Gambling Tic-Tac-Toe

by Branden Stone

This is an interesting game that was created by Craig Huneke. As the title suggests, it is tic-tac-toe with a gambling component; you have to bid to play. Here are the rules:

1. Each person has a set amount of money, say $1000 each.
2. The players then bid for the next move.
3. The loser of the bidding gets to make the first bid on the next move.
4. The game is over when one player has three in a row.

Here is an example of how the game might be played:

  • Player 1 bids $500 and player 2 concedes.
  • Thus player 1 wins the turn and places an X on the center square.
  • Since player 2 lost the last bid, player 2 gets to make the initial bid on the second move.
  • Player 2 bids $100.
  • Player 1 counters with $200 and player 2 concedes again, allowing player 1 to place another X on the board.
  • Note, at this point player 1 has $300 an two X’s on the board while player 2 has $1000.
  • Player 2 now bids $301 three times in a row to win the game.

As one can see, a bidding system added to ordinary tic-tac-toe makes the game a little more dynamic.   An interesting exercise would be to determine the best strategy.

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