The description of Matching Pennies
Matching Pennies is the two-weapon equivalent of the more widely known Rock, Paper, Scissors game. Any successful strategy in such a game is some form of pattern recognition, which is a highly developed topic, since it is a fundamental component of both data compression and machine learning. This makes a large set of standard strategies available to players by adapting well-established pattern recognition techniques. The App is designed to help you learn such techniques, and have fun doing so!
You can learn by playing against the computer, after selecting a standard strategy for the computer to use. You can experiment with the relative strengths of different strategies by playing computer versus computer, with a different strategy selected for each side. The App contains elaborate help documentation that describes the standard strategies, with particular emphasis on helping you learn Prediction by Partial Matching, which is one of the most useful pattern recognition techniques.
Most importantly, the App allows you to play against human opponents by connecting your mobile devices over Wi-Fi, so you can apply what you have learned. You can control the level of difficulty by setting the number of rounds per game to be any odd number between 1 and 99. The requirement that it be an odd number leverages an advantage that Matching Pennies has over Rock, Paper, Scissors. There is no possibility of a tie in a game with an odd number of rounds. This makes it a better method for settling disagreements with your friends!
You can speed up games with a large number of rounds, and make them more challenging, by setting a time limit per round. When connected to other players, the time remaining in a round is synchronized among all devices, in order to enforce the time limit fairly.
There are four advanced features that can be individually unlocked through in-app purchases:
Team Play - allows multiple players to mutually connect over Wi-Fi, and form two teams that play against each other. All participants must have the feature enabled on their devices.
Strategy Assist - provides additional features in the user interface that help you follow the Prediction by Partial Matching strategy.
Strategy Builder - allows you to create new computer strategies that are variations on the standard strategies. This increases the experimentation you can do to help you form your own unique strategy.
Wagering - allows you to express confidence in your moves by associating a wager with each move, which is a number from 1 to 10. Scoring is adjusted so that a higher wager means a higher reward if you win a round, and a higher penalty if you lose. If playing against the computer, the standard strategies are enhanced to set wagers. If playing against human opponents, either individually or in teams, then all players must have this feature enabled on their devices, otherwise the feature is temporarily disabled for all players during the connection.
After unlocking, any of the advanced features can be manually disabled or enabled.
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