If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

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Assume you have $8400, it's your first game, and it's a strong category for you

Go for it - bet $8399!
29
41%
Bet $1600 for the round number (or less)
21
30%
Bet something in between
21
30%
 
Total votes: 71

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schoe
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If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by schoe »

Say you made it to FJ alone with both your opponents finishing in the red. The category comes up as one of your strengths, maybe even a wheelhouse (although, of course, a wheelhouse category might not lead to a wheelhouse clue). Do you bet all but $1 to try to maximize your winnings, with the flip side being that if you get it wrong, not only have you maximized your losses, you will have the ignominy of being only the second $1 champ in history and the poster child on the articles on the interwebs for what might be the worst game of J! ever played? Or do you hedge, possibly leaving money on the table? What's your appetite for risk and reward? (If it matters, let's say you are not a returning champ, so this is your first night out.)

Edited to add a poll:
Last edited by schoe on Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Creed Bratton »

I think it totally depends on the category. If you think you have over a 50% chance of getting it right, go for it!

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by BobF »

I'd be more likely to do it if I had won a game already. Let's look at Kristin's game as an example. She had $8400. If that was my first game, I'd think "either I can go home with $9400 guaranteed by betting 0, or make a big bet and risk going home with possibly as little as $1001".

If I had already won some cash, I'd be way more likely to go for it.
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Bamaman »

BobF wrote:I'd be more likely to do it if I had won a game already. Let's look at Kristin's game as an example. She had $8400. If that was my first game, I'd think "either I can go home with $9400 guaranteed by betting 0, or make a big bet and risk going home with possibly as little as $1001".

If I had already won some cash, I'd be way more likely to go for it.
Same here. The more I have won (and Kristen hadn't banked that much cash yet(, the more likely I am to bet big. I'd only do it if I really like the category, however. Yeah, it would suck to win with $1, but you would cement your place in Jeopardy! history if you did.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by cinemaniax7 »

I would be more likely to leave myself a thousand or two, but I would definitely be inclined to bet most of my money for a shot to maximize my winnings.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Spaceman Spiff »

It would depend upon:

(a) the category, and

(b) how many games I'd previously won. If it was my first game and I did that and got it wrong, I might end up going home with $1001 total over two games. If I'd won a couple, I might be more tempted to go for it all.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by skullturf »

If I had already won two or more games (or one big game), I'd be more likely to go for it.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by jjwaymee »

My own personal view is that FJ! is much more of a means to an end than it is an effective way to make money. Strictly by the historical numbers, you have about a 50% chance of getting it right. When you are facing one or more opponents, you would almost always wager just enough to maximize you chances of winning, and no less or no more.

I'd bet $0 if it was in my first game and maybe ~20% or less of my total is I was already the champ. At that point in this thought experiment, it's real money to me.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Golf »

BobF wrote:I'd be more likely to do it if I had won a game already.

If I had already won some cash, I'd be way more likely to go for it.
Bamaman wrote:Same here. The more I have won (and Kristen hadn't banked that much cash yet(, the more likely I am to bet big. I'd only do it if I really like the category, however. Yeah, it would suck to win with $1, but you would cement your place in Jeopardy! history if you did.
Spaceman Spiff wrote:It would depend upon:

(b) how many games I'd previously won. If it was my first game and I did that and got it wrong, I might end up going home with $1001 total over two games. If I'd won a couple, I might be more tempted to go for it all.
skullturf wrote:If I had already won two or more games (or one big game), I'd be more likely to go for it.
jjwaymee wrote:I'd bet $0 if it was in my first game and maybe ~20% or less of my total is I was already the champ. At that point in this thought experiment, it's real money to me.
You guys cannot be serious. Do you not realize it's real money no matter how many games you've won? The number of games means absolutely nothing. You still strive to make the correct decision each and every time. And if you're honestly concerned about what random idiots on social media think while you're making your wager, you shouldn't be there in the first place.

How can you not bet all but $1 in your dream category? My head hurts just reading that.
Last edited by Golf on Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by nightreign »

Spaceman Spiff wrote:It would depend upon:

(a) the category, and

(b) how many games I'd previously won. If it was my first game and I did that and got it wrong, I might end up going home with $1001 total over two games. If I'd won a couple, I might be more tempted to go for it all.
This. I'm also not of the opinion that there are only two options here. If I got the American Revolution, I might go for it (actually, I'd probably leave a thousand or so). If it was 1980s Sports Teams, I'd definitely bet 0. If it was Science, I'd probably go somewhere in between.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by mystcmage »

I would bet either $0 or everything but $1 with nothing in between.
As a former poker player who plays trivia with other poker players, if I did not maximize my EV, I'd be much more likely to get criticism from them than anyone else.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by jeff6286 »

Golf wrote:
BobF wrote:I'd be more likely to do it if I had won a game already.

If I had already won some cash, I'd be way more likely to go for it.
Bamaman wrote:Same here. The more I have won (and Kristen hadn't banked that much cash yet(, the more likely I am to bet big. I'd only do it if I really like the category, however. Yeah, it would suck to win with $1, but you would cement your place in Jeopardy! history if you did.
Spaceman Spiff wrote:It would depend upon:

(b) how many games I'd previously won. If it was my first game and I did that and got it wrong, I might end up going home with $1001 total over two games. If I'd won a couple, I might be more tempted to go for it all.
skullturf wrote:If I had already won two or more games (or one big game), I'd be more likely to go for it.
jjwaymee wrote:I'd bet $0 if it was in my first game and maybe ~20% or less of my total is I was already the champ. At that point in this thought experiment, it's real money to me.
You guys cannot be serious. Do you not realize it's real money no matter how many games you've won? The number of games means absolutely nothing. You still strive to make the correct decision each and every time. And if you're honestly concerned about what random idiots on social media think while you're making your wager, you shouldn't be there in the first place.

How can you not bet all but $1 in your dream category? My head hurts just reading that.
I don't see the words "dream category" in any of the posts you quoted. The OP did say a strong category, maybe a wheelhouse, but that doesn't mean all of the posters were responding as if this were the case. Obviously the category being super strong or super weak is going to change people's answers to this question, but the vast majority of time, it's going to be somewhere in between.

I think the question of how many games you have won so far is a valid, if it's your first game and you threw away $12,000, you could wind up going into debt by going on Jeopardy, if you end up not winning enough to even pay for your travel. Each player has to make their own decision. It's like standing in line at the gas station and telling every person who buys a Powerball ticket that they are not maximizing their odds of winning if They don't spend all the money in their wallet on tickets.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by kristinsausville »

Nope.

Well, you guys knew that. :lol:

The only time I'd ever even think about it was if I had won enough games previously to have a ToC slot more or less ensured. Wouldn't it be terrible to win enough games to be in the running but to have run the risk of setting all but $1 on fire and missing out based on amount won?
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by jjwaymee »

Golf wrote: You guys cannot be serious. Do you not realize it's real money no matter how many games you've won? The number of games means absolutely nothing. You still strive to make the correct decision each and every time. And if you're honestly concerned about what random idiots on social media think while you're making your wager, you shouldn't be there in the first place.

How can you not bet all but $1 in your dream category? My head hurts just reading that.
I mentioned that the historical success rate of FJ! is ~50%. Did you miss that part? If I had, let's say, $8400 in hand I would be very reluctant to wager all but a buck on a coin flip.

Now I realize that we live in the enclave of J!Board Wobegon and we are all above average and there is probably actually a greater chance than 50% of getting it right and maybe OMG ITS MY DREAM CATEGORY, but my point remains valid. It's the toughest clue of the game. I may not win tomorrow. I'd like to leave with *some* money to show for my 15 minutes of fame. You will just have to agree to disagree.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Caboom »

Golf wrote:You guys cannot be serious. Do you not realize it's real money no matter how many games you've won? The number of games means absolutely nothing. You still strive to make the correct decision each and every time. And if you're honestly concerned about what random idiots on social media think while you're making your wager, you shouldn't be there in the first place.

How can you not bet all but $1 in your dream category? My head hurts just reading that.
I think everyone realizes it's real money, and that's exactly the reason for not betting everything, even if it would maximize your EV. What you fail to realize, is that the additional value of money decreases as the sums get bigger. Winning 10k is less beneficial for a billionaire than it is for a normal person. Winning the first 10k is a more beneficial than winning (or losing) 10k once you've already won 40k. Going from zero to one million is huge compared to going from one million to two million.

Therefore betting a small amount can be perfectly rational in situations where you think you have a slightly bigger than 50 % chance of getting it right, because winning additional money would be less beneficial in your life situation compared to keeping the money you've already got.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by BobF »

kristinsausville wrote:Nope.

Well, you guys knew that. :lol:

The only time I'd ever even think about it was if I had won enough games previously to have a ToC slot more or less ensured. Wouldn't it be terrible to win enough games to be in the running but to have run the risk of setting all but $1 on fire and missing out based on amount won?
That angle never occurred to me. However, you could also blow a TOC slot by NOT betting enough on a category that you are really strong in.

To the guy that basically said I was nuts (Golf), read what Jeff6286 wrote about going into debt to be on Jeopardy! I'm on the east coast, and if I have to guarantee I cover my expenses, I'm certainly going to do that. But, if it's game number two and the category is "NFL (or MLB) Franchise relocations", I'm betting all but a dollar.
Last edited by BobF on Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by jeff6286 »

kristinsausville wrote:Nope.

Well, you guys knew that. :lol:

The only time I'd ever even think about it was if I had won enough games previously to have a ToC slot more or less ensured. Wouldn't it be terrible to win enough games to be in the running but to have run the risk of setting all but $1 on fire and missing out based on amount won?
The corollary to that would be if you got FJ right and didn't bet big, you could fall short of the TOC by a few thousand dollars which you could've bet in that game. If the category is neither strong nor weak for you, and you consider yourself roughly a 50% FJ player, then there is no perfect answer to this. Either way you go you're leaving dollars on the table one direction or the other since you don't know if you're going to be right or wrong. Most of us do not know what the correct decision is going to be, since to many people that are not Golf, every decision is not black or white.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by triviawayne »

The OP said it is in my wheelhouse and one of my strengths, so yeah, I'd bet all but $1; doesn't matter if I go into FJ with $5,000 or $50,000.
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Spaceman Spiff »

Golf wrote:How can you not bet all but $1 in your dream category? My head hurts just reading that.
Well, I'll give you a sort of similar situation on my first game. I got a DD in DJ in "Opera," which is dang near the closest thing to a dream category for me, and I was tempted to do a Roger Craig and bet it all; but I realized if I did and got it wrong, I wouldn't have a chance to recover (I bet the standard $2000 instead). Turns out the "Opera" question was a disguised English history question, and I got flustered by the misdirect and froze, giving a wrong answer.

Dream categories can turn into nightmares. Always remember that!

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by zakharov »

Golf wrote: You guys cannot be serious. Do you not realize it's real money no matter how many games you've won? The number of games means absolutely nothing. You still strive to make the correct decision each and every time. And if you're honestly concerned about what random idiots on social media think while you're making your wager, you shouldn't be there in the first place.

How can you not bet all but $1 in your dream category? My head hurts just reading that.
People aren't robots. Non-Watson players likely place some non-specified value on not becoming infamous as a $1 winner, or on bragging rights for winning a certain number of games. This influences what they perceive to be the "correct" decision. I'm thinking here of Terry O'Shea, who made a bet that made sense to her based on non-mathematical reasoning, and she was happy with it.

I realize you don't think this way, but not everyone approaches the Jeopardy experience in the Golf-approved manner.
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