What Math Do You Need for Game Theory?


Diego Sanchez

Game theory is a fascinating field that has applications in economics, political science, and even biology. It involves mathematical models that describe how individuals or groups make decisions based on their goals and the actions of others.

If you’re interested in studying game theory, you may be wondering what math skills are necessary to succeed in this field. In this article, we’ll explore the math you need for game theory.

Basic Algebra

At a minimum, you’ll need a solid foundation in basic algebra. This includes understanding how to solve equations for unknown variables, manipulating expressions using the distributive property and combining like terms, and simplifying fractions. You’ll also need to be comfortable working with exponents and radicals.


Calculus is another essential component of game theory. You’ll need to understand limits, derivatives, and integrals to analyze functions that describe decision-making processes.

In particular, optimization problems are common in game theory and require knowledge of calculus to solve. Being able to find maxima or minima of a function will be crucial when analyzing games.

Linear Algebra

Linear algebra is another important area of math for game theory. It involves studying systems of linear equations and matrices. You’ll use linear algebra to solve systems of equations that arise when analyzing games with multiple players or strategies.

Probability Theory

Probability is also an important area of math for game theory. You’ll need to understand basic concepts such as probability distributions, conditional probabilities, and expected values. Probability plays a key role in understanding how players make decisions based on incomplete information.

Graph Theory

Finally, graph theory is another area of math that’s useful for game theory. Graphs are used to represent games where players interact with each other indirectly through other players or events. Graphs can help visualize complex interactions between players and can be used to find optimal strategies or equilibria in certain types of games.


In summary, game theory requires a strong foundation in algebra, calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, and graph theory. By mastering these topics, you’ll be able to analyze games and make predictions about how players will behave in different situations. Game theory is a fascinating field that has applications in many areas of life, so if you’re interested in math and strategy, it’s definitely worth exploring further.