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Bilge Dice: What To Keep

by jasonesquire


Bilge Dice is loads of fun, and even if it didn’t give out as many Neopoints as it does, I’d still play it. However, the truth is that with a little strategy, you can turn Bilge Dice into a money-making machine. With a daily win limit of 5000 NP, Bilge Dice pays out more than almost any game on the site, and with strategy it can actually pay out up to 7990 NP per day.

But this guide isn’t about that (other guides will tell you how to reach that maximum threshold), it’s about how to win individual games. Let me make this clear up front: you cannot win every game of Bilge Dice. In fact, you will always lose more than you win. The truth is, however, that you don’t have to win every game to make money; all you have to do is win more than 1 in 4 games. If you bet 1000 NP per game, lose three games (3000 NP lost), and win one game (4000 NP won, minus your original 1000 NP bet), you’ll break even. And if you can win slightly more than 1 in 4 games, you’ll come out ahead.

So, let’s get right to the strategy. This guide assumes that you’re familiar with the game and that you’ve played enough games to reach the 1000 NP per game betting level. Also, I’ll use digits (1 2 3 4 5 6) only when I’m talking about the numbers appearing on the dice; when I’m referring to the amount of dice or slots, I’ll spell it out (one two three four five six). I should also say that this strategy is what works for me, and it’s not a sure-fire way of winning. I do feel, however, that this strategy is solid and will increase your chances of winning.

The first roll is absolutely critical, and will often determine the final outcome of the game. On your first roll, the first thing you want to look for are the qualifiers, 1 and 4. Do you have one or both? The second thing you want to look for are 6s. Here’s where strategy comes in. If you have both a 1 and a 4 and one or more 6s, keep the 1, the 4, and as many 6s as you have; that’s a good first roll. At this stage, do NOT keep any 5s; you’re playing for 6s only.

But let’s assume you have a 1 and a 4, but no 6s. In that situation, keep only the 4 and nothing else. I know, you want to keep that 1, but in my experience, the game isn’t shy about giving you 1s later in the game, so you might as well keep the slot open so that you don’t have to slip something low into a scoring slot later. The same rule applies if you have a 1 and a 6, but no 4; just keep the 6, and leave the 1 alone. It’ll most likely come back later. On the other hand, if you have a 4 and a 6, but no 1, keep both the 4 and the 6; the game is more skittish about giving 4s later than 1s.

If you have no 6s or 1s, but you have a 4, keep the 4. Don’t be tempted to keep a 5. Also, if you have no 6s or 4s, but you have a 1, keep the 1. This is the only situation where you’ll keep a 1 without having both a 4 and a 6, or two 6s, on the first roll.

What if you have more than one 6, and only one qualifier? In that situation, I’ll keep two 6s at most, and keep the qualifier (either 1 or 4). It hurts to throw away those extra 6s, I know, but you’ll need to keep rolling three dice to have a reasonable chance of getting the other qualifier; rolling only two dice cuts your odds dramatically.

And finally, what if you have lots of 6s, but no qualifiers? Keep two of the 6s, no more, even though it’s tempting; again, you’ll need the remaining dice to have reasonable odds of getting the qualifiers, and you can’t win unless you qualify.

So, to sum up the first roll, you should have one of the following:

1 4 6 (more 6s if applicable)

4 6 6 (no more than two 6s unless you have a 1 as well)

1 6 6 (again, no more than two 6s without a 4)

4 6 (if no 1 is available)

6 6 (no qualifiers available, keep a maximum of two)

4 (do not keep a 1 without a 6)

6 (do not keep a 1 without a 4)

1 (if there are no 4s or 6s whatsoever)

Incidentally, this guide doesn't excuse you from using your common sense; on a first roll of 1 4 6 6 6 5, keep everything, even though I say above that you shouldn’t keep 5s on your first roll. A 23 is a solid score, and there’s no point in rerolling that 5. And finally, you will occasionally get a first roll with absolutely nothing; say, a string of 2s and 3s. All you can do in that situation is keep the highest number and roll the remaining five dice.

So, on to the second roll. From here to the end of the game, you will most likely be keeping only one die at a time. Keep any qualifiers you are missing, 1 or 4. If you have only one qualifier, and on your second roll you get a whole bunch of 6s, keep only enough to fill two of your four scoring slots; you want to keep at least three dice free to keep going for your last qualifier. If you kept only one qualifier on your first roll, and on the second you roll one 6, keep that 6 and roll the remaining four dice. Also, remember that in this game you’re playing for 6s, so at this stage leave the 5s alone if at all possible.

To sum up the second roll, you should have one of the following:

6 6 6 (in the unlikely case that no qualifiers have appeared and you kept two 6s on your first roll)

1 4 6 (more 6s if applicable)

4 6 6 (no more than two 6s unless you have a 1 as well)

1 6 6 (again, no more than two 6s without a 4)

4 6 (if no 1 has appeared)

6 6 (no qualifiers have appeared, maximum of two)

1 4 (no 6s have appeared)

It’s possible that you may have been stuck keeping a 5 or something worse at this stage. Don’t panic! I have won games with final scores as low as 15, so don’t quit! Just keep following the strategy, go slow, keep one at a time until you have both qualifiers, and then grab all the 6s you can.

Now, the third roll. If you have both qualifiers, keep every 6 you see and roll the rest. If you don’t have both qualifiers, keep only the highest-numbered die and roll the rest. Continue that until the end of the game.

You may ask, “Well, what if I have 1 4 6 6, and I have the option to keep a 5, should I keep it then?” Maybe. It’s a matter of discretion. Generally, I will keep a 5 in that situation if my opponents look weak (say, they have 1 4 6 5 or less), because I won’t lose ground. If they all have scores of 1 4 6 6, I’ll usually reroll the 5.

I should mention that, for your final scoring slot, always ALWAYS reroll a 1 or a 2. I know, it seems obvious, but it has to be said. With a 1, there’s no way you can do worse, and with a 2, the odds against your situation getting any worse are so slim, you might as well go for it.

Finally, do NOT give up if there’s even the slimmest chance of a tie. I’ve had ties in situations where every opponent would have to roll a 1 to tie with me, and every one of them rolled a 1. It’s never hopeless.

So, let’s see how this strategy works out with some real situations. We’ll start with a fairly common one.

1 2 3 4 5 6 -- In this situation, keep the 1, the 4, and the 6. You may be tempted to keep the 5, but don’t do it; remember, you’re playing for 6s. After this, just keep the highest die, or as many 6s as you get.

4 4 4 3 6 4 – Keep one 4 and the 6. Easy. Second roll, 4 3 6 6 5. For that roll, keep just one of the 6s, because you still don’t have the second qualifier. After that, keep just the highest die until you get the 1.

1 3 2 5 3 2 – Keep the 1. This is one of those situations where you’ll keep the solitary 1 for the first roll. Don’t touch that 5. Second roll, 3 6 4 5 3. Great, keep the 4 and 6. Now we’re in business.

5 6 3 3 5 4 – Just the 6 and the 4.

6 6 3 1 4 2 – Easy, keep the 6 6 1 4.

4 3 5 1 4 5 – Tougher. Here, you’ll only keep a 4. Reroll everything else, including the 1. Odds are it’ll come back to you later, and it’s better to put it in a qualifier spot than a scoring spot. Second roll, 4 1 5 2 1. Oh, look, the 1 is back. This time, keep a 1 and reroll the other four dice. Then, just keep 6s or the highest one you get.

1 5 6 5 5 1 – Just the 6. Again, the 1 will most likely come back to you. Second roll: 1 3 6 1 4. There’s that 1 again, and this time with a 6 and a 4. Now I have 1 4 6 6, and I’m off to a great start.

6 3 2 4 6 6 – Keep two 6s and the 4. If you keep all three 6s, your odds of getting a 1 are drastically reduced. If there were no 4, you would still keep just two 6s.

I hope those examples give you some idea of how the strategy I’ve outlined above actually works in the game. I’ve been playing Bilge Dice for quite some time now, and this strategy has helped me win at least 5K a day. Over a month, that can add up to 150,000 NP or more!

Keep rollin’ them bones, and best of luck to you.

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