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The zero sum game is a term that is used in game theory in the description of both real games, together with all kinds of situations, normally between two participants of players, whereby we find that the merit or gain of one participant is counterbalanced by the loss of another participant, equaling the zero sum. For example, if one plays a single chess game with another person, one of them will emerge the winner while the other will loose. When the win, which is positive one is added to the loss, which is negative zero adds up to zero, hence the name zero-sum game. In games whereby there can be several winners, they are referred to as non zero sum and they are actually becoming less popular and also less relevant in the present life. In order for a zero sum game to be true, losses of one participant should be exactly equal to the gains of the other participant. Since at times a loss can always be a gain, we find that zero sum game's real life examples are very difficult to find (Dixit, 2008).
For instance, in a chess tournament, the match of everybody zero sum, with one looser and one winner. Nevertheless, outside of the game, one gets a number ranking. This ranking that he or she is given can change considerably is he or she looses to someone in a much lower ranking. This might not change much if he or she looses to someone of a much higher rank. However, if a single game is really one in a series with an outside ranking, then the total outcome or result might be non zero sum, this is because losses or wins are not actually the only thing that matter (Straffin, 2004). Moreover, it could be argued that zero sum game is an extensively simplified way of viewing things such as chess, which is a game that is not based on probability. A winner might loose as much from his gains as he does from his or her losses, and the reverse is true. He or she might become a better player from loosing; therefore, even though theoretically the game comes down to a single looser and a single winner, it might be beneficial to lose. Players who are put against those who have much greater expertise may be more willing to learn than win. The best example of zero sum game is gambling.
For instance, I once participated in such game which was of gambling. The other participant had three cards which he was to shuffle then I pick on the one that had the picture of a car. The rule was that if I picked on the card that had the drawing of a car, he was to give me twenty dollars, but if I failed, then I was the one to pay the twenty dollars. He shuffled the cards and put them down, then he told me to play my part, unfortunately, I did not pick on the correct card and I was to pay twenty dollars. I actually gave him the money without regretting at all because I felt the game was fair, and it was only that I did not pick the correct card. I believed that if I had picked on the right card, I would have been the one to receive the money and he would not complain since it was based on pure luck and anyone would emerge the winner since both our chances of winning and loosing were zero or equal; that is my loss was equal to his win that the reverse is true.