Scratch-offs, or scratch cards as they are sometimes known, have become the fast food of our 21st-century gambling culture. That’s no bad thing, we don’t always have the time, resources, or inclination for a three-course meal, and sometimes a Big Mac is just right. The same principle applies to placing a wager.
Traditionally, you would buy a scratch card at a supermarket, gas station, or the like, but today, you can also buy a real money scratcher online. It makes scratch cards even more convenient to play, and there’s no need to search for a coin.
There are dozens of different scratch cards available both in shops and when you buy them online. As with any sort of gambling, whether it’s casino blackjack or horse racing, the only person guaranteed to make money is the casino, sportsbook, or scratch card seller. But duly caveated, there are nevertheless strategies you can adopt to improve your chances of buying a winner.
Choose the best RTP
Like casino games, every scratch card game has a specific Return to Player (RTP). Suppose a game has a million tickets issued, sold for $1 each, and the total prizes add up to $950,000. In this case, the RTP is 95 percent. Different games have different RTPs, and clearly, the higher it is, the better your chances.
Each game must state the RTP, and an advantage of playing online scratch-offs is that you can spend as long as you like researching – not always possible at the checkout in the gas station when there is a line of customers waiting behind you!
Check if the top prize has been won
About one in three scratch cards contains a prize. Let’s use the same example as above and assume this one boasts a $200,000 jackpot. So one of the million tickets will have the jackpot, and about 300,000 will have the remaining prize fund of $750,000 shared between them. That’s an average price of $2.50 for the other winners. Tickets will continue to be on sale even after the jackpot has gone.
The lottery’s homepage will tell you which jackpot prizes have been claimed, and clearly, those are games to avoid. In general, buy tickets for newly released games if you can – these are more likely to still have the big prizes available.
Stick with one game till you win
You often see people in the gas station buying several different cards. “A 13, an 18, a 21, and a 28, please.” There’s no logic to it. Remember, one in three is a winner. So buy a 13. If there’s no prize, buy another, as by uncovering a “no prize” ticket, you have marginally improved your odds. The opposite applies if you get a winner – you’ve increased the likelihood of buying a duff next, so in this case, by all means, try a different one.
It’s another good reason to buy real money scratchers online, as you won’t be annoying checkout staff and other shoppers by purchasing your scratch cards one at a time.