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Arenaworld game -- Betting mechanic

1 reply [Last post]
Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi All,

Awhile back I posted about a game I'm developing, working title Escape from Arenaworld, in which players are trying to get off of a world in which the only activities are gladiator matches and betting on them.

One obvious way to make money during the game is to bet on the matches, but I wanted to make betting work in such a way that outmaneuvering other players was important and that would make it very hard to win on a single longshot bet.

The way I'm planning on solving it is by having payout odds calculated only after all bets are in. The flavor idea is that since everyone knows that some fights are rigged, the house protects itself from that by adjusting the odds. If two equal contestants fight but everyone is betting on one of them, bets on that gladiator will pay much less than on others. This also gives some nice card-options, like a card that brings in outside bets on the gladiator you bet against -- no effect on who wins, but it helps your payout if your gladiator wins.

In practice, the game will have a simple matrix -- you take the skill differential and the bet differential of the gladiators and that gives you the payout odds.

Once again, a few questions:

1. Do you know of any games that handle gambling this way?
2. How do you react to the concept as a player?
3. Are there any problems that leap out at you for using such a system?


Joined: 12/31/1969
Arenaworld game -- Betting mechanic

Hello Chad,

1). What you are proposing sounds pretty similar to the betting system in "Royal Turf". In that game the payout per horse gets lower if the number of bets on that horse increases, according to a matrix. In "Royal Turf" every horse has (more or less) the same statistical chance of winning the race.

2). I like the concept, because it leads to interesting decisions. Since players move the horses in "Royal Turf", it can be a good idea to bet on horses that other players also bet on, so you can tag along with them, even though results in a lower payout. On the other hand, if too many people bet on the same horse, it can become lucrative for other players to "screw" that horse. So, you want to bet on a horse that a some other people also bet on, but not too many. This is pretty tricky, but it makes for interesting decisions, both during the betting round and the race itself.

3). The system in "Royal Turf" is pretty clean and doesn't have many problems. Perhaps a potential problem is that it is not entirely intuitive. It often happens that a horse that finishes in second place pays out more than a horse in first place, because fewer people had a bet on it. This might not jibe with the idea a player has about how betting should work. However, as a game system I think it works fine.

- René Wiersma

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