How Can I Learn Game Theory?


Diego Sanchez

Game theory is a fascinating field that plays a crucial role in various fields such as economics, political science, psychology, and more. It is the study of strategic decision-making, where one’s success depends on the choices made by others.

The principles of game theory can be applied to a wide range of scenarios, from understanding voting systems to analyzing the behavior of companies in a competitive market. If you’re interested in learning game theory, here are some steps you can take:

Step 1: Understand the Basics

The first step towards learning game theory is to understand its basic concepts. Game theory involves studying situations where multiple players make decisions that affect each other’s outcomes.

Each player has their own set of options, and their choice depends on what they think the other players will do. Some key terms you’ll come across include:

  • Players: The individuals or groups who are involved in the game.
  • Strategies: The courses of action available to each player.
  • Payoffs: The rewards or penalties associated with each outcome.

Step 2: Study Game Theory Textbooks

To truly master game theory, it’s important to dive deeper into its principles and theories. You can start by reading introductory textbooks on game theory such as “Game Theory 101” by William Spaniel or “Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction” by Ken Binmore. These books will provide you with a solid foundation in game theory and help you understand its applications.

Step 3: Take Online Courses

Online courses can be an excellent way to learn game theory at your own pace while receiving guidance from experts in the field. Platforms like Coursera and edX offer online courses on game theory taught by professors from top universities. These courses often include video lectures, quizzes, and assignments to help you apply what you’ve learned.

Step 4: Attend Workshops and Conferences

Attending workshops and conferences on game theory can be an excellent way to learn from experts in the field and network with other professionals. These events are often held by universities or organizations that specialize in game theory. Some popular conferences include the Game Theory Society Conference and the International Conference on Game Theory.

Step 5: Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any skill, learning game theory requires practice. You can start by working through problems in textbooks or online courses.

You can also try playing games that involve strategic decision-making, such as chess or poker. As you practice more, you’ll become more familiar with the principles of game theory and be able to apply them to real-world scenarios.


In conclusion, game theory is a fascinating field that has applications across multiple disciplines. By understanding its basic concepts and studying it through textbooks, online courses, workshops, and conferences while practicing regularly playing games involving strategic decision-making like chess or poker can help one learn game theory effectively. With enough dedication and practice, anyone can master the principles of game theory and apply them to real-world situations.