If you've played scratch cards online or bought them in a shop, you've probably wasted a large percentage of your hard-earned money – it sucks, I know because I've made all the mistakes you're currently making. Nevertheless, YOU can avoid simple errors by following my scratch card tips.
My 6 golden rules are designed to prevent you from making mistakes which could cost you big. Dig down to the end of the list to discover which cards to play, how much you should spend, and where to find the biggest jackpots.
1. BUY WINNING CARDS
Sounds ridiculous – right? How can you pick the winning cards? Well, it might surprise you to find out that it's easier than you think.
You won't need X-ray vision to see those winning game cards either. Just take a look on the reverse of any National Lottery scratchcard – your overall chance of winning is printed on the back. In the image below, you can see the odds of winning are 1 in 4.64. Each National Lottery game card has differing odds. Make sure you only buy the cards with the best odds. 1 in 3 is better for you than 1 in 4.
It works the same way online too. When playing at a casino or bingo site, look for the RTP (Returned To Player) figure, this number is displayed as a percentage. In the example below, it's stated as 91.56%. In theory, this means 91.56% of the money staked on the game is returned to players. A higher percentage rate is more favourable for you. Avoid games with RTP's lower than 90%.
2. SMALL STAKES, BIG WINS
No one likes losing big. Why risk blowing your bankroll to smithereens? I recommend keeping stakes low; you'll be able to stay in the game longer and survive dry spells. You could be tempted to increase your stakes, don't do it! It's much easier to track how much you're spending when you keep the stakes low, especially online.
Offline many people believe the jackpots on those £10 National Lottery cards are higher than the £2 or £5 games, NOT TRUE! Plenty of these £2 cards have jackpots equal to the big-ticket games. Shop around to find the best value cards.
3. PLAY FOR FREE
One of the significant benefits to buying scratch cards online is the generous new player bonuses on offer. Unlike real-world purveyors of scratch cards, online casinos and portals provide players with significant incentives to sign up and play with them. Rewards can include things like matched deposit bonuses, free games and occasionally totally free cash.
Significant terms and conditions apply to all these offers – so make sure you read the T&Cs before joining. We have details of the latest promo deals – click here.
4. HIT THOSE JACKPOT CARDS
One of the major reasons for the appeal of scratch cards is the big jackpots they offer. Everyone dreams of winning big for a modest outlay.
Typically real-world scratch card costs between £5 and £10, often you'll find that the real difference between those two price points is small. Most people expect the £10 card to offer a bigger prize, but it doesn't always work out that way! You can buy £5 cards which provide bigger jackpots than the £10 game cards. More importantly, you need to check that the prizes on the £10 cards are still up for grabs! One big mistake scratch card players make is purchasing game cards where the jackpots have already been won. You can check HERE to see which games still have the top prizes available.
For online players, my advice is similar, but not exactly the same. Fortunately for online players, it's always transparent if a jackpot has been won. The prize totals are displayed and updated in real-time. Offline this is difficult for the scratch card providers to accomplish. However, online players need to shop around for the best value jackpots. One of the best scratch card tips for online players is the ‘Jackpot King' series of scratch card games. This jackpot can be randomly activated during any game. ‘Jackpot King' offers three different progressive prizes. They range from a few thousand to over £1 million (jackpot can rise and fall in value). King Kong Cash is a fantastic online scratch card from Paddy Power which offers this prize pool.
5. DON'T FORGET TO CASH IN!
As crazy as it seems, people do forget to cash in scratch card wins. I do it all the time! I buy a card in the supermarket, scratch it and win! Then I place the card on the kitchen counter at home and forget all about it for the next three months. I then ‘find' the card, take it to cash in the prize, only to discover the card has expired! To stop this happening I have started to leave all my winning cards in my car. That way I can claim my prizes when I'm filling up with petrol.
Online it's easier to claim a prize, winnings are normally paid directly into your casino account. But here's the problem with that, how often do you draw down winnings into your bank account? Not that often right?
Here's my top scratch card tips for playing online. Always draw down at least 50% of your total winnings. That way you won't be tempted to overplay. Winning isn't easy, why hand back that money to the casino immediately?
6. STOP PLAYING!
Stop playing? That's right; One of the biggest mistakes scratch card gamers make is over-playing. While you can tilt the odds in your favour, scratch cards remain a game of chance. You should view them as a form of entertainment and not a way to make money.
Only risk money you feel comfortable losing. Never chase losses or play when you're under the influence of alcohol. When the fun stops – stop.