The 78-year-old game show host told Vulture he gets bothered by players who “jump all over the board even after the Daily Doubles have been dealt with.”
Trebek said he doesn’t understand what they are hoping to achieve by doing so.
“Why are they doing that? They’re doing themselves a disservice. When the show’s writers construct categories they do it so that there’s a flow in terms of difficulty, and if you jump to the bottom of the category you may get a clue that would be easier to understand if you’d begun at the top of the category and saw how the clues worked.”
Trebek also admitted he gets disappointed by players who approach the game too conservatively.
“I have been disappointed when contestants made conservative wagers because they don’t realize the obvious. And that is, if a clue is in the second box from the top, it’s going to be easier than a clue at the bottom of the category,” he explained. “So if you’ve landed on what should be an easier Daily Double clue, why not take a chance?”
However, there may be a good reason: Trebek confessed he often adopts a “disappointed father” tone when contestants fail to correctly answer a seemingly easy question.
“Yes, it’s conscious. Not that it’s preplanned — it’s a reaction — but I know that ‘You’ve disappointed daddy’ is a tone I’m striking,” he said. “It’s also, “How can you not get this? This is not rocket science.”