory if he’s right. Ryan can have, at most, 31,800 (if he wagers everything and gets it correct). This means Tom will need to wager at least 11,800 to tie this total
 Final Jeopardy 20130327 Slide3 Rule #2: The trailer positions himself to win if the leader gets it wrong
Ryan can’t assume Tom will bet for the tie, so he looks at what happens if Tom gets it wrong and wagers properly. In this case, he’ll have at most 8,200. To stay at or above this total, Ryan must wager no more than 7,700.
 Final Jeopardy 20130327 Slide4 Rule #3: If safe, each player covers a zero wager by the other
If he’s uncomfortable with the category, Tom might wager zero, hoping for a miss or a small wager by Ryan. To account for this situation, Ryan would need to wager at least 4,100 to match or beat Tom’s pre-FJ! total. This works with his maximum wager of 7,700.
Final Jeopardy 20130327 Slide5 To maximize his chances of returning the next day, Tom should wager 11,800. Ryan should wager between 4,100 and 7,700.

From → The basics

2 Comments
  1. dhkendall permalink

    But what if you are Pat? (And I fully expect that if The Powers That Be ever lost their mind and invited me on the show, I’d be Pat.)

    • Pat will be locked out with proper wagering by Ryan – but this was intended to be a simple introduction for two players. 🙂

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