Jeopardy: is Daily Double hunting "dishonorable"?

David, the current Jeopardy champion, is one of the first to have a run of more than three or so days since Ken Jennings. However, many people, especially those on Television Without Pity, have come to hate him. A lot of this comes from being irritated by personal habits, and by a perception that he’s arrogant or smug. These I can understand; he has a few qualities about him that annoy me a lot too.

There is, however, also dislike of his strategy, which is, instead of starting at the lowest amount question on a category and working downards, of going instead for the second to the highest or middle one immediately, in an evident attempt to find Daily Doubles before his opponents. When he does, he often further infuriates a lot of people by wagering low amounts, no matter what his lead.

Some have called this style of play “mean-spirited” for doing so “just to keep anyone else from getting [the Daily Doubles],” “without honor,” and that he’s “hurting” other people’s play and “making everyone work harder,” since categories often set up a pattern with the earliest question.

My POV is: so the hell what? If it helps him, and it seems to have, why shouldn’t he be doing this, especially since he’s apparently not bothered with it and others are. The only reason he’s not “supposed” to do what he does is because people rarely do it. And how is that his problem? True, it robs some enjoyment from viewers, but that’s the producers’ problem, not his; they could easily add a rule forbidding that strategy if they wanted to (and if they felt it hurt ratings, they would, in a heartbeat). There’s a lot about David that’s annoying, maybe even smug, but I feel this criticism of his strategy is just a case of his personality coloring everything he does badly, deservedly or not.

Whaddya all think?

It’s a great strategy. More power to him.

what monkey said

What is…no?

The WWF found out long ago that “heels” make for good ratings. Sure, the strategy is more optimal – he is lowering his own risk and simultaneously draining the pot of available points. The more of a cutthroat asshole this guy is, the sweeter it will be when someone more likeable runs the board, small-to-large, left-to-right, never letting him get a buzz in edgewise.

This guy will give Jeopardy! fans something to talk about in the absence of His Majesty Ken “the Buzzer” Jennings. See? It’s working.

I haven’t watched Jeopardy in over a decade. Even then it was computerized. Are you saying that they haven’t figured out how to randomize the daily double placement? Wasn’t it randomized even then?

Or are you saying that it appears that this guy is “hunting” for daily doubles and it is the appearance that makes him look like a tool? Has he stated he’s a hunter? If so, doesn’t that just make him look like an idiot, regardless of his winnings?

There’s nothing wrong with playing offense AND defense.

If the other players can’t beat the guy, they don’t deserve to win, period. It’s not like they don’t have the same chance to answer every question, and if they did that, they could get the Daily Doubles instead.

I can understand why people don’t like his style. He’s looking to take the drama out of the game. But that’s the way it works.

It’s randomized, but it’s usually at the bottom of the board and rarely or never higher than the third row ($600/$1200) up.

NOT randomized then. How can it be if out of what? 30 squares or however many it is, it (the daily double) shows up in a certain pattern over x number of years?

Don’t mean to be dense, but I really don’t get this. I understand the if they get the daily double they bet low to minimize risk = less drama thing but the finding the daily double part! It is either random or it isn’t and if it isn’t that is the producer’s fault and kudos to the player that takes advantage until they fix it.

Please ignore bad grammar and parse for content, thank you.

Without honor?! WTF?

It’s a game to win money. Whenever money is involved at the end of the day, honor goes out the window. Furthermore, it’s a brilliant strategy. It probably makes it harder for his opponents to go on a run in a category (as you said, there is a pattern sometimes).

More power to him.

**Jeopardy: is Daily Double hunting “dishonorable”? **

Nope, you do whatever it takes to win as long as it is within the rules. But I can’t stand the current champ; I can’t cheer for someone who exudes smirkiness. Another thing I notice that he does is that he picks the low money answers when he gets far ahead. That’s a smart tactic because it prevents the other contestants from catching up quickly.

There are six categories and if you stick to the bottom two rows, that’s only 12 possible locations. You’re right, randomized is the wrong word. It follows a pattern, and it’s not like this David guy figured out something nobody knew or found a flaw in the game. He’s just using the system to his advantage.

And nobody used this knowledge before?

Thank you Marley23for trying to help but this makes no sense to me.

Jeepers, check out threadthis (which made my head implode!!). If the “obvious to ME and I’m a moron cheat” hasn’t been used before why haven’t greedy mathematicians been all over this game?

Garrrh!! Coding Baaad !! Fire Baaad !!

Maybe not this often or successfully. I’ve seen players start categories at the middle row before.

If you ask me, it’s only dishonorable if the other players don’t have a chance to do it. If all three players started “daily double hunting” it would make the game less interesting, but perfectly fair.


Most people don’t want to get the Daily Doubles until they’ve built up a significant amount to wager…i.e., as late as possible in the game.

This sounds like the infamous Michael Larsen case. He noticed something about the way the game works, and figured out how to use that to his advantage. The producers may get mad, and what they do is their choice. But it’s not cheating unless and until there’s a rule against it.