Top Tips for Winning on Scratch Cards

Scratch cards are an easy and exciting way to win a few extra bucks –but like anything else people choose to gamble on, they’re not guaranteed to provide a lavish pay day each and every time. There are, however, a few things you can do to make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible odds of picking a golden ticket next time you’re feeling lucky!

Be Smart About It

With the hundreds of different scratch cards available these days — each one with its own jackpot amount, color, shape, size and symbols — it can be tough deciding which one looks the most promising. Many people tend to just pick the shiniest one they can find in the hope that they’ll scratch off the top prize. This seldom works, and makes buying cheaper cards a lot more tempting. Try not to pick one based on how it looks, but instead look a little deeper than that. For example, if the amount of cards a merchant is selling looks quite thin, chances are many others are also buying the same ticket. Therefore, your odds of being sold a winner are naturally increased compared to cards which don’t sell often.

Buy Them in Bulk

Even though the majority of people who purchase cheap scratch cards tend to buy them in bulk, the overall prize pool is much lower in comparison to the more expensive ones. The payout frequency is also likely to be a lot less than high-end tickets that pay out larger amounts more often. For this reason, opting for quality over quantity is likely to favor your payout potential in the long-run. If you’re happy with the chance to score some smaller and more frequent wins here and there, don’t be afraid to treat them like lotto tickets and buy a few at a time.

Stick to One Type

Think about it. If you’re playing several different scratch cards, you’re spreading your spending over loads of different games. There’s no right or wrong to this method, but by doing this, you’re probably just going to end up hitting losing scratch cards constantly. Instead, it may be better to stick to one game in the long-run, because there’s just as many chances to win as there is to lose. This goes not only for different types of cards, but also online vs. physical scratch cards.

Hold Onto Old Tickets

This might sound incredible, but you would be amazed at the amount of times no one steps forward to claim their lottery prize. A lot of the time this is down to human error and people overlooking what they have on their ticket. Rather than putting “somewhere” where you can never find them again, keep hold of all your tickets, as the manufacturer will sometimes requests all losing tickets are returned to them so they can pick a losing ticket as the winner instead. So don’t throw your losing tickets in the trash right away! You never know if or when this could happen.

Hand In Your Losing Tickets

Just like the above, its’ always worth holding onto your old tickets, even if they haven’t won. Why? Because we are only human, and there is always a chance that you may have missed something. Maybe you didn’t scratch off a digit properly, or overlooked a winning combination somewhere. If such cases arise, you could very well be eligible for some kind of payment! Even if it seems obvious, a second pair of eyes on your card could be the difference between you chucking away a small fortune on accident and receiving a surprisingly nice little reward.

Treat Them Like Slot Machines

You may have heard stories of hungry slot players hanging around machines in casinos waiting for other players to go through dry patches and leave. If nobody has won anything for a while, there’s a high chance that the machine will pay out sooner or later. You could apply this technique when you purchase a scratch card too, and start by asking the vendor if they recall anyone claiming a winning card recently. They might look at you a bit weird, but it could help you assess which cards look the most promising. You might not feel too comfortable with this one, but if it could be well worth a shot.

Set Yourself a Limit 

It’s important to set a budget and stick to it with any kind of gambling you choose to partake in. When it comes to scratch cards, give yourself a weekly or monthly allowance but don’t let you finances spiral out of control and overspend. Remember, even though the prospect of winning is enough incentive in itself, the odds are around 1 in 3 for an instant prize game, and this applies to the cards with the lowest prizes, aka $1 payout amounts. Hardly a return when you’ve just invested five times that much on hope alone.

 Check the Terms and Conditions

This might be something you’ve never thought to do before you purchase a scratch card, but many of these actually detail the odds of winning on that specific card in the small print. In addition, you’ll find details about what symbols you need to match to obtain a winning combination, as well as things like the prize amounts available, the number of winning cards, and what the bet multipliers are – and even what, if anything, could void the card. All of this information can usually be found on the back of most scratch cards these days. 

Conclusion

Though winning on scratch cards primarily comes down to luck, applying some of these tips before you next purchase one isn’t going to cause any harm. As long as you’re being smart about what cards you select, how many you purchase, and what you’re prepared to spend on them overall, you’re much more likely to have better chances than if you had just swooped by a store and picked up a load of lucky dips for $1 each. Nevertheless, playing scratch cards is a lot of fun, and hopefully you’ll be able to score a few extra bucks with these methods next time!

John D. Gardner

John spent the last twenty years teaching advanced statistics at a community college before leaving to pursue his love of writing and strategy games. Combined with his extensive teaching experience, John has made it his mission to guide aspiring gamblers to their biggest wins.