Blaseball is back! By the time you read this, Season 13 will be well underway, making now a great time to share everything I’ve learned about sound blaseball fiscal policy. If you’re relatively new to the splort like me, perhaps the maximal absurdity inherent to blaseball has you feeling a tad overwhelmed, and unsure of how to spend your coins. As someone who has made a variety of financial blunders, both minor and colossal, I consider it my duty to ensure that my hard-earned wisdom needn’t be so difficult to access for others. Therefore, I humbly submit this brief primer, that you may avoid my grievous errors.
Please note that, as I am just barely getting a handle on the sum total of blaseball myself, I must fully excise “What Is Blaseball?” type ruminations from the scope of this blog post. If you are in need of an introduction to the splort itself, please check out Cat Manning’s definitive primer. If you are shopping for a favorite team and/or want to know more about the extensive and deeply, fantastically silly lore of blaseball, the Blaseball Fans Wiki has you covered.
If you’re brand new to blaseball, the first thing to do is establish your passive income streams. To that end, it is imperative that you select an idol before you make any bets, or buy anything else. Having an idol (and the relevant snacks, but I’ll get there in a bit) is key for acquiring passive income, and passive income is key for ensuring you’ll be protected from your own worst tendencies when you inevitably make terrible decisions at the betting window. Don’t overthink this decision. Find a player on the Idol list who has a lot of stars and good vibes, and who you think seems cool and/or fun. Preferably, this will be someone on your team, but it doesn’t have to be.
Selecting an idol requires 200 coins, but your first idol selection is free. However, you must still be in possession 200 coins to pick your first idol. That is why you are making this selection now, prior to any other transactions. In a near fugue state of wide-eyed bewilderment, I thought it smart to check out a few games and make a few bets first, that I may see what’s what. Except, instead of making a handful of small, carefully selected bets, I bet on every single upcoming game and lost most of them. This left me with far less than 200 coins for a long time, which left me unable to select an idol for a long time, which set my financial growth back for days. And when I say days, I mean actual, real world days, not blaseball “days”. Avoid my mistake! Pick your idol first.
Once you’ve selected your idol, it’s time to buy snacks. Snacks are your passive income factories, and even the scant 250 coins you have at your disposal are all you need to get solvent. First, buy your idol-dependent snacks. As of this writing, there are two sets of idol-dependent snacks. One set is for idols who are pitchers; this set consists of Chips and a Burger. The other set is for idols who are hitters, and contains the Hot Dog, Sunflower Seeds, and, as of Season 13, Pickles. Regardless of whether or not your idol is a pitcher or hitter, buy all of the snacks in the set now. They will pay for themselves with the quickness.
If your idol is a pitcher, you may balk at the 100 coin cost of a Burger. But make no mistake, you should still buy the burger right now, while you can. Note that the very first time your favored ace pitches a shutout, you will make well more than twice that, immediately. In the meantime, your chips should provide a small but steady trickle of coins.
The hitter snack set has a similar payout structure, but a different cost structure. The Hot Dog is cheap at only 20 coins, and pays out big, but only when your idol homers. Sunflower Seeds are slightly more expensive and have a small payout, but since they pay out when your idol gets a base hit, they’ll bring in a steady stream of coins. Pickles are the cheapest snack, and provide excellent payouts for stolen bases. I have no idea how often you should expect your idol to steal a base at press time. I’m guessing it’s not very often, but a 10 coin cost for a 50 coin payout seems like a low risk, high reward gambit, and one well worth pursuing. So make sure you buy the entire set of snacks, based on your idol! It will be worth it, I promise.
Once you’ve bought your idol-dependent snacks, it’s time to buy both regular popcorn and stale popcorn. Popcorn gives you money every time your favorite team wins a game, while stale popcorn gives you money every time your favorite team loses. Buy both, so that you make money every game, regardless of the result.
By now, you’ve almost certainly noticed that you can “level up” your snacks by purchasing the same snack multiple times. This is a wonderful thing to do, and once you have some coins saved up, it’s well worth pursuing. However, since you only have 250 coins to start out, and you’ll want to have some left over for placing bets, because placing bets is good fun. Therefore, it’s OK to only buy the first “level” of each snack, for now. Wait until you have a bit more walking around money to make upgrades.
I haven’t done a deep dive on value calculations or anything, but I have noticed that Stale Popcorn provides a higher payout at higher levels than Popcorn, so I’d encourage you to start upgrading your Stale Popcorn sooner rather than later, especially if your team is less than good. I don’t have a ton of success stories from my first day of blaseball, but buying and upgrading my Stale Popcorn was my first step towards profitability after I completely whiffed on selecting an idol. (If you are interested in more specific information on snack payouts, check out this Google spreadsheet, which Iists the costs of, and payouts for, each snack at each level.)
Now that you’ve picked and idol and bought your snacks, your passive income streams are all set. Congratulations! Now it’s time to talk about betting on blaseball. Betting is central to the the blaseball experience. It gives you cause to follow the entire IBL instead of focusing solely on your selected team, so that you can take in the absurdity of the whole splort. But, as with all forms of gambling, it can also be stupid and arbitrary, and outside of what bets you place, everything about it is entirely out of your control.
Betting success is not a matter of whether you’ll lose money or not, it’s a matter of how much money you’ll lose, and how often you’ll do so. Therefore, the concept of making ‘smart’ bets is relative, at absolute best. I’ve picked up a couple of tricks, however, and I hope that you can mine and refine these crud nuggets even further, that you may clear the extremely low bar of being a better gambler than me.
For starters, don’t bet the entire slate of games. As noted above, I learned that’s a silly thing to do, and I learned it the hard way. You will have to pick your bets, and doing so intelligently requires some understanding of how the bets work. The Chances of Winning provided on the betting screen effectively establish a money line for the game. This means that, while you will make a profit off of any successful bet, the payouts for winning bets on favorites are less than the payouts for winning bets on underdogs. The more a team is favored, the less the payout is, and of course, the inverse is true for underdogs.
Because any successful bet brings in a profit, I solemnly regret to inform you that it is, in fact, sound betting strategy to bet big on heavy favorites. You won’t make a lot of money, but you should make a decent profit over time. That said, there’s no reason you should need to only bet on heavy favorites. I like placing my big bets on big favorites, and then finding an underdog or two that I think is worth a smaller bet. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything close to a scientific method for finding such underdogs. I can only advise that you keep an eye out for teams with winning records that are also underdogs, especially if the favorite has a worse record. I’ve made a lot of coins from these acts of disrespect, but unfortunately, I don’t have more reliable underdog finding wisdom than that at press time.
When you’re placing bets, make sure to note the weather conditions, and avoid placing bets on any game with weather conditions that ‘collect’ runs. Here, I am referring specifically to the weather conditions ‘Sun 2’ and ‘Black Hole’. Under both conditions, when a team scores 10 runs, those runs are collected, and the team in question loops back to 0 runs on the scoreboard. And yes, if a team loops back to 0 and finishes the game with less runs on the board than their opponent, that is considered a loss for betting purposes. All blaseball is shrouded in total chaos, and every bet is a risk, but these weather conditions create entirely too much chaos and therefore, betting on games with either condition is entirely too risky. Stay away from all of them, no matter what.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you’re not sure you want to bet on any games in a given slate, don’t! You never have to bet on any game, so if you don’t see any enticing bets, just hang back and let the passive income trickle in. That’s why you spent all that money on setting up your passive income streams. Not only will they protect you when your bets fail you, they will also add up quite a lot when you’re sitting pat. It’s ok to take it easy!
That’s all the advice I have right now, but perhaps I will revisit this topic once I’ve spent more time with the Bleautiful Game, and have learned a few more tricks. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be off to check in on my beloved Alston Cerveza and my equally beloved Canada Moist Talkers. Talk Spit, Get Hits! Until next time, Be Kind, Be Gross!