Sounds interesting.Quote: klondike
Yes, as odiousgambit referred to, it's probably extremely difficult if not impossible to show the math behind it. I can only point to my personal experience from playing thousands and thousands of games.
BUT, a few things I can elaborate on.
There are basically 2 versions that I have invested a lot of time playing.
Normal (klondike) where it's 3 cards at a time and you get to cycle through the pile 3 times. At 5d, this is the game that I started out playing. Their max bet was $55 and you get $5 per card to the foundation. So break even point is 11 cards per game. I tracked every game I played back then and averaged a little over 12 cards to the foundation. So net profit about $5 per game. I know that doesn't sound like much but keep in mind that games do not take that long to play. In fact, there are some games where you don't even get to make a single move and you just cycle through the deck 3 times and fold. Those games probably take 5 minutes at most. Yes, the games where lot of moves are possible take a lot of time to calculate all the different possibilities and can take upwards of 20-30 minutes, but those are actually rare. Completing a game under these rules are relatively difficult, hence the high payout. I think I won a little over 13% of all games played.
Now the normal version, I don't really like. It truly does test your "patience" (I guess that's why they call it that). You can go hours and hours without winning a game then all of a sudden you'll win 2 games in a row and like 4 out of 7 or something. When things are running bad, that's when you're most likely to make mental errors that can cost you. So basically it's higher variance.
The other version that 5d carries is called unlimited solitaire (there's actually a 3rd version but that's same as normal version rules with a different payout structure). Unlimited is still 3 cards at a time but you get to cycle through the pile an unlimited number of times. This is the version I fell in love with and basically stopped playing the normal version because of it. Back when they rolled it out, they put out an absolutely ludicrous price of $85 (maybe even lower at first) per game with same payout of $5 per card to the foundation. Even disregarding the money won for cards to the foundation in lost games, you would only need to win a little over 32% of all games to turn a little profit. After having played thousands of these games, I win a little over 55% of all games under these rules. Needless to say, $85 per game was a ridiculous price even for casual players and that is why they increased it to $95, then $105, then $115, then $125 to $135 where it's at today. At $135 you still only need 25 cards to the foundation per game to break even which is still achievable.
5d recently raised their price on the normal version to $75 per game. So you would need to average 15 cards per game which probably makes it very difficult to beat. But all the screenshots of the game from the other places have shown it at $52 a game which is even less than 5d's original price of $55. $52 is also what 3dice charges and I would be there now but they are not taking new US customers at this time :(
The unlimited version is the one I really love. It's much more complex than the normal version. Games do take longer but my profit margin is much higher too. You are afforded the luxury of cycling through the entire pile without doing anything so you can see where every card is and map out your moves based on what's showing and what's not showing. I see every game as a puzzle and though not every puzzle has a solution, I really enjoy trying to solve it, perhaps that's why I've gotten so good at it lol.
If anyone knows where I can play the unlimited version, I would be forever in their debt! Even the normal version would be fine. I just do wonder if they allow players to consistently win at it.
If you have played thousands of games and you are beating the game, I cant argue with that.
Whats the average time it takes per game? Is it possible to play 2 games at once and cut down the average time?
My grampa used to tell me how Solitaire was offered in Vegas, assumed during 50s or 60s. Remember him saying you paid $52 for the deck, won $5 for every card played up, and you self-dealt. I remember him saying the dealer watched you for mistakes, but don't know what happened if you misdealt. Maintaining the order of the deck makes solitaire much more difficult.