If you’ve a traveller, you probably got a little bit of a risky streak to you, it’s likely that you’ve picked up a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard at least once in your life. But those are hard to come by when you’re on the road from country to country. You may also have tried your hand at a sports bet or slot machine, or even turned to modern online gambling websites and apps. If you’re the inquisitive sort, then one big question is likely to have crossed your mind: where are you most likely to turn a profit? Especially if you spent a lot of time saving all that money for your trip.
Unfortunately, there’s no entirely simply answer, and what it tends to boil down to is a question of risk versus reward. You want to fund your travels through winnings, but you may be worried about using the funds you’ve already saved because of the risks. Some types of gambling give you low odds of winning but huge payouts when you do, while others are comparatively easy to get a win out of, but don’t pay out nearly so well.
The National Lottery is a perfect example of the former. If you play the UK’s National Lottery and match 6 numbers, winning the jackpot, you can expect a potential payout of £2.5 million on a Wednesday and a whopping £5 million on a Saturday. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, there’s a catch: your odds of matching all 6 numbers are a staggeringly low 1 in 13,983,816. That means you can expect to win the jackpot once in every 14 million tickets you buy – which at £2 a ticket, would work out at £28 million, many times the size of the jackpot. Those odds don’t look so great any more.
Of course, the jackpot isn’t the only way to win, and your odds get more favourable as you aim for fewer numbers – but so do your winnings. Matching 5 numbers and the bonus number could secure you £50,000, but at paltry odds of 1 in 2,330, 636. Your best odds are of matching 3 numbers, which should happen once in every 57 tickets, but that will only net you £25 – at a likely cost of £114 in tickets.
Suddenly the lotto isn’t looking so appealing and it’s especially hard to come by when you’re travelling. Well, what if you turn to slot machines or online gambling? Well, slot machines might not be your best friend either – they’re renowned as one of the toughest ways to win money in a casino, though there are ways to do better. It’s recommended that you stick to the simplest machines, with minimal frills, and play for higher amounts of money each time for fewer goes, as these tactics tend to result in better returns for players – though it’s not clear if these rules hold for online slot games, so exercise caution. If you’re feeling lucky though, you can sometimes win very big with progressive games like the euro palace jackpot, with prizes reaching into the millions – but at this point your odds start to look a lot like the lottery’s. Which isn’t going to help you fuel up your travel funds.
Instead, your best bet might be to move away from pure luck, and try games of skill. It’s very possible to earn a huge amount playing online poker if you play your cards right. Take the time to learn the game and improve your strategy, and you can expect to win money reasonably consistently – which is much more than can be said for the lottery. And you can play easily on the road through your travels. What could be better than laying on a beach and playing cards online to win more money so you can travel to the next destination with ease?
Just remember – no matter what you’re playing, the house always wins eventually. That’s how they make their money, so gamble carefully, be smart with your money and enjoy your travels!
Written by Gareth Monet.