The Appeal of Playing Scratch Cards
Scratch cards has a few game aspects that attract players – lottery and non-lottery.
Win a prize right there and then
Scratch cards are considered an instant win, or instawin, game. That means that you buy a card, scratch it, and know instantly if you won and how much. It is a complimenting, but different, experience to the lottery. When you play the lottery, daydreaming about the jackpot you’re about to win is part of the fun. Because it is such a thrill, players don’t mind waiting a few hours, or even a day or two, for the draw. Sometimes, you can’t even tell right away how much you won – winners have to share the top prize tiers. Lottery instant win games fit right in between the time you buy a ticket and the numbers draw. This type of gameplay complements lottery perfectly. You can scratch in between draws.
Can You Win Big Money on Scratch Cards?
Scratch prizes are usually low, but so is the cost of a card. It means that this game is for those who want to play as many times on the same amount. This is in opposition to what jackpot seekers are after – just the top tier.
What Are the Odds of Winning at Scratch Cards?
To counter the low prizes, the hit frequency – the odds of winning any prize, or how often a player is likely to win any prize – is higher than that of lottery games. It means that you’ll win a prize more frequently, but it will most likely be small amounts. These small prizes can be less than the cost of a card.
Many scratchies have a win odd of 1:4. Every one in four tickets has any prize. This is probably the highest odds of any other online game type available.
Which game types are available
I decided to split scratch cards into two types – pre-set tickets and fixed odds. There is a core difference in game mechanics that players should be aware of.
Fixed Number of Available Prizes
This game type acts exactly like a printed ticket – there’s a fixed number of prizes. This means that there’s a fixed amount of winning tickets for each prize tier. For example, if there’s one jackpot-winning ticket, one it is scratched, no one else can win the jackpot. The bad news is, players can’t tell if a jackpot, or any other top tier prize, was already won. You can buy a ticket with the hope of winning the jackpot, but someone already won it. It could be you’re buying a ticket with no chance of winning the jackpot.
In short, there’s a dependency between tickets – each ticket scratched is changing the winning odds of the pool of remaining tickets. Just like when buying a physical ticket.
One of the leading brands that sell this type of scratch tickets is Lottoland. They have a clear paytable for each game with the number of over “printed” cards, and a list of prizes and the amount of winning tickets for each tier.
Fixed Odds of Winning Prizes
This type is similar to online slots since each scratch round the odds is reset. There’s no dependency on other cards. Potentially, a player can win the jackpot twice in the same scratch game.
It resembles buy the first scratch out of a new print. You placing a wager in the printed game’s initial odds.
How to improve your odds of winning
If you want to improve your odds of winning, you have to consider the game type (see above) and the game’s specifications. I’ll clear some of the guidelines and answer some questions.
Play the odds
Each scratch game its own odds of winning a prize, any prize. The higher the odds, the better the chance you have of scratching a winner. A game with a 1:4 odds of winning a prize is better than one with a 1:6 odds. Assuming the prize tiers are identical.
These odds are fixed for most of the online games, but they change with printed, or like-printed games. The more winning tickets are bought, the less winning tickets are left in the pool.
Manage your accounts balance
If you want to win as much as possible on a limited budget, make sure you wager small amounts. The longer you stay on budget, the more likely you are to win.
Jackpots are, usually, not as big, but you should check the game’s terms so you can play a game with the right balance between volatility and hit frequency.
Deposit Wisely and Max Out on Free Spins
Some online lottery brands offer new players who complete their first deposit a generous free spins bonus. They reward players with this bonus type to get them going and creating a habit. You should use it to your advantage and deposit the minimum amount that get’s you the highest number of free spins. You’ll have to wager any winnings multiple times, but you’ll be playing for free.
Buy an Expensive Card
Is It Better to buy an expensive scratch card? As a rule of thumb, yes. Expensive tickets would have a high win frequency or high prize tiers. You can tell if a game is expected to pay well by looking at its paytable and calculating RTP.
I’m not contradicting the previous tips, you should still manage your budget. Managing a budget doesn’t mean going for the cheapest cards. There’s a play budget sweet spot of ticket cost and RTP.
Terms Used in Online Scratch Cards
Hit Frequency – it is the chance of winning any prize tier. The number of times you’ll get a winning ticket out of an x amount of tickets.
Volatility – With big jackpots, comes high ticket cost and lower hit frequency. This means you’ll burn through your standing balance is few tickets. Your budget won’t last as long with volatile games, but you’ll have a chance at winning some significant prizes.
Return to Player (RTP) – how much is a scratch player expected to win back. For example, if a player is buying 100 tickets of $1 and the game’s RTP is 94%, he’s expected to win back $94. This is why the house always win. The odds are in favore of it.