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Fun and Games: A Text on Game Theory [Hardcover]

K. G. Binmore
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 631 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (1 Feb 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0669246034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0669246032
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.9 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,064,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Game theory focuses on how groups of people interact, or "play the game" when making rational decisions. This includes all kinds of "games" and decisions, from how a group of friends play their hands in a poker game, to how drivers on a busy city street make their driving decisions, to the negotiation of a contract between a firm and labour union. Binmore's examination of the application of game theory is then applied to economics. In his highly anticipated second edition, Binmore brings his unique style and story-telling abilities to explore the many facets of the game theory field. Highlights of the new third edition include: - Greater emphasis on how game theory clarifies the basic economic assumption, covering both non-co-operative and co-operative bargaining theory - Brand new material on auctions and evolutionary biology --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 4,5 stars 15 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This is a well-written introductory book on game theory. The
theory is presented in 12 chapters (about 600 pages). It's
title is completely justified. The author manages to present
the various aspects of game theory in a well-written, fun to read way.
The author's vast teaching and research experience is reflected to the high quality of the book. It is suitable for
both undergraduate students who wish to learn basic things about
game theory and graduate students who use game theory in
research. It is a book whose audience is not restricted to
economists, but anyone may read it, since the necessary math
background is also provided.
The book starts from the game and its various forms definitions,
then presents lotteries, utility functions and payoffs. A
chapter is dedicated to bargaining. Much discussion on pure and
mixed strategies, Von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities, Nash and
subgame perfect equilibria is also provided. Then, repeated
games are introduced, the critical role of presence or absence
of full information and knowledge in such games is thoroughly
All this theory is presented in an easy to understand way. This
book's major contribution besides presenting a variety of game
theory topics in a solid and theoretically justified way is
that it teaches the reader how to apply the theory in
practise. It also contains much discussion on common fallacies
and misinterpretations on some of these issues, which is really
Last but not least, it contains a vast number of exercises at the
end of each chapter. I wish more emphasis and generic results on
zero-sum and repeated games had been provided by the author.
Nevertheless, it is a book that is worth buying and should be
read from cover to cover. This is an excellent introductory
book, a similar more advanced book is Fundenberg and Tirole's
Game Theory.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many words! 24 Jan 2005
This book tries to be too comical, and loses the reader in a tangle d web of words! If you are after a complete beginners guide to game theory (beginner from a mathematical, not game theoretic, point of view) then this book may be of use to you. However, if you are studying an undergraduate course in game theory delivered as part of a Maths degree then i recommend you look elsewhere - such as Osborne's 'A Course In Game Theory' - for more rigour.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wet your appetite for game theory 31 Oct 2003
By Some Fool - Published on
first, a note on ken binmore: he was involved in the model of a worldwide auction that did very well. subsequently, he has become very rich and probably will not write another edition of this book. his model was based on game theoretic concepts.
this book has a few features that i think everyone interested in it should know about.
1. this is not at all a mathematically rigorous treatment of game theory. the proofs are few and far between and leave something to be desired. e.g. the famous "minimax" theorem.
2. this book was given as a text for my undergraduate game theory class. there are some interesting problems, but many may be considered too easy for students of mathematics.
3. if you are a student of math, you should try the higher numbered problems for more of a challenge.
4. the author does not cover games of imperfect information.
5. the book is very easy to read. the explanations are very clear.
6. the author partions the book into parts relevant to economics-math-philosophy students. i would recommend reading all the sections.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stories, can be distracting 18 May 2000
By customer - Published on
Ken Binmore is an excellent story-teller. The book is an introduction to the mathematics of game theory with a wealth of examples that can distracting to a beginning student. Its weakest point is the discussion of equilibrium in mixed strategies in one breath with security strategies, which are the same concept only for zero-sum games but otherwise quite different. For streamlined mathematics and clarity, Roger Myerson's "Game Theory" is better. But every important concept of noncooperative games is there if you have the patience to sit back and read and enjoy.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reference for late entrant game theorists 31 Oct 2001
By Pranab Majumder - Published on
I find this book to be an excellent book to give me a complete idea of game theoretic concepts. I have to use them in my research, but have not had early training in it. This book, intended to be used as an undergraduate text, rounds out my analytic approach to the concepts with a number of examples and common problems in Game Theory.
It goes into quite advanced topics, such as evolutionary stability, and does not shy away from discussing cooperative game theory.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game theory with fun 22 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book is wonderful! It is true, learning game theory using this book IS fun. However, this does not mean that the book is easy. Sometimes it took me one our per page. The point is that game theory is taught properly.
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