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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Game Theory by Edward Rosenthal, Ph.D., Edward C. Rosenthal

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Why Study Repeated Games

Consider one of the many games in this book, like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, Stag Hunt, or the Coordination game. What you’ve learned thus far is how to best play these games when you confront them. Now suppose you have to play one of these games twice in a row. So what? At first glance, it would seem that the best strategy when playing the game twice is simply to repeat the same strategy.
Stepping back for a minute, though, isn’t it possible that you would want to employ a certain strategy in the first game so as to influence how your opponent plays the second time around? And if the game is repeated many times, not just twice, it is easy to imagine developing patterns of play—threats and rewards—that are designed to ...

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