What Is a OneShot Game Theory?


Jane Flores

Are you familiar with the term ‘OneShot Game Theory’? If not, then this article is for you!

OneShot Game Theory is a concept in game theory that refers to a game where each player has only one opportunity to make a move. This makes the outcome of the game highly unpredictable, as there is no room for trial and error.

Understanding OneShot Game Theory

In OneShot Game Theory, players have to make their decisions based on what they think their opponents will do. There is no chance to learn from previous moves or adjust strategies mid-game. This makes it a challenging and exciting form of game theory.

Examples of OneShot Games

One example of a OneShot Game is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In this game, two criminals are arrested and questioned separately.

They are given an option to either cooperate with each other and remain silent or betray their partner by confessing. The outcome of their decision determines their sentence.

Another example of a OneShot Game is the Ultimatum Game. In this game, one player is given an amount of money and must offer a portion of it to another player.

If the second player accepts the offer, both players keep their respective portions. However, if the second player rejects the offer, neither player gets any money.

Strategies in OneShot Games

Since there is only one opportunity to make a move in a OneShot Game, players often rely on heuristics or rules of thumb when making decisions. Some common strategies include:

  • Tit-for-tat: This strategy involves copying whatever your opponent does in previous rounds.
  • Random: Players can choose to make random moves to throw off their opponents.
  • Punishment: Players can choose to punish their opponents by making a move that harms them, regardless of whether it benefits themselves.


OneShot Game Theory is an intriguing concept that adds an element of unpredictability to games. Players have to rely on their intuition and knowledge of their opponents to make decisions that will lead to a favorable outcome. Understanding this concept can help you improve your decision-making skills in all areas of life, not just in games.