Event • Cost: 2 • Influence: 1

Secretly spend any number of credits. The Corp guesses if you spent an even or odd amount. Reveal spent credits. If the Corp guessed incorrectly, gain credits equal to twice the amount spent.

Criminal • Matt Zeilinger • Honor and Profit 47
All sets:
Links: Decklists | ANCUR
Push Your Luck
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Reviews

Look. Competitive games with any element of variance in them have one underlying principle: If you are winning, reduce variance at all costs. If you are losing, INCREASE variance at all costs. The reason for this is that losing badly is the same result as losing just barely, so if you know your current position isn't winnable there's no reason not to gamble everything to try and improve it.

Yes, this card averages a negative return in terms of raw numbers. But you have to look at the return UTILITY. Let's say the corp is 6 points up with a probable agenda advanced once in a server you need 20 credits to crack. You have 13. What's the utility of those 13 credits? Nothing. They're useless to you. You lose whether you have them or not. So Push Your Luck in this situation is gambling an item of no utility for a chance to win an item with actual utility.

However, that doesn't make this a good card. The simple reality is that in almost every scenario where you're almost guaranteed to lose with the credits you have but might stand a chance with just under double that, Stimhack performs just fine and without the horrible variance. No, while I can see the point of this card (take the gamble only when you have nothing to lose, turning a guaranteed loss into a 50/50), the payout isn't high enough to justify including this.

Which is sad, because the concept and usage would be neat, but understandable because randomness at a high competitive level annoys the hell out of competitive players. Psi gets a pass because it's like a yomi game, but this is really just a coin flip.

(Kala Ghoda era)
The issue isn't just the variance, in order for this to work you have to have 2 more than half the amount you need to get in. That means it's a terrible card for a "hail mary" to start with. Even for crim who are can't afford to import a Stimhack, Data Dealer works better than this. Or work around it. If if you are needing the credits to get past Tollbooth or Komainu, use Femme. If you need them to get past Wotan, Siphon and Emergency Shutdown. But this is a way to steal crushing defeat from the jaws of regular old defeat. —
You'll note that I said at the end of review that the card is not using! I'm only trying to counter the perception that the concept of a negative expectancy econ card is inherently worthless. Certainly this implementation of it is. —
Stimhack is useless if you need credits outside of run though. Suppose you ran on your second to last click and bit more then you can chew (Gov Takeover or a bit too lucky multiaccess), and you don't have enough to beat 2 Punitive traces that are surely coming. In situation like this you'd wish you had this instead of useless Stimhack. —

This is hands down the best econ option for any runner, and at only one influence it should be splashed in every deck. What's better than getting double your creds? Nothing! And hey, it even synergies with PPVP for all you Kate fanatics out there.

(Up and Over era)
Troll review, ignore it. —
Fantastic review, I now pack 3x in every deck. —

My complaint would be that the runner would need to have 11-12 credits before it is better than a stimhack, but honestly, Just like many decks that find the influence for a stimhack, a 1-of hail mary card is not a terrible idea. a 50% chance at keeping the game going that you previously had 100% of losing, that's realistically, more than you're going to get from just about any other card in the game.

(Up and Over era)
416
In order for this to be as good as a Sure Gamble (net +4 creds), you'd have to spend 2 to play and then wager an additional 4, meaning you'd need 6 creds in your pool, with a 50/50 chance of losing those 6 creds. So, based on those odds, I'd play it if I was going to get double that of a SG, which means I'd need 10 creds to get 18. Or 0. Man, that it rough. —