Split or Steal?

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Split or Steal?

Post by 3mptylord on Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:07 am

You and someone you've never met are playing for £5000 pounds.

You are both given two options; Split or Steal.

If you both Split, you each walk away with £2500 pounds.
If one of your Splits, and the other steals, the 'thief' walks away with all the money.
If you both Steal, you each walk away with nothing.

Which do you choose? Given you will not know each others choices until after you've both chosen.

Imagine it's someone who knows you, now which do you choose?

Finally, you are playing against yourself; which do you choose?


Last edited by 3mptylord on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Split or Steal?

Post by MorbiusMonster on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:35 am

I will often try to see the best in people, let them appeal to allow others the opportunities we've been presented. Both of us could walk out with £2500, we'd both have benefitted from this moment. I'm just hoping that the other person would think likewise, and not to shut out honesty when they come to this decision or shut out guilt if they choose to take it all.

I'd split.
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Re: Split or Steal?

Post by Dark Avorian on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:41 am

Steal, unless it's yourself.

My logic: Lets say you are playing against RANDOM GUY A (RGA) who has an n% chance of deciding to split and an m% chance of deciding to steal:

Expected Values

If you split: n*2500

If you steal: n*5000

Basically if he steals, you get nothing no matter what you do, and if he splits you get double the amount if you decided to steal.

If you play against yourself then clearly you will both arrive at the same logical conclusion so you should both split.

EDIT: Unlike RGA, you are the same as you, so you have a 100% chance of of doing what you do. Therefore if you split, there is a 100% chance you both split, and if you steal there is a 100% chance you both steal.
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Re: Split or Steal?

Post by 3mptylord on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:56 am

Assuming this is a game, and it's prize money...

Against someone I don't know, I'd steal. I'm playing to win, I started the day without £5000 and I'm happy to go home with nothing. By stealing I either win, or we both lose, so either way I'm happy. Smile

Against someone who knows me, it depends. It'll be that infinity deadlock... he's going to split, so I should steal. But he knows I'll think that, so he'll steal to spite me. So we should both just split. But now he knows I've come to that conclusion, I should steal and undermine him. But what if he thinks that... ARGH!

Against myself, I'd split.

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Re: Split or Steal?

Post by Gladzosaurus Rex on Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:41 am

Basically, like Avorian said, splitting is a guaranteed loss while stealing gives a 50% chance on wealth. The latter is therefore the most logical choice if no submerged psychology is involved. If I split, I have to gamble my opponent does too. If I steal, the gamble is his and I can't lose what I could have gained othwerise.

With friends or myself I'd split, both because I trust my friend to split with me too and because in the event he steals, the money wouldn't disappear from the both of us.
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Re: Split or Steal?

Post by jeroenvt on Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:43 am

I'd take split for the guy I dunno, steal for the guy I know, and steal for myself ^^
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Re: Split or Steal?

Post by 3mptylord on Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:59 am

You'd steal from yourself? Shock

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Re: Split or Steal?

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