Back in the 1970s, a few American computer scientists made history through discovering an instant way to receive lottery-like prizes, including a higher jackpot, immediately after purchasing a ticket. This form of instant gratification – initially called the Instant Win – was convenient for Americans then, and is even more convenient now. Without the commonly high costs of a lottery ticket, and having to wait for a draw, scratchcards gained instant popularity. The popularity of scratchcards had been increasing at a greater rate than any other form of lottery.

The world’s biggest scratchcard jackpot launched in the UK in July, ranking up to a staggering 20 million pounds. It’s no wonder that it has become so popular – the gameplay is simple, the cost is relatively low, and the win is instant. With brightly coloured scratchcards that decorate most stores, bringing in players when their prices start at a single pound/dollar, or a few, they can seem more enjoyable than attempting to guess the right sets of numbers in a lottery.

Not to mention, online gambling scratchcards started to gain their popularity by around 2010, opening its doors to a multitude of players around the globe. The first website solely dedicated to online scratchcards was launched in 2005, by PrimeScratchCards, and it has been the catalyst in scratchcards gaining the popularity that they have today. Delivering a more entice and entertaining gameplay, online scratchcards have become more popular than ever in recent years.

Odds of winning

Whenever playing any kind of lottery, or gambling, players should consider their chances of winning. With scratchcards, the odds of you managing to win anything aren’t that bad, especially when you consider the odds of winning the jackpot when playing the National Lottery, or Powerball.

Take All Cash, for example. The odds of you winning a prize are 1:6.4. With Diamond Bingo Doubler, the average odds are 1:4. And the odds of you winning the top prize in the National Lottery? 1 in 8,145,060. All in all, the chances of you winning any prize through a scratchcard are higher than winning the lottery.

Are Scratchcards Worth it?

The next question that usually comes after this, are scratchcards worth it? Are there any ways to improve your odds?

Some will be inclined to disagree, naturally. There’s an argument that it’s impossible to win anything on scratchcards, and that they’re terrible as a financial investment. It’s true that the odds are stacked against you, though, since the system is designed for a state government profit. And, just like any other form of gambling, it’s difficult to play within a set budget that we should set for ourselves.

But, even with the odds against you, and scratchcards failing to be a reliable financial investment, they can still be enjoyable. If you don’t mind losing money because of scratchcards, and you see it as a hobby or some entertainment, then scratchcards can be, technically, worth it.

Can I increase my chances of winning?

There are, of course, methods that you could try in an attempt to improve your chances. Whether they actually work, however, remains largely undecided.

Before you even buy, it’s advised to think about what you’re choosing. In other words, intelligent buying. Cheaper scratchcards have a lower prize pool, and vice versa – costly scratchcards offer prizes and jackpots of a higher amount. If you don’t want to spend too much on these scratchcards, and want to keep your budget rather low, then you should keep to the cheaper scratchcards. If you’re looking to win prizes of a higher value, or even hope for the jackpot itself, you should choose the scratchcards that cost more. Quality over quantity, in this case.

Checking the small print can sound tiring and unnecessary, but if you’re looking for higher chances of winning, it would be common sense. Some scratchcards will have the chances written out on the back, in the fine print.

Another, highly controversial, piece of advice is to buy in bulk. So, buying 4-5 at once, from the same game, rather than buy one at a time over a period of time. Some claim it increases your chances of winning, and say that the scratchcards with prizes are scattered throughout the stack evenly, so there must be a prize every four or five scratchcards.

This one is certainly common sense, though – keeping the old tickets. After all, it’s normal that the human mind makes errors. Forgetting your keys or wallet, confusing names or places, it’s all normal. Chances are that you may have overlooked a win, throwing the card out as a mistake. Keeping all scratchcards will keep you eligible as a winner if you realise you’ve made a mistake, and you can always check them if you’ve got them with you.

One of the more popular pieces of advice is to pick a game, and stick to it. Theoretically, the numbers are usually on your side if you keep on buying scratchcards from the same provider, and it’s not a difficult piece of advice to follow. After all, there’s no harm in improving your odds of winning.

Be responsible!

The best piece of advice for any players, however, is to set yourself a budget and keep to it. If you don’t mind losing twenty pounds of your paycheck for scratchcards, and you don’t need to worry about your financial situation, then it’s not a problem. Don’t buy any more than what you can, just because you haven’t been receiving any prizes – scratchcards are, after all, mostly just dumb luck.

Where to play?

Many lottery providers, also have the options to play online scratchcards. These providers are;