From the October 2013 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Game theory: 8 games for traders

Beyond Monopoly

6. Lumosity — Video games

Staying mentally acute and alert is a necessity for many parts of life, especially for trading. You don’t want to be daydreaming when some surprising geopolitical action is announced and suddenly find yourself on the wrong side of a trade. That’s where games like those offered at are helpful. 

Lumosity offers a variety of games all with the intention of boosting a particular aspect of mental acuity. Some games target your memory recall, while others may focus on your attention span, while still others work on your problem solving. They start easy and progressively get more difficult as the game keeps track of your improvements. Small improvements in any of these areas can go a long way in enhancing trading performance.

7. Power Grid — Board game

In Power Grid, players take on the role of energy company CEOs that are trying to expand their network of power plants across the country. Players do that by outbidding one another for the most efficient power plants, purchasing different fuels from an ever-changing market and buying licenses to power different cities.

It sounds easy, but this is a game that rewards sound money management. If you don’t plan your moves accordingly, or just blow all your money on one aspect of the game, you’ll quickly find yourself without the funds needed to stay competitive. Traders especially will appreciate the auction phase of this game where players are bidding to get the best power plants available, all while balancing their funds for other aspects of the game. This is a game where every dollar matters.

8. Pit — Card game

The trading pits may be disappearing in real life, but you can still have some fun simulating them in this classic game. First released in 1904, this is a game traders are sure to love. Played with a special deck of cards with different commodities printed on their faces, play occurs simultaneously as players try to “corner” the market in one of the commodities by getting nine of the same commodity in their hand. They do this by holding out a number of cards and raucously yelling to all other players the number of cards they wish to trade. When another player offers the same number of cards, they trade facedown, and play continues until one player corners the market. 

These are just a smattering of the great board, card and video games now available. Watch as we explore each of these categories further and offer more games that traders are sure to love.

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