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The Closing Wager – two-day total-point Jeopardy! finals



Jeopardy! College Champion Keith Williams shows you how to calculate the proper wagers in Final Jeopardy! in the concluding game of a multiple-day match (such as in the second game the two-day finals of a typical tournament).

Examples are drawn from the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions match between Jerome Vered, Frank Spangenberg, and Pam Mueller, and from Keith’s own College Championship finals.

Improper wagering in Final Jeopardy! has cost countless players. In this series, Keith explains how to calculate the correct wager with as little math as possible.

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One Comment

  1. The zero wager by Jerome really seems like a mistake to me. He really had no reason not to bet the 601 to cover the possibility that Frank might be thinking, "This final category is a tough one for me, so I better hope everyone misses and I'll just bet zero in case they do."  That's what I think is missing from all of these final wager videos: how often do players bet based on their knowledge of the category. Now the competitors can't necessarily know how confident another bettor is, but what we need to study beyond the game theory is the stats of the actual games. How often historically do 2nd and 3rd bet everything while completely ignoring a wise bet. Haven't we seen 1st place make a safe bet based on game theory only to lose for not covering? If 1st has a good feeling about the category and 2nd & 3rd are close, 1st should cover a 2nd place all-in bet. But if 1st is highly unsure about the category, that's the only time 1st should consider gaming the final wager. 2nd should always game the final wager, but should almost always cover 3rd.

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