The key features of any scratchcard are:
– The odds of winning a prize;
– The value of the top prize;
– The cost of the card;
– Ease of use.
Tips on usage:
– Use a copper coin to scratch off the panels. A £1 coin may damage the card.
– You have to expose the serial number on a winning card. Otherwise, you are making work for the shop staff when you go to collect your winnings.
– If the serial number is damaged and illegible you will have to write to National Lottery HQ to collect your winnings, enclosing the card. The National Lottery will respond promptly with a cheque. The instructions are on the back of each card.
The key attitude of the player is: are you playing in hope and for fun, or has a demon of greed taken
If you keep playing any mechanical gambling game over time you will lose all the money you stake and the winnings you re-stake. Odds of 3/1 means that, on average, over time, you will lose 2 times out of every 3 times you play. Keep playing and you will lose all your money.
So in time, you will suffer massive, proportional losses.
That said, scratchcards are a simple, fun way to gamble in hope, if you use them correctly. I define correctly as spending a proportion of your disposable income that you don’t mind losing, because there is a reasonable chance you may win something each time you play, and also that you may win big over time.
‘Reasonable’ I define as odds of less than 4/1 for a small win and thousands/1 for a correspondingly large prize.
If the odds of winning £1m are 100,000,000/1, then walk on. You have better odds of falling off a cliff and landing unhurt!
Different UK National Lottery cards have different odds. The more expensive the card, the better the odds. The cheaper the card, the worse the odds!
Buy 1 x £5 scratchcard on a Saturday. Scratch off a few panels each day until the following Friday. Then buy another one on the following Saturday.
Use any smaller winnings to buy another card. Don’t buy a bunch of them in one go; when you lose, it’s depressing and you will feel an irrational impulse to buy more.
The best odds I’ve found so far are on the card below. In subsequent posts I will list other current £5 scratchcards and their details.
Name: £100,000 a Month for a Year
Odds: 1 in 3.07
Ease of use: Medium*.
*You have to make sure you re-check the right hand panel to ensure you haven’t missed a win. It requires some scrutiny.