Friday, February 1, 2013

Game Theory and Quibids

Game Theory and Quibids

If you want to win on Quibids or really any penny auction you will benefit from understanding game theory.

So What is Game Theory - First I must explain that Game theory is a blanket term that covers a lot of ground in many different subjects. As are main focus is Quibids and other penny auction sites we will be looking at non cooperative game theory. Non cooperative game theory deals largely with how intelligent individuals interact with one another in an effort to achieve their own goals but there ability to achieving that goal is directly connected to there competition who also wants to achieve there own goal.

Penny Auctions are a great example of non cooperative game theory so we will use it as the example here.

Here is the game

There are 5 people that want to win the new Ipad.
Each person only has one opportunity to place one bid
The auction will last only 10 sec but if a bid is placed the auction timer will reset to 10 sec
If the timer runs out the last person who placed a bid wins the Ipad.

This creates two dilemma. If you place a bid you will be out of bids and if any one out bids you you will lose. But if you try to wait and see if anyone else bids there is the chance everyone might be doing the same thing and the auction might end anyways and you will lose. So what do you do?

This dilemma is the heart and soul of penny auctions like Quibids. The difference  between this game and the real auctions on Quibids is that everyone will have different amounts of bids and the number of players are not set and can change though out the auction.

In the real version of Quibids

What are the goals?

To win the auction
To use as few bids as possible or to not run out of bids

What are the unknown variables

Whether or not some one will bid against your bid.
Whether or not some one will bid against your competitors bids.
How many bids each person has.
How many people are playing.

What you do know to be true?

If the timer runs out with out you as the top bidder you lose
How many bids you are willing to use.

The two dilemmas I talk about above can be broken down in Game theory as  the Prisoners Dilemma and the Volunteers Dilemma. I will be writing an explanation of both in a future post here at and will add links to this page when I do.

So the question is how can we take these social dilemmas into account in order to create better strategies for winning on penny auctions.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below!!!


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1 comment:

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