Why The Food Club Is So Great
There are a lot of ways around Neopia to make neopoints, ranging from playing games to restocking. My personal favorite was the stock market, because it provided a way to make neopoints that didn't need a fast connection and all that it required was patience. However, recently I discovered the Food Club. I'd heard a lot about it over the years and how some people made lots of neopoints from it. I finally decided to look up a few guides and see how it worked.
Now, first things first, if all you want to do is make neopoints from the Food Club you really don't need to read all of this article. You can simple go to any guide, like the one on myfoodclubbets or any one of the other numerous pet pages that list out bets. Some of them are updated daily, others aren't, so do pay attention as to whether or not the bets listed are for that day.
Note that the Food Club gives a profit of 60-80% percent in general, meaning that if you invest 1,000 NP you should be getting around 1,600-1,800 neopoints back. Of course, you can make a maximum of ten bets a day, with the amount you can put on one bet equal to (50+2*(number of days you've been playing Neopets)). Obviously, since the returns are a percentage of what you put in, older accounts can profit much more from the Food Club as compared to newer accounts. A newbie would make around 300-400 neopoints a day on average, a profit so small that it is almost not even worth the effort. My account, which is around six years old however, lets me bet around 3,600 NP for one bet, and with ten bets a day, that averages out to around 21-29k a day, easily 20-28k more than what a newbie would make! There are obviously accounts even older than mine, and consequently some people can make even more in profit. Then, consider that this profit is per day, and so the profit over a year can very well touch the millions. All with merely a few clicks a day and some neopoints to invest.
Of course, this article isn't about the profits you can make from Food Club. It is an article that wants to question why Food Club is so profitable. There are quite a number of gambling games in Neopia, ranging from the lottery to scratchcards to slots to the Turdle races. However, few of them are profitable to the extent of the Food Club. This article questions why, and provides an answer as to what makes the Food Club so special. If you just want to make a profit, you can easily follow one of the guides I've mentioned, but if you really want to know why, to know how some people choose their bets, read on.
In Theory, You Shouldn't Be Able to Make A Profit From the Food Club
That's the first thing that we need to say. I'll explain why pretty soon. First of all though, I would like you to disregard two kinds of luck based games. The first are the mass games like the lottery and scratchcards, and the reason for this is because though the jackpots are huge and might make buying worthwhile, it would take much more time and effort in buying millions of scratchcards or playing the slots to make such a venture feasible. Also, the various wheels as well. You really have no control over the outcomes that may come out of them, and so while I think the Wheel of Mediocrity represents a net gain, let's ignore it for now.
First of all, let's take a look into one rule of basic probability, that the sum of the probabilities of all possible events should always add up to one. If you role a die, there is a one in six chance of getting each number, and so the sum of the probabilities is one. Same thing with a coin.
Now, the thing is that the Food Club, like the Poogle Races, offers rewards which are the reciprocal of the odds. In other words, if the chances of one pirate winning are 1 in 2, you'll get double your bet if you win. If it is 1 in 5, you will get 5 times your bet if you win. Now, here we face a problem. If a pirate only wins 1 in 2 times, and each time he does you get double your bet, then you can't make anything in long-term profit, because ½*2=1, so you'll end up with the same amount of neopoints you wagered. Or, you'll lose half the time and get nothing and win half the time and get double, so you really don't make anything on average. That's why I said in theory, making a profit is not possible.
However, people can and do make profit from the Food Club. How? The reason is simple, and this reason is what separates the Food Club from the Turdle or Poogle Races.
Both the Turdle and Poogle Races offer rewards depending on how likely a Turdle or Poogle is going to win. If the odds are 1 in a 7, if you win you get 7 times what you bet, but like I've said, that means that your long term profit is zero.
However, this is only true if the odds are true. What if that Poogle's real odds of winning aren't 1 in 7, but rather 1 in 6.5 and it is rounded up to 1 in 7? Then in that case, you probably are going to win a profit over time since the odds are more in your favor for that Poogle winning.
Currently, the Poogle Racing Odds are:
Poogle 1: 1 in 3 or 3:1
Poogle 2: 1 in 4 or 4:1
Poogle 3: 1 in 5 or 5:1
Poogle 4: 1 in 7 or 7:1
Poogle 5: 1 in 9 or 9:1
If you add them all up, the sum of the probabilities is actually greater than 1, approximately 1.037 as a matter of fact. Now, that means that the real odds for one Poogle are greater than what they actually are, because since one Poogle has to win, the probabilities should add up to 1 as we've discussed. Maybe Poogle 5 actually has a 1 in 9.2 chance of winning. That means that betting on Poogle 5 will cost us money in the long run, rather than just having us break even. But it doesn't have to be Poogle 5, it could be Poogle 2 or 3 or 1 or any of them really. The exact same is true for the Turdle Races as well.
So, this means that though you might win big one, two, or even three times, eventually in the long run you'll be making a loss. This also means that these two games remove more neopoints than they give out.
The Food Club, on the other hand, usually has varying odds. Let's just think of three arenas and call the pirates A, B, C, and D because I'm not very creative.
Pirate A: 13:1
Pirate B: 2:1
Pirate C: 13:1
Pirate D: 13:1
Pirate A: 2:1
Pirate B: 2:1
Pirate C: 13:1
Pirate D: 13:1
Pirate A: 2:1
Pirate B: 5:1
Pirate C: 7:1
Pirate D: 12:1
All of these are perfectly plausible scenarios for the different arenas. Now, remember that one pirate has to win, so the odds should always add up to one.
But the thing is that they don't. In arena 1 we have odds of around 0.71 in total, while in arena 2 the odds are 1.14 approximately, and for arena 3 they around 0.92.
Now, like I've said before, since the odds in arena 2 are greater than 1 overall, there's a net loss there. If the sum of the odds are 1, then that means that you'll break even.
The thing is though, that if the odds are less than 1, then you'll make a profit. How?
The simple reason is that the Food Club odds are calculated specially. 13:1 is the lowest you can go, and 2:1 is the highest you can go. In reality though, the odds might be 20:1 or 25:1, but it will be shown as 13:1. Ouch, that means that you'd be losing quite a lot from that if you bet on the 13:1 pirate every time.
However, that also means that the odds might not be 2:1 for a pirate. They might really be more along the lines of 1.5:1. That's what generally happens. Now, these sort of odds will let you make a profit in the long run.
That's what you have to look for in Food Club. The odds shouldn't add up to 1 or anything above it. If they do, avoid that arena completely. If they add up less than 1, then the 13:1 pirates are probably a bad bet with the best ones the one at 2:1. The most perfect scenario is with one pirate with 2:1 odds and the rest at 13:1, but even in other situations you can hope for a profit.
Note that you can't do anything to change the odds. On some days there will never be an arena that will look good. On such a day, my advice would be to not invest.
That is what makes Food Club different. Other games would hurt you in the long run, but Food Club won't so long as you bet carefully. You'll need luck with games like the Poogle Races, but with Food Club you can turn the odds to your favor. Of course, it should be remembered that probabilities work better with large sizes. You might end up losing neopoints all your first week if you're really unlucky, but as you increase the length of time you bet, to let's say several hundred days, your winnings should get closer to the theoretical values.
Based on this information of course we can form betting strategies for the game. The trick is to bet on all the pirates and the various combinations which could lead to profits, and there are easy ways to calculate these. I won't go very deep into any of them however, and merely leave it at that, though many guides will explain this part in more depth.
One last piece of advice is that if you are a beginner, you should probably see what other bets made by players are and see if what you would have done matches. If it doesn't, see why. Perhaps the player plays riskier than you do, or they saw something you didn't.
Of course, the above information might seem a bit complicated at first, but with some thought I do hope that it becomes clear. If not, feel free to neomail me with what you did not understand. Good luck, not that you'll be needing it.