|Posted: December 13, 2009, 5:53 pm - IP Logged|
This is for a discussion of tactics. Please add your ideas. For example, the idea, buy one scratcher at a time until you win something, then go home because the next several tickets will be non-winners, is generally true, but if I'd struck to it, I would have missed a $100 winner, which followed a $10 winner.
So what are some of your tricks? What do you believe? For instance,
1. buying the first and the last tickets on a roll.
2. buying a ticket because it has an unusual white line dividing the tickets
(didn't work for me, through several such purchases, either before or after the white line)
3. Thinking there are more winners in a new game, first roll. (seems to work)
4. Buying tickets at out of the way, small town stores.
Okay, what are your ideas and experiences?
So far, I've identified several strategies
First, selecting the game:
There's the basic expectation where you sum up the products of the prize value and the probability of hitting that prize. This doesn't take into account the volatility of the game such as with Super Set For Life where it's pretty much all on none.
There's rating the games by the sum of the log value of the prize value to price ratio divided by the log value of the odds against for that prize. This favours the lower value prizes and games with many prize categories such as Big Money Bingo. It'll give you the most consistent number of wins but mostly of low value. The use of logs means that magnitude is important not the actual value.
There's rating the games by the odds of winning a target prize of a certain value with all winnings less than the target reinvested to purchase more tickets. I use the concept of purchasing $100 of tickets so that I'm comparing the odds of a single $20 ticket with the odds of 20 $1 tickets. In theory, I should use the concept of purchasing $2,100 worth of tickets as the lowest common product of $1, $3, $5, $7, $10, and $20 but I have difficulty envisioning the concept of buying that many tickets.
Note that with Texas, you can download CSV files on claimed prizes to date and as odds change while people buy tickets, you're actually looking for the older games not the newer ones, basically looking for games where other people have cleared out more of the loosing tickets then the winning tickets.
Then there's trying to benefit from how the tickets are printed:
Guaranteed prizes. Each pack is guaranteed a certain value of prizes and most packs have little more than that with only the rare pack with a larger prize so you can purchase the ticket one at a time and stop purchasing once a certain percentage of the guaranteed prizes or all of them have been found because at that point, chances are there would be no more prizes, if you happen to stumble across a big win while doing this than great. Basically aim for the slow burn while waiting for lady luck to hit.
Hot Pack Cold Pack. Most of the packs just have the minimum guarantee dollar value in prizes and are hence printed in bulk, usually with mostly low to mid tiered prizes. A smaller number of packs are printed with the better prizes and since the limited runs are more expensive to the printer, they would have as many of the larger prizes consolidated onto a stamp as their contract would allow. The packs once folded and cut are shuffled with the regular packs for delivery but the result may be a hot pack cold pack scenario. Note that the Hot Pack Cold Pack heuristic conflicts with the Guaranteed Prizes heuristic.
Markings. There are alignment markings on the base stamp that allow for the subsequent foil, sealer and latex layers to be properly lined up. These alignment markings show up as black or white "L" like corner brackets, vertical or horizontal dashes. There are two theories here, if the hot packs are just cut out of the regular sheets to have the different prizes layered then they are more likely from one edge of the sheet or the other hence more likel to have corner "L" bracket markings. The other theory is that the hot packs are done on either narrower sheets for the lower volume or require higher tolerance for alignment and hence more alignment markings to the surface area. These markings are visible on the ticket before you scratch but not all vendors will allow you to purchase from the middle of a pack and those that do are likely to have separated tickets displayed which have already been cherry picked so the best way to take advantage of this is to be a retailer, separate the tickets for display and cherry pick them before putting them out to display