Three prisoners are seated at a table. Each of them has a mobile phone on their lap, and they are not allowed to look at anyone else’s phone (and obviously no other form of communication is allowed).
Each phone displays a number from 0 to 10 inclusive. They know no two prisoners have the same number. Assume that every number is equally likely (i.e. uniform distribution for the math nerds among you). Each prisoner must make a bet between 1 and 100 chips that they have the highest number.
Wins and losses are tallied and the prisoners are freed if and only if their net winnings are positive (Bets are submitted via mobile phone so no information about someone else’s bet can be used for one’s own strategy).
Example: A,B,C have numbers 3,5,8 respectively. They bet 30, 42, 53 respectively. C wins 53 but A and B lose a total of 72 and the prisoners are not freed.
What is the Lap Theory Optimal strategy for the three prisoners? And what are the chances they win freedom? Can you prove your answer is indeed optimal?
Assume the prisoners cooperate and there is no “envy” towards whoever wins their individual bet.
NOTE: the puzzle title is based on the concept of Game Theory Optimal (GTO) – there is a single best decision for every conceivable betting scenario in any form of Poker (whether it involves Holdem, Stud, Razz or removing items of clothing every time you fold a winning hand). The actual question is inspired by a cheating scandal involving Mike Postle and Stones’ Gambling Hall, which I only found out about very recently.
NOTE: I'm not sure if hat-guessing is an appropriate tag but I can't think of anything better.