In game theory, a game in which a win for one player results in an equal but opposite loss for the other players. The theory of zero-sum games is very different from that of non-zero-sum games because an optimal solution can always be found.
In a two-person zero-sum game, the payoff to one player is the negative of that to the other. Many common card and board games, such as poker and chess are zero sum: one player wins, another loses. According to von Neumann's theory of games, every zero sum game has a value. Each player can guarantee himself or herself this value against any play of an opponent, and can prevent the other player from doing any better than this. The outcomes of a two-player zero-sum game can be shown in the form of a matrix in which one player corresponds to the rows and the other the columns. The entries in the matrix are the payoffs to the row player.
Related category GAMES AND PUZZLES
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