JEOPARDY! betting question

So let’s say you’re on the Trebek show and doing quite well. $200,in mind your current real-life financial situation, how would you choose to bet in each of the following situations?

  1. It’s your first day, and at the end of Diuble Jeopardy, it’s a runaway. You have $20,000, and the person second place has $9,600.
  2. Same conditions as #1, except it’s your fifth day, and you’ve amassed $100,000; you have not yet been assured of a place in the tournament of champions.
  3. Same conditions as #1, except it’s your tenth day as champion; you’ve amassed $200,000 already and assured yourself of a spot in that season’s tournament of champions.
  4. It’s your first day, and while you’re in first place at the end of Double Jeopardy, it’s not a runaway; you have $16,000, the person in second place has $9,600, the person in third place has $6,000. The final Jeopardy category is something you feel expert in. You have no idea whether the other contestants have any expertise in this subject.
  5. Same situation as #4, but the Final Jeopardy category is something you doubt you know anything about; your only hope is that the correct response can be logically derived from the phrasing of the question. From something the second-place contestant said during the interview segment, you suspect he is an expert in the category.
  6. Same situation as #5, but it’s the third place contestant you suspect in an expert in the FJ category.

What’s your bet?

In the first three, I would probably stand pat at $20,000, rather than risk losing any of it. An exception would be if I were an expert in the FJ category, and even then my wager would not be enough to pull a Cliffie.

In the others, the only chance I would have of winning would be to bet the maximum needed to surpass the contestant in second place, so I would almost certainly do that, regardless of how well I think I or the others know the FJ category. (Of course, I’d feel better about doing that if it were indeed something with which I’m familiar.)

If I were really, really an expert in the FJ category, I might be tempted to bet more, but then I’d look like real dork if I got the question wrong. :frowning:

  1. I bet $799, so I win even if I get the question wrong and the second place gets it right.
    2&3) I bet $799, unless it’s a subject I feel reasonably confident about, in which case I would bet more. I’m not sure how much, it would depend on the subject, and also how much money third place has.
  2. I’d bet at least $3201, so I could still beat 2nd place. I’d probably bet $10,000 if it’s something I really feel pretty confident about.
  3. I’d probably bet $3201, hoping that even though it’s a subject I don’t know much about, this would be the one solitary piece of knowledge about that subject I’d have. If second place didn’t seem like an expert, I might bet $0, but since I’m guessing second place will bet it all, I have to at least try to beat him.
  4. This one is harder. I’d bet less than $4000, since that way I’ll at least stay above 3rd place. I’d probably bet $3201, since I’ll still be the winner then unless I get it wrong and 2nd gets it right and bets at least $3200.

1&2. $799 - Make sure I win.

  1. Double or nothing on the $20K

  2. $3201 - Try to win.

5.&6. $0 - Try not to lose.

I would always bet to maximize my winnings in a run-away. Even seemingly hard categories end up being trivial (and vice versa). And I’m pretty sure my overall FJ win rate is well above 50%.

I would always bet to guarantee a win if I’m right in a non-runaway (see above). I could live with getting knocked out missing a question, but not getting knocked out after getting one right.

The harder decisions are when you’re in second and you need to weigh catching the leader if they are right against not getting passed by third place if you are wrong. I’d definitely have to study up on all that if I ever get on the show.

Always bet it all. It makes for good TV, and you wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a high probability you’ll get the question right. The only exception is if you know you suck at the category and/or you have an insurmountable lead.

Ask on You’ll get more feedback than you can handle. :slight_smile:

  1. Stand pat.
  2. $799. It’s not worth as much when I have $100,000
  3. $20,000. Might as well. I’m probably tired of playing.

4-6. just above $32,000, enough to win if I get it right. I might go slightly higher if I think I know the question, but by no more than a few hundred.

Speaking of “a Cliffie,” what would have been the correct question for that answer (I never saw the episode, and I don’t know if the other contestants answered it correctly)?

The final Jeopardy answer was “Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz and Lucille LeSueur”, those are the real names of Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, and Joan Crawford.

The other contestants didn’t get it either. Here’s the video.

'k thanks.

I thought it might be something along the lines of “what were the birth names of three actors in the film Operation Petticoat?”

A lot of things would have worked there, it just needed to be something unrelated to the Post Office, Florida, and the other select areas where Cliff actually knew something. It was a brilliant episode.

I didn’t get the bit where Alex should have have any trouble explaining why Cliff’s answer was wrong (his kitchen and its non-visitors have nothing to do with the category of “MOVIES”), you know, except to give Cliffy an opportunity for that amusing meltdown.

$799. Or $0, depending just how much I trusted my head math at that moment. I win, whether I get it right or wrong.

See above.

See above. Always play to win.

Go for broke. I can’t guarantee a win and the difference between first and second isn’t really enough to justify playing safe in this situation. But, since there’s a good chance I’ll get it right, I bet to win (and maximize my winnings) if everyone gets it.

These two are harder. Probably $3999 in both cases. This is a situation where I’d feel justified going for second place, and that bet would also allow me to get first place if I got it right (beating the second place contestant by 799 if they get it right), or if the second place contestant and I both get it wrong, regardless of how 3rd place does.

Actually, know what? No. I know myself. I’d go with 700 and 3900. My brain just prefers round numbers, and the 99 would bug me.

It depends on my own knowledge of the subject. If the category is “physics”, then I’m betting the maximum allowed, in every circumstance, because to do otherwise is to just leave money on the table. If it’s “contemporary rap musicians”, then I’m betting zero, because I don’t like burning dollar bills. Of course, somewhere in between those extremes, it’ll depend on what the other players have.

I’m sorry, you did not phrase your response in the form of a question. Security!

  1. I would bet $800, enabling the second place person to tie me should he bet it all and get it correct and I get it wrong.

  2. Same as #1

  3. Same as #1

  4. I would bet $3200, so that if I got it correct, the second place person could tie me if he got it correct and bet it all.

  5. Same as #4. I know the second guy will get it right and likely pass me unless I bet something and win.

  6. Same as #4. I make my bets on the #2 guy, not the #3 guy.

I don’t like the “win by a dollar” ploy. In he first scenario, allowing him to tie would give us both $19,200 and come back the next day. If I’m an ass and play to win by a buck, then he only gets $2000 and can’t come back. So I’ve cost him $17,200 plus a chance to come back the next day and get at least $1000, just so I can be a dick. Not only that, allowing him to tie me means that the next day I have one opponent I know I can beat as opposed to two unknowns.

But you also have an opponent who has a game’s worth of experience and might be starting to get a handle on Alex’s reading style and the timing of when to ring in, as opposed to facing two utter newbies.

Always bet it all unless it’s a runaway,then enough to be $1 ahead of second place if you’re wrong and they’re right. In final if you beat second by a dollar when you are both right and they bet it all you have basically let money lay on the sidewalk as you stepped over it. Not to mention it’s kinda like naner naner nanering the other players.