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Recovering from the Lucky Streak Blues


by wellesley_girls

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You find yourself inside a dreary, run-down shack perched on an isolated corner of Krawk Island. Waves crash ominously against the rocks outside, and a shifty-eyed Krawk with a hook for a left hand leers at your from across the counter. Glancing around, you notice three derelict creatures—they must be neopets, you think, but you can’t quite be sure—seated haphazardly around a wooden table, staring at you, expressionless.

Why are you here again?

Oh right, Bilge Dice. Wait, no, not the game. You hate the game. You’re here for that avatar, the Lucky Streak one. Not that you’ve ever come close to getting it. Sure, you’ve played over a thousand times, won over three hundred. So why is it, you wonder, that your highest win streak is a measly four? Not that it matters. You’ll keep playing anyway.

The Lucky Streak avatar is perhaps one of the most frustrating avatars in the history of Neopets, but on the surface, it looks pretty innocent. You need ten wins in a row, and the minimum ante is 10 NP. Cheap and straightforward. Sounds good! You think of Super Attack Pea, which costs a cool billion, and MSPP, not far behind at 300,000,000. Or maybe Typing Terror comes to mind, where you always seem to finish the game 400 points away from the avatar. No, this is much better, you think.

You are wrong. The Lucky Streak avatar has a price much higher than any other avatar available: your sanity.

This is where I come in. Now, I could easily list all of the reasons the Lucky Streak avatar is horrible, and we could commiserate and eat ice cream. But instead, I want to help. “WHAT?!” you ask with bated breath, expecting an avatar solution, or perhaps a clicking ritual to perform before every round of dice. “Do you . . . do you know how to get it?” you venture tentatively. Yes, I know how to get it. Unfortunately, I don’t know any more than you. To get it, you need to be lucky. Really, really, really lucky.

My solution, designed to alleviate the pain, comes in the form of a lesser-known avatar: Bilge Dice. This one, as you may know, is awarded randomly when you score a 24 in the game. Although still time consuming and frustrating, this one is much easier (read: possible) to obtain. And when that glorious “Something Has Happened!” graces the top of your screen, you’ll feel a surge of hope and ecstasy, followed by a smug satisfaction at having beaten the darned game at something.

Winning the Bilge Dice avatar has other useful benefits. Almost everyone knows about Lucky Streak, but a lot fewer people know about the 24 avatar. Make it your primary avatar, and be prepared for neomails from neofriends, traders, and board lurkers alike. Those not experts in avatar collecting will get the two confused and think that you have miraculously managed to get Lucky Streak! You’ll receive words of praise and astonishment along with countless requests for your secret. Sure, it’s deceitful, but (and I ought to tell King Hagen this) I’ve always believed that sanity is more important than honesty. Plus, you can always wipe away the guilt by replying to your mail with the truth. Then, you’ll walk away with both admirers and a clean conscience! It’s an entirely win-win situation.

The Strategy

So, how do you win the avatar? A simple tweaking of your standard Bilge Dice strategy will do it. When trying to win Bilge Dice, you need a 1 and a 4 to qualify. Then, you want to roll the highest numbers possible with the four dice you have left. To get the 24 avatar, however, your goal is not to win. It is to score a 24 as often as possible. Winning with a 23 does nothing for you. And so, we play the probability game.

To get a 24, you need to end the game with a 1, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6. You need those exact six numbers. The goal here is to make sure that your chance of getting a die you need on any particular roll remains high. To do this, keep only 6s until you have three of them stored away. At this point, you’ll have three dice left to roll and three different numbers you need. The odds aren’t too bad! Now you should keep any and every useful number you roll.

Obviously, the game isn’t always going to conveniently drop three 6s in your lap. If, on your second roll, you end up with 2, 3, 1, 4, 4, you have no choice but to take a qualifier. But remember, ONLY TAKE WHAT IS NECESSARY. Take either the 1 or the 4, not both. Then, go back to collecting 6s until you have at least three.

Here are some situations and what to do:

Situation: First roll is 1, 4, 6, 6, 5, 2.

Keep: 6, 6 (Yes, that’s all.)

Situation: You have one 6. Second roll is 3, 4, 6, 6, 4.

Keep: 6, 6, 4 (Now you have three 6s, and the 4 is an added bonus. You only need to roll a 1 and a 6!)

Situation: You have 4, 6. Third roll is 1, 6, 2, 2.

Keep: 6 (You are still better off without the 1.)

With this strategy, you will fail to qualify more often. But your chance of getting a score of 24 increases dramatically. “Why does it work?” you ask. What, you don’t trust me? Fine, fine. I have calculated all the relevant probabilities, but don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all that. Here’s an illuminating example:

Your first roll is 1, 4, 6, 2, 3, 3. Let’s say you follow your instinct and keep the 1, 4, and the 6. Your second roll is a 1, 4, 5. You groan, you cry, you yell at the screen, but nothing you do matters. You no longer have a shot at 24. But let’s go back to that first roll. This time, you keep just the 6. Your second roll is 1, 4, 5, and two other numbers. If the two other numbers contain a 6, brilliant! If they don’t, you can still keep a 1 and move on. Because of this strategy, you still have a chance at 24!

Now do you believe me? Maybe? Well, fine, I’ll show you some percentages too.

If you have two 6s: Chance of continuing is 94%

With 1 and 6 (or 4 and 6): 80%

With 1 and 4: a sad 52%

If you have three 6s: Chance of continuing is 87.5%

With 4, 6, 6 (or 1, 6, 6): 70%

With 1, 4, 6: 42%

So, as you can see, keeping only 6s whenever possible gives you the best chance of making it through the next roll and, ultimately, scoring a 24! You are now on your way to satisfaction, admiration, a little more happiness and little less insanity. Good luck!

 
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