How Do You Make a Game Tree in Game Theory?


Jane Flores

Game theory is a fundamental concept in the field of economics and it is used to analyze decision-making in situations where multiple players are involved. A game tree is one of the essential tools used to illustrate a game theory problem.

It is a graphical representation of all possible outcomes of a game, including the decisions made by each player. In this article, we will explore how to make a game tree in game theory.

What is Game Theory?

Game theory is the study of mathematical models that describe the interaction between decision-makers, known as players, in strategic situations. The objective of this field is to understand how rational individuals make decisions and how these decisions affect others in the system.

What is a Game Tree?

A game tree is a visual representation of all possible outcomes of a game. It includes all possible decisions made by each player and tracks their progress through various stages until they reach an endpoint or outcome. A game tree can be used to analyze different strategies for each player and determine which strategy will lead to the best outcome for each player.

How to Create a Game Tree

Creating a game tree involves several steps:

Step 1: Define Your Game

The first step in creating a game tree is defining your game. This involves identifying the players, their objectives, and the rules that govern their interactions.

Step 2: Identify All Possible Actions

Once you have defined your game, you need to identify all possible actions that each player can take at each stage of the game. These actions should be listed on separate branches from which other branches can derive.

Step 3: Assign Payoffs

After identifying all possible actions, you need to assign payoffs or rewards for each outcome at every stage. These payoffs represent the benefits or costs associated with each decision and are used to determine the optimal strategy for each player.

Step 4: Draw the Game Tree

With all possible actions and payoffs identified, you can now draw the game tree. Start with a single node representing the initial state of the game.

Then, draw branches from this node to represent all possible actions that can be taken by the players. Each branch should have a label indicating the action taken by the player.

Step 5: Add Chance Nodes

Some games involve elements of chance that affect the outcomes. In such cases, you need to add chance nodes to your game tree. These nodes represent random events that influence players’ decisions or outcomes.

Step 6: Analyze Your Game Tree

Once you have created your game tree, you can now analyze it to determine the best strategy for each player. This involves identifying all possible paths through which players can reach an endpoint and calculating their expected payoffs at each stage.


Creating a game tree is an essential tool in analyzing decision-making in situations where multiple players are involved. By following these steps outlined above, you can create a clear and concise representation of your game, identify all possible strategies for each player, and ultimately determine which strategy will lead to the best outcome for everyone involved.