How to Use the Singleton Method to Win with Scratchcards

Singleton method image
Scratch Cards. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cracking a game of luck is all but impossible, and that is why casinos are in business in the first place.  However, strategies, such as the Singleton Method, can help better our odds against the house. 

Although controversial, using strategies such as card counting can help you with games like blackjack and poker.  However, for the most part, a casino game can’t be wholly deconstructed, no matter how hard you try.

In land-based casinos, continuous monitoring by both the CCTV cameras and dealers for any suspicious activity is a strong enough deterrent for those players who might consider cheating.  Moreover, online casinos are protected by advanced algorithms that safeguard both the casinos and the players from rigging.

Cheating the Scratchcard System

But what if there is a way to cheat a scratchcard and become a millionaire? It might sound unmanageable given that only a small batch of winning tickets are ever released, and these get distributed at random. However, in 2003, a geologist from Toronto, Mohan Srivastava, debunked common beliefs when he developed a system that proves that scratchcards aren’t as random as people believe. 

One night, while waiting for his computer to download a few files, Srivastava began playing with some scratchcards that he had lying around his home. The first card he played and lost, but on his second attempt, he won a small prize on a tic-tac-toe card. This second card was the one that got him pondering how it’s made.

Devising the Singleton Method

Being aware that the manufacturers mass-produce scratchcards and only ever make a minimal number of winning tickets, Srivastava went out and bought a few more to investigate further their layout and how they are made. Ultimately, he found a weakness in the design.  After seeing the same issue on other scratchcards, he developed a system that could identify crucial information about a ticket without ever having to handle one.

Srivastava realised that if a number appeared once among the set of numbers visible down the side, it would almost always also appear under the latex coating that had to be scratched off. These numbers are termed “singletons”, and if a card has three singletons on the same row, it’s realistically guaranteed to be a winner. 

Reporting His Findings

Srivastava was able to back up his notion after it worked on 90 per cent of the cards he tested. After he reported the flaw to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, all the tic-tac-toe scratchcards were immediately withdrawn from stores across Canada. After further investigating similar tickets from other providers, Srivastava claimed that his technique could be used to crack various cards, including bingo scratchers, Pick-4, and even lottery games. 

Each card had the same design flaw, and some were even sent to him from as far afield as Colorado for him to decipher if they also worked with the same algorithms. He found that the patterns were evident in these cards and those from across the globe, which proved that his findings didn’t halt their manufacturing. 

How to Apply the Singleton Method

Even though you don’t have to be a mathematician to use the Singleton Method, it’s only applicable to specific scratchcards, known as extended play scratchcards. This means that the method only works with tickets that require numbers to be scratched off and matched with other numbers that are already visible. It’s these visible numbers that are key to whether the card is a winning ticket. 

The most challenging aspect of using the Singleton Method is that you aren’t always able to see this information before you buy a ticket. If the cards are hidden away behind a counter or are entirely out of sight, it’s not easy to choose, let alone know which card has an extended play feature. Additionally, some cards may be considered winners, but the payout equates to only a few dollars instead of that coveted million-dollar jackpot. 

Ultimately, the odds may be stacked against us when it comes to scratchcards, but humans are persevering creatures, and it’s unlikely we will ever stop playing games of chance.  And, particularly if there is the possibility of winning a life-changing sum of cash!







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