4 minute read  •  Lotto Facts & Statistics

Scratchies & Pokies Vs. Lottery Odds

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When it comes to the comparison between scratchies, pokies and lottery odds it’s all a big game of luck, but the way that these odds are calculated are slightly different for each game. If you are making the choice between buying scratchies, playing the pokies, either online or in person, and trying your luck at Oz Lotto or Powerball, there are a few things you should understand before you make your decision.

What are scratchies and how do scratchies work?

Scratchies are otherwise known as instant lotteries. You buy a scratch card from a physical retailer, usually a newsagent, and scratch off the blocks as per the instructions to reveal numbers, letters and symbols depending on what game you’re playing. There are a wide variety of different scratchie games you can play, each with different rules and odds of winning. Scratchies odds are similar to that of the regular lottery in that the chance of winning is completely random.

Scratchies are generally quite affordable to purchase, though they don’t typically offer the kind of payouts that the pokies and the lottery does. Smaller investment means smaller winnings. Scratchies are given as gifts and are just a little bit of fun for those who prefer to try their luck in a small and more occasional way. Some people have a preference for the scratchie games they choose while others are happy to purchase based on cost or completely at random.

What are the chances of winning on a scratchie?

Scratchies odds are pretty low when you are considering how possible it might be to win a larger prize. They are more of a low cost, low reward option for those who don’t particularly like to gamble per se and the more popular the game is, the smaller your odds are of winning. When you compare scratchie odds to pokies, the likelihood of winning big may be better on the pokies, but this is not taking into account the inbuilt computer systems which ensure that the ‘house’ gets their cut.

How do pokies work?

Pokies are known as electronic gaming machines or EGM’s. Whether played online or in a gaming centre, all pokies are controlled by an internal computer system that randomly selects the symbols that come up whenever the reel stops spinning. As a game, the pokies are exciting for players as they deliver a constant form of entertainment.

Pokies have quite the reputation in Australia for being a catalyst for problem gamblers, but there are many people who enjoy the social atmosphere at physical gaming centres. Scientific research has concluded that it is the lights and the colours, combined with the chance of winning large jackpots which are able to draw people in so successfully.

What are the chances of winning on the pokies?

The pokies are one of the most accessible forms of entertainment as there are games available online as well as in physical locations. The computer system that controls the machines is what calculates pokies odds. The pokies can deliver big payouts which is one of the things that makes them most attractive to players.

In all forms of gambling compared here, the pokies are the one that is most geared towards losses for players as there is generally a rule built into their internal systems that allows for the ‘house’ to win a certain number of times which equates to around 10% in Australia. The rule of thumb to remember when it comes to playing the pokies is the longer you play for, the more likely you are to lose.

How do scratchies and the pokies compare with lottery odds?

When comparing scratchies, pokies and lottery odds, the random nature of scratchies and the lottery probably give players their best chance at winning. 

When considering which types of games you are willing to invest your money into, your questions should be centered around whether you are looking for quick wins, or if you prefer to take your chances at being the lucky one who becomes a millionaire overnight. As with all forms of gambling, you need to balance the risk with the potential rewards and take the odds into consideration when you are making your choice. 

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