## Riskline |

How to Play

Introduction

"Riskline" is one of those games that feels more difficult than it really is when you are faced with written rules. Therefore, don't be intimidated by this wall of text. You can, in fact, start by reading "The basics" only and giving it a go.

But after you've gotten the general idea, be sure to return and read the full rules: "Riskline" is a very carefully balanced game, with a complicated relationship between skill and luck. Understanding exactly how it works is incredibly important to getting better at it.

The basics

The goal of the game is to win as much money as possible. Money is rewarded by moving forward along the riskline. Each step doubles the reward. However, there is a catch - one of the steps is mined, and stepping on it results in death.

How to know which step is mined? Two rules govern the mining process:

- First step of the riskline is never mined.
- The mine is randomly placed in a step with a unique number. If a number has a duplicate, then the step is safe.

"Complexity" label denotes the amount of unique numbers on the generated riskline. Since the first step may never be mined, if a unique number lands on the first step, then complexity can be interpreted to be lower, since now the player knows that one of the unique numbers is safe. If complexity is 1, then the first step is never a unique number. If there is only one unique number, than you know where the mine is with certainty.

You also have hit points. When you lose all of your hit points, it's game over.

"Deduction" label shows the amount of hit points that will be deducted when you TAKE. The round begins with deduction being 10, and each step reduces it by 2. This means that deduction on the first step is 8, and on step six it's 0. After step six hit points are actually increased by 2 for every step, and the "Deduction" label changes to "Increase".

The player may do three things: MOVE, TAKE or BET.

You MOVE by pressing **right**.

You TAKE the reward by pressing **down**. You can choose to do so at any moment.

Finally, you are able to BET: if you believe that the next step is mined, you can choose to press **up**. A successful bet will yield a hefty reward. An unsuccessful one - an equally hefty fine. Sometimes you will be in a position to know where the mine is with certainty. If your bet is correct, you'll hear the sound of a coin. You will need to press **up** twice more to complete collecting your bonus.

These are the basic rules. Feel free to give "Riskline" a go. The rest of the manual explains important details that will help you understand how to make better decisions.

Betting

At any time you may choose to gamble that the next step is mined (in some cases you will know with certainty). This is done by pressing **up**. If your guess is wrong, you lose the reward and 10 hit points. Your starting reward, however, will not be reset.

If the guess is right, the current reward is doubled and 1 hit point is added. The player then must press **up** twice more, with each of those having the same effect - doubling the reward and adding 1 hit point - after which the reward is added to player's actual income, the starting reward is increased and a new riskline is generated.

When your hit points are under 50, a successful bet will add +2 hit points each time.

Hit points

The player starts with 50 hit points. The maximum amount of hit points is 90. When you lose all of your hit points, it's game over.

Hit points are awarded at the end of the round either because the player reached step 6 or further, or due to a successful bet. Hit points are deducted either because the player finished the round before step 5, if the player died or if the player guessed incorrectly.

If the player dies on the first 4 steps, she loses only 5 hit points. Dying on any other step will cost 10 hit points. Gray brackets under the riskline are a visual reminder of this.

A bad bet always loses 10 hit points, regardless of your progress along the riskline.

Starting reward

The game begins with a starting reward of $5. Each successful completion of the riskline will increase the starting reward. Death resets the starting reward back to $5. Bad bet does not affect the starting reward.

The formula for the reward is this:

*Reward = 5 * Amount of Consequent Successes * Multiplier*

Both the Amount of Consequent Successes and the Multiplier are initially 1. After the first 5 consequent successes the Multiplier is set to 8, and is then doubled every 5 consequent successes up until the point it reaches 128, after which it is capped and no longer increases.

To give a sense of this progression, the starting reward will increase by $5 every round, up to $20, after which the Multiplier comes into force and the starting reward becomes $200. For the next 5 successful rounds it will increase by $40 each round. Then the Multiplier is doubled and the starting reward increases again.

Wealth benefits

As you become wealthier, your life becomes easier:

- when your net worth reaches $100k, the initial deduction value will go from 10 to 8
- when your net worth reaches $250k, dying will not immediately reset your starting award back to $5, but will instead drop it several levels

Strategy

"RiskLine" is designed in such a way that it is impossible to devise a simple winning strategy. Playing it safe and going for only the increase of the starting reward is made impossible by the punishing deduction of hit points. Relying on betting is also dangerous, due to the 10 hit point fine in case of a mistake.

Therefore, the player must implement a complex strategy involving periods of risk and periods of safe play in order to get far. Some general tips are provided below.

It is cheaper to move forward than to bet during the first 4 steps, provided complexity is high. If your have a healthy amount of hit points, it might be a good idea to play it safe for a while and grow your starting reward.

Pay attention to complexity. Lower complexity is not necessarily good if you've got a lot of unsafe steps in the beginning. Higher complexity means that the probability of a given unsafe block to contain a mine is actually lower, therefore it might be safer to at least try reaching step 4.

Step 3 is an important decision point, since taking on it would cost 6 hp, but dying on the next step would cost only 5 hp.

If complexity is 2 or 3 and all the unsafe blocks are at the very end, in some cases it makes sense to not bet and just take the money - especially if the starting reward is already high.

If complexity is 2 and your starting reward and/or hit points are low, you should always try to bet on the last unsafe block. The probability for each block having a mine is exactly 50/50, but you would earn more if you bet on the last one.

In the same scenario, if complexity is 3, you should try to walk past ("dodge") the first unsafe step and then bet on the third one. The reasoning here is that the probability of the first unsafe step to contain a mine is only 33% against 66% it's in the other two. And then you have the same situation as with complexity 2. Again, this is only if you are in the risk phase of your game. The calculation changes if your starting reward and/or hp are high.

Most importantly, you won't be able to survive by playing it safe all the time: there's a reason there's a word "risk" in "Riskline"!

Money: $0 Starting reward: $5 |
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$0 | ||||||||||

Deduction: 10 Complexity: 1 | ||||||||||