Students playing the Yale Stock Trading Game at the School of Management

An Engaging Method for Teaching Markets

Roger Ibbotson’s Stock Trading Game provides an exciting experience of markets in action.

Buy the game (link is external)

Creator of the Yale Stock Trading Game Roger Ibboston introduces the basic elements of the game and the concepts he designed it to teach.

About the Game

Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Finance at Yale School of Management Roger Ibbotson has taught thousands of students the fundamental concepts behind the stock market using a game he created in the 1970s.

Initially, the game required a physical trading floor, but in 2019, the Yale School of Management Case Study Research & Development Team (CRDT) helped Professor Ibbotson shepherd the game into a fully web-based experience that anyone on the Internet can access. Today, the game can be played by students in the same room, students who are entirely remote, or a combination of the two.

Each game is different. The cloud-based software randomly chooses the underlying values for each stock and it is the players themselves who determine market prices through their trading. Other trading games are tied to actual markets or simulations, but because only the students constitute the market, our game simulates a year of market activity in a single game.

And did we mention it’s fun to play?

The game is packaged to fit into a class session of 90 minutes:

  • Recommended Minimum # of Players: 20
  • Practice Game: yes (5 minutes)
  • Game Length: 25 minutes
  • Rounds: 2 (total 50 minutes)
  • Debrief: 30+ minutes

The game can also be taught across two class sessions: one to play the games; the other to dive deeper into how information affects stock prices, whether the market was efficient or inefficient and why, and how different groups of students fared overall.

Teaching Objectives

The game is designed to teach the central concepts and mechanics of markets and trading and requires no prior experience.


  • Zero-Sum Games
  • Efficient Capital Markets & Tests of Efficiency
  • Imperfect Information and Security Pricing


  • Trading Basics: Market Orders, Limit Orders, Bids, and Asks
  • Short Selling (Holding Long or Short Positions)
  • Computing Portfolio Returns, including Annualized/Geometric Returns
  • Buying on Margin (e.g., Negative Cash, Loans)


  • For Players

    We offer comprehensive documentation on how to play, including videos and a downloadable guide.

  • Tech Tips

    A full list of answers to common technical questions.

  • For Faculty

    Apart from a full suite of CSV reports at the end of each game, teaching notes are also available upon request to qualified instructors who purchase the game.