Skip to content

How to wager in Final Jeopardy!: Part Three

October 3, 2013

Skip to Part: One | Two | Three | Four

In Part Three, we’re back to where we began: with three players. But I’m hoping that it’s a little less ominous now that we’ve worked through some of the basic strategy.

If you want some practice with this, I suggest looking through the categories daily analysis and wagering practice. Try the situations on your own and see if you match what I suggest!

The key to three-player wagering is simple: break the situation down into three two-player games. Start with first vs. second; then second vs. third; then first vs. third.

Let’s return to the example I showed you in Part One.

Tim Liz Jason 1

We calculated optimal wagers for Tim and Liz in Part One, but we’ll do it again here for a refresher.

First vs. second

Rule #1 says that Tim wants to cover an all-in wager by Liz. If Liz wagers everything and gets it right, she’ll have 22,000. To match this total, Tim will need to wager at least 7,800. So 7,800 is his minimum wager.

We now look at Liz, who should focus on what will happen should Tim answer incorrectly. A wrong response will put Tim at no more than 6,400. To stay at or above this total, Liz can wager no more than 4,600.

For Rule #3, at most one player can ever safely wager to be above a zero wager by the other. When it’s close, look at the trailer. If Tim wagers zero, he’ll have 14,200. To match this, Liz will need to wager at least 3,200.

Second vs. third

Liz wants to cover a double-up by Jason, who will have 15,200 in that event. To match this, Liz will need to wager at least 4,200. This supersedes her previous minimum of 3,200 – after all, if she’s wagering at least 4,200, she’s wagering at least 3,200.

Now for Jason. An incorrect response from Liz will leave her with 6,800. To stay above this, Jason can wager no more than 800.

Finally, for Rule #3. 3,400 separates our two players. Jason cannot wager 3,400, as that violates his maximum wager of 800; Liz already must wager between 4,200 and 4,600, so we ignore Rule #3 for her, too.

First vs. third

We know that Tim must wager 7,800 to cover Liz. If he gets it wrong, he’ll have at most 6,400. Jason can wager no more than 1,200 to stay above this total, but he is already limited to at most 800, so we’ll keep his maximum at 800.

We’re done! Tim should wager 7,800; Liz should wager between 4,200 and 4,600; and Jason should wager no more than 800.

Tim Liz Jason 2

How are you feeling? That’s a lot of math. But remember that you get as much time as you need to do the calculations, and even math wizards will want to check their work. It’s a lot of money to blow on a bad bit of addition or subtraction.

Let’s look at another example to keep the momentum going.

John Helen Barbara 1

As with last time, we’ll start with our top two players, John and Helen.

First vs. second

John wants to cover an all-in wager by Helen. Should Helen pull that off, she’ll have 27,600. To be at or above this total, John needs to wager at least 11,200.

Now for Helen, who wants to stay above John should he answer incorrectly. In that case, John will have 5,200. To be safe, Helen can wager no more than 8,600.

For Rule #3, since the scores are close, we’ll start with Helen. To match John’s total on a zero wager, Helen needs to wager at least 2,600.

Second vs. third

Helen wants to control her own destiny against Barbara. If Barbara doubles her total, she’ll have 18,000. To match this, Helen must wager at least 4,200. This becomes her new minimum wager.

We turn our attention to Barbara. If Helen wagers properly and gets it wrong, she’ll have 9,600. This is more than what Barbara has right now, so she’ll need to get it right and wager at least 600 to match this.

Where do we start with Rule #3? Let’s try Helen. The difference between the two scores is 4,800, so Helen can wager no more than this to stay above a zero wager by Barbara. This becomes her new maximum wager.

First vs. third

John is going to wager at least 11,200. If he gets it wrong, he will have 5,200. To stay at or above 5,200, Barbara can wager no more than 3,800. This becomes her maximum wager.

We’re all done! Here are the acceptable ranges.

John Helen Barbara 2

Skip to Part: One | Two | Three | Four

From → How to wager

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: