mixed strategy

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In game theory, a strategy that is chosen with a randomizing device, by assigning a certain probability to each pure strategy. For example, in the children's game of handy-dandy, mentioned by Shakespeare in King Lear (I.iv.94), one player conceals a small object in one fist and the second player guesses left or right. The first player wins if the guess is wrong, and the second if it is right. Any player who chooses according to any deliberate procedure risks being outguessed by the opponent, and for both players, the game-theoretic solution is a randomized 50–50 mixed strategy that assigns equal probabilities to left and right. See also minimax theorem.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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