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Dominant Strategy

Dominant Strategy in game design refers to a strategy or course of action that consistently provides players with a higher chance of success or advantage over other available options. It is a strategy that, when adopted and executed optimally, offers the best results regardless of the opponent's actions or decisions. Identifying a dominant strategy can impact game balance and depth, as designers strive to create varied and viable strategies to promote player choice and strategic thinking.

Dominant Strategy


Dominant Strategy in game theory refers to a course of action within a strategic interaction that provides the highest payoff for a player, regardless of the choices made by other players. In a situation where a player has a dominant strategy, selecting that strategy maximizes the player's utility, irrespective of the decisions made by opponents.

The concept of a dominant strategy is significant in understanding strategic decision-making and equilibrium in games. If a player has a dominant strategy, rational decision-making leads them to consistently choose that strategy, influencing the overall outcome of the game.

For example, consider a simplified game scenario known as the Prisoner's Dilemma. In this game, two suspects are arrested and held in separate cells, with no means of communication. Each suspect has two options: cooperate with the other by remaining silent, or betray the other by confessing. The payoff matrix indicates that if both remain silent, they receive a lighter sentence collectively. However, if one betrays the other, the betrayer gets an even lighter sentence while the betrayed receives a severe penalty.

In this game, betraying is a dominant strategy for each player because, regardless of the other player's choice, betraying provides a better outcome individually. As a result, in a rational decision-making scenario, both players typically choose to betray, leading to a suboptimal collective outcome.

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