Special thanks to @fyreflie for this excellent summary:

Where everything you see is not what it seems, and the house always wins!

Step right up, and prepare to be amazed!

Gambling is fun. If it weren’t, people wouldn’t do it. The same for games–if they’re not fun, people don’t play them. So, who doesn’t love a little game of chance in their video games?

Fortunately, War Dragons is full of opportunities to spend your rubies, however you acquired them, on any number of prizes. But be warned–you’re not buying a prize with those rubies, and if you spent money (the transaction connected to the real world, and therefore, one governed by law rather than the EULA/TOS), you got what you paid for–the rubies or the chests or whatever. But what you buy with the rubies is a *chance*.

But you probably don’t know just how bad that chance is.

So, once we get removed from the real world, where PG has to follow rules they didn’t make and cannot change whenever they want (read the TOS–you are nothing, have nothing, and can do nothing), what are the “rules”?

My friends, things are not what they seem.

I’m going to break this into a few parts, mostly because it’s a lot to cover, and I don’t want people to lose interest.

Let’s start with one that is visually the most obvious, even though it’s not something everyone can see yet.

**The Atlas Bazaar**

Once a day, or more, if you like to spend, you are presented with 9 cards. You can see all 9, so you know what you can win. Tap on shuffle, and the cards are flipped over and randomly rearranged, so there’s no correlation between the initial location of the card when you could see it and where it might be now. So far, all is good, and what it seems. In life, assuming the dealer shuffled well, you would have no good way to accurately predict the location of the cards. BUT, you’d still have a 1/9 chance of getting the most valuable card. And it *appears* that way in WD.

There you go, 9 cards. Let’s shuffle and pick one:

Dangit! That wasn’t what I wanted. But now my odds are better, right? 1 in 8 that I’ll get the most valuable card, and shoot–a whopping 1 in 4 that I’ll get one of the top two cards. Let’s try again:

Hmm. I’m not very good at this, so it would seem. I could spend some rubies to get another card, but I decide to cut my losses with using the free keystones I’ve won during the weekly Atlas event.

What happened?! Was it just the luck of the draw? Unfortunately yes, it was the luck of the draw. But the good news is this: brother, your odds were * far worse* than that image on the screen indicated.

Just how bad?

I’m so glad you asked.

Visually, you’re seeing 9 cards, and it’s not unreasonable for you to assume that you have a 1 in 9 chance of getting that top card on your first draw. But that ain’t how it works. Vegas has much better odds than War Dragons.

You see those stars indicating the relative value of each card? Here’s what else they tell you–how many times that card is repeated in the deck. That set of “9” cards is actually 112 cards. Each card that has one star is repeated 20 times, each with 2 stars is repeated 13 times, 3 stars 9 times, 4 stars 5 times, 5 stars 3 times.

So, you don’t have a 1/9 shot of getting that top card on the first draw. You have a 3/112 chance (2.68% rather than 11.11%).

Here’s what happened on the draws above:

I picked the first card, the game randomly went through it’s deck of 112 cards and landed on one of the one star cards (not surprising–there was a 53.57% chance this was going to happen).

Now, that card remains displayed, and it was my free one for the day. Since I was given (I’m not going to say chose, since what I can see and what is there are not the same) a card that repeated 20 times, we can take those 20 cards out of the deck, which now has 92 cards in it. The other cards remain the same. My odds are not 1/8 or 1/4 that I’ll get the 5 star or either the 4 or 5 star card. The probability I get the 5 star card is actually 3.26% and that I’ll get either of those two is 8.69% (not quite the 25% my eyes are telling me).

No big surprise then, when I grab the second card and it’s another 1 star reward. After all, my odds were 40/92 (43.48%) that was going to be my card.

What if I had drawn another? I can tell you the odds, but I cannot accurately predict with certainty what card I would have been given. It is a game of chance, after all. It’s just not the chance you assumed.

Since I grabbed another 20 weight card, the deck now has, not 7, but 72 cards remaining. Also, since I was “unlucky,” my odds this round of getting a 2 star card are actually higher than getting a 1 star card.

1 – 27.78

2 – 36.11%

3 – 25%

4 – 6.94%

5 – 4.17%

Let’s assume I draw the most likely, just for one more level (I have drawn the most likely twice now, so why deviate?) Now my deck is down to 59 cards, and I won two one star cards and one two star card. That two star, since I didn’t have enough keystones to keep going, cost me 750 rubies. With my remaining cards, my eyes say I have 16.67% chance of any specific card, but here’s what they really are:

1 – 33.9%

2 – 22.03%

3 – 30.51%

4 – 8.47%

5 – 5.06%

I could keep going, but you get the point. ** What is visually presented to you is a complete lie**. It’s sole purpose is to misrepresent the odds to encourage you to spend money to get the rewards.

And that first deck–the one where you got a good drop (the 5 rider shards)–it’s special. It has 2,000,020,085 cards not 9, and 2,000,000,000 of those cards are that 5-shard card. Now don’t you feel lucky?

We’ll look at chests next, but it might be a couple days. That system is actually far more complex, and, surprise, it’s not in your favor.

Gamble wisely my friends.

~Power to the Players