Playing Tips for Lotto.
You still want to play Lotto? Then read on ...
Minimise your cash outlay
When playing a poor betting game, it is obviously better to
wager small amounts so that you lose less. In Oz Lotto
for instance you should ideally play one game for
a smaller sum rather than play a whole card of 12
games. Of course you have less chances to win, but
as previously discussed, if you are gambling to actually
win rather than just paying for the fantasy of what
it would be like to be rich, then Lotto is bad value
and not the way to go.
The somewhat similar game of Keno
has better odds than those available in lotto games,
though it is still a fixed returns style game in which
there is no player skill involved.
Avoid system entries.
(See previous point) Although you
can get about a 6% discount, you have to outlay large
amounts to get it. In a practical sense it is better
to play for just a few dollars with an expected return
of 60% than play for hundreds of dollars with an expected
return of 64%. Statistically speaking you are losing
either way, so the smaller outlay minimizes the damage.
Whilst we recommend avoiding system entries because of the
larger dollar outlay, if you wish to ignore our advice there is a point worth
mentioning that was brought to our attention by Professor Stephen Clarke from
In his words, "Because system entries repeat the same
numbers on many entries, when a particular set of numbers from a system entry
win a certain division, they will also win several prizes from the lower division
or possibly of the same division. This means that when a system entry wins something,
it is likely to be a bigger total amount because of the multiple wins. Now there
is no such thing as a free lunch, so the higher total prize is counteracted
by a lower chance of winning something. In short, by choosing a system
entry rather than an equivalent number of separate independent entries with
different numbers, a player will have a win less often. But when they do win,
they win more."
Minimise your time outlay
Don't take it too seriously! Don't
waste brain activity and emotional energy trying to
figure out a way to beat the system. There are other
games which offer a far better chance of this being
possible. In Lotto either you will be supremely lucky
and win a lot of money, or you won't. Chances are
overwhelmingly huge that you won't. The fact that
it is possible to win lower division prizes doesn't
change the bottom line, a bad return on each dollar
Don't go overboard just because there's a jackpot
A lot of people play extra Lotto games when there's a jackpot,
but in the vast majority of cases the value you are getting is still poor. It
is only very rarely (and you would have to be monitoring lotteries all around
the world) that sufficient successive jackpots occur to make a syndicated attack
theoretically worthwhile. It has however been pointed out to us by Professor
Clarke that normal Tattslotto only returns 55% to the player, with the extra
5% usually quoted only returned eventually to the player by way of Tattslotto
Superdraws. So whilst you should still not go overboard, if you must spend money
on Tattslotto, the Superdraws offer better value as they are mildly subsidised
by the normal draws.
Try to pick unpopular combinations
This is really the only positive advice we have to offer on lottery
playing strategy. It is so obvious as to hardly seem worth stating,
if you win a prize in any division, you win more if you have to share
with fewer people. Remember, all Lotto combinations are equally likely
to win. Many people for some reason find this hard to grasp and if you
must play Lotto you should at least try to exploit this.
There are various ways to try and identify combinations that are likely
to be unpopular. Here are a handful of statistically unproven, but
Avoid combinations that make obvious geometric patterns on the card.
Avoid supposedly 'lucky' numbers like 3, 7, 8, 9, or supposedly
'unlucky' numbers like 13. In fact avoid any numbers that draw attention to
themselves, such as 42, chosen by Douglas Adams as the answer to the meaning
of life because it is a 'normal' looking number that doesn't draw attention
Avoid numbers in the range 1-31, as people often use dates to help them
choose their numbers.
A final word of advice. Do not buy
a commercial Lotto number selecting product. Like
the vast majority of commercial gambling aids, these
are mostly dubious. The ones that are not outright
scams are almost certainly misguided. We are staggered
at the number of web sites offering products and advice
about Lotto. Some of these are so fanciful they are
hilarious. In our Nice
Try section we feature some of these, strictly
for amusement. The creator of one of the products
previously listed in this section actually contacted
us and conducted a spirited defence of his system.
We now believe him to be sincere, but stop short of
agreeing with his methodology.
... Lotto Systems
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