Wednesday, December 12, 2018

When Losing Is Winning

Jim Propp’s fertile posts or tweets often get me thinking about tangential things… 
Yesterday in a tweet he whimsically mentioned wanting to lose quickly at Monopoly when he plays against his kid.

Which got me immediately thinking about game variants where the object is to lose (you WIN by losing!). The only thing I could find, quickly googling around, was this somewhat technical piece on a checkers variant, sometimes called “suicidal checkers” with the object to lose: 

Seems to me over the years I’ve read other such game variations, but a quick search didn’t turn much up (there are plenty of common game variants, just not where losing becomes the goal).

I did find this year+ old Scam School video showing a similar fun variation for Tic-Tac-Toe (the main description beginning ~2:16 mark) -- this is essentially a version of what's been called "misere tic-tac-toe," reverse or anti tic-tac-toe, or even "eot-cat-cit," where whoever gets 3 in-a-row first loses:

Presh Talwalkar did a nice, more expansive analysis of this game a couple years back at his Mind Your Decisions blog:

If anyone can point to other such win-by-losing variations of well-known games let us know.

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