Have you ever simply just picked up the most visually appealing scratch off card and paid a buck or a few bucks to buy it, only to be disappointed after not winning anything or winning too small of an amount? It would be better if you’d start asking which scratch off tickets have the best odds as then you’d be playing a much better game.

What is a good scratch card? Let’s establish some ground rules first. The jackpot wins aren’t the only thing that matter, as most likely you won’t win the jackpot but one of the smaller prizes. So it’s important to check them as well.

As a general rule of thumb, the jackpot shouldn’t be less than 10,000x the price you pay for a scratch card. If it’s less, see if the chances of winning are actually higher than usual (e.g. there are multiple top prizes), but if they’re not, avoid that scratch card.

Big jackpots don’t necessarily equal good scratch cards

In many cases, a top jackpot of $5,000,000 or so is there to lure people to play, but if the scratch card costs $20 that’s quite an investment for a long shot. On the other hand, the “Win for Life” type of cards offer excellent value. If you get $5,000 per month for the rest of your life, that’s $60,000 per year or likely several millions during your lifetime, for a price of $5. That’s much better than the previous example.

Do examine the scratch card with scepticism before committing money to it, and you’ll be able to find value and will be getting the biggest bang for your buck. The worst thing you can do with scratch cards is to waste your money on overpriced scratch cards with large jackpots no one will win.

Check the odds

Since the scratch cards have several jackpots and not only one, and for many scratch off cards such as Florida or New Jersey you can check in real time how many jackpot prizes are left, you can easily see which scratch cards are mathematically the best choice to play.

For example, the card itself won’t tell you how many jackpots are left, it only tells you how many did the card start off with. You need to check online to see if there are still 6 jackpots left or if it’s already down to, say, 2. That makes a world of difference as it means there were 6 cards that bring the jackpot and only 2 remain for purchase.


If you choose your card wisely and don’t fall for big jackpots on bad and overpriced scratch off cards, and if you check your odds online before purchase, you can improve your chances to win by 50% or even double them. This is a game of chance where the odds are precisely known. It’s not like lottery where the chances to win are abstract – in case of scratch off cards if there are 6 jackpots than there are 6 physical cards with the jackpot. So it’s imperative to check your odds before playing so you always have the biggest possible chance to win.

Good luck!


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