Game Theory Books

Here is a list of top game theory books and resources to learn more about game theory. Everything from introductions through to advanced, graduate level books.

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Introductory game theory books

These books are a general introduction to game theory topics with very little or no mathematics.

The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life

This book gives a good general overview of game theory and real life applications.

 

Co-Opetition : A Revolution Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation : The Game Theory Strategy That’s Changing the Game of Business

This book focuses on applications of game theory to business. It is a great read if you want some fresh ideas for options in business that you may never have thought of before.

 

The Predictioneer’s Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future

Fascinating book on how Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses game theory to accurately predict political and economic events.

 

Click here for more informal game theory books like these.

I think that Co-opetition is still the best book about applying game theory in business. Click here for a full list of business game theory books.

Basic techincal game theory books

These books include the mathematics behind game theory but still at a relatively straightforward level. You might need a little bit of calculus and probability but nothing too difficult.

Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice

A good all round introduction to Game Theory. This is the text recommended by Ben Polak in the Yale lectures mentioned at the top of this page.

 

Playing for Real: A Text on Game Theory

Ken Binmore’s book introduces all the main concepts and also delves into the underlying issues that underpin game theory. A great book and strongly recommended by Herbert Gintis, who certainly knows what he is talking about!

Click here for lots more basic game theory books

Advanced technical game theory books

If you want to take things to a higher level then check out some of these:

Game Theory

Fundenberg and Tirole’s book is the definitive graduate level book on game theory

 

The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences

A book looking at whether game theory can be the basis for unifying biology, economics, anthropology, political science and other behavioural sciences. Full of fascinating ideas.

Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (Commemorative Edition) (Princeton Classic Editions)

The classic text from John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern. Buy this to see where it all began!

 

Algorithmic Game Theory

Advanced book on algorithmic game theory that brings together essays from many of the top researchers in the field. Interesting and challenging.

 

Other stuff

A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash

Want to know more about the genius behind the Nash Equilibrium. Here is Sylvia Nasar’s excellent biography of John Nash.

 

And here is the film…

A Beautiful Mind [DVD]
A Beautiful Mind [Blu-ray]