Applying Game Theory in Petanque

May 15, 2010

Another passion of mine is the French game “Petanque“, and today I’ve been playing it all day long. Again. I play it a lot. There are six division in Denmark, and last year our club moved into the Elite Division

I wonder if Game Theory, or even Complexity Theory could make me a better player? The search is on.

You may think it is just a question of throwing some “boules” (as it is also know), but you’d be surprised how much tactics will make it into this game, once you get to play it at a certain level. According to educational psychologist “Célian Olivier” playing Petanque develops your IQ (source/blog), which perhaps is a bit too grand a claim, but again I was wondering if using my knowledge from cognitive edge and/or learning more Game Theory could make me a better Petanque player?

I had a look at “Game Theory” on Wikipedia, and I also tried to Google [“game theory” Petanque] but to little avail. It doesn’t seem that anyone have done much about getting academic about playing petanque. On the Strategy Section is pretty thin – likewise on Wikipedia section on the topic.

So if any of you have links to websites that get practical about the use of game or complexity theory and tactics, in game of two teams, over several rounds and so forth, I’d be most curious to hear about it.

For now, I suggest you have a game of Petanque yourself. This online one is good fun – yet a bit unstable: Trankila Pro Petanque.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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