“I think he has a good shot in ~ beating Ken Jennings’s in its entirety earnings, however I don’t watch him winning anywhere near the 74 consecutive games Jennings won.”


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James Holzhauer explains the Strategy Behind His Jeopardy win Streak

The Jeopardy contestant James Holzhauer has now won 18 continually games and also earned an ext than $1.3 million—and he’s outperforming the 2004 Jeopardy legend Ken Jennings in giving correct responses. Critical week, Joe Pinsker created that three things offer the seemingly unstoppable contestant one advantage: a deep understanding of trivia, the speed of his recall, and also a mind because that strategy.

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As a former five-time Jeopardy champ in Season 1, i am very surprised that no one has embraced Holzhauer’s “maximize your winnings every show” strategy until now. Ns think a lot of future contestants will most likely do so.

Two factors affect your winnings on Jeopardy: her winnings per show, and also how plenty of shows you win. If you try to maximize one, girlfriend will lower the other. This is since winnings per display is primarily dependent on a Daily twin strategy. If you room the best of the 3 players, betting huge will rise your supposed winnings for the episode, due to the fact that you’ll generally gain the answer right; however, it will decrease your opportunity of winning the game—and enabling you to play more games—because betting huge and missing will occupational in favor of her opponents. If you gambling small, you’ll boost your chance of to win the game, but decrease your supposed winnings.

When I competed on the show—and because that many, countless years after—there to be an top limit of 5 games and/or $75,000 in winnings. The values on the plank were half of what they are now. As a result, the best strategy because that the superior player—especially if you had a decent lead at the moment you struggle the day-to-day Double—was to bet little and maximize the possibility to success each game. That’s what i did, and I had five solid wins and earned almost $55,000 (which would certainly be at the very least $120,000 today). Betting big would have actually only raised my winnings somewhat, and also I would certainly have had to risk shedding a game, which was no worth it.

That’s what just about everyone did for years thereafter, including Ken Jennings in his 74-game streak. But due to the fact that Jeopardy removed the upper limit ~ above winnings and the five-game rule, my strategy might not work anymore. The seems prefer betting big on day-to-day Doubles—especially if you choose the category—and risking a ns is what will maximize your intended winnings. You will do it likely have actually a much shorter run, but you’ll win a lot more money per show.

Maybe it take it a game-theory guy like Holzhauer to figure that out. With this strategy, ns think he has a great shot at beating Jennings’s as whole earnings, however I don’t watch him winning almost everywhere near the 74 consecutive games Jennings won.

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It sure renders Jeopardy an ext exciting, though. After around 12 or 13 years of never ever watching the game I appeared on three different times—first a run of 5 wins, climate a tournament of Champions, and also finally the Ultimate competition of Champions—I’m the town hall again.