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# Expert reveals secrets to winning Lotto, pokies and why you should NEVER join a Melbourne Cup sweep

A mathematics and probability expert has revealed the secrets to winning the Lotto, when to cash out on pokies and why you should never join a Melbourne Cup sweep.

John Croucher shared his advice on the chances of winning big when playing in some of Australia’s most popular gambling competitions.

Speaking on the Today Show on Wednesday morning, Mr Croucher said instant scratchies typically provided punters with the best odds, although with a big catch.

John Croucher shared his advice on the chances of winning big when playing in some of Australia’s most popular gambling competitions (image of women at Melbourne Cup)

‘The chances of winning when you’re not playing is zero but not much better than zero,’ (stock image)

‘Scratchies are for people who like to win something and they have a really good chance of winning because the probability of winning is 1 in 3 or 1 in 5,’ he said.

### What are the odds?

Scratchie

Powerball

Lotto

OzLotto

‘And because chances are really good, you’ll buy another ticket and loser.’

When it comes to the buying a ticket for Powerball or Lotto, your odds of winning become far greater but ‘the chances of winning when you’re not playing is zero but not much better than zero,’ Mr Croucher laughed as he explained the odds.

‘They changed the game in April where your chance of winning Powerball used to be 1 in 76,000,000.

‘They changed the rules to make bigger prizes so now the probability of you winning big in Powerball is 1 in 134,490,400.

‘If you don’t have a ticket then you’re not going to win anything.’

The poker machines have an interesting way of keeping players entertained to ensure you continue playing but you need to be smart with your strategy (stock)

The poker machines have an interesting way of keeping players entertained to ensure you continue playing but you need to be smart with your strategy.

‘Poker machines work on margins, it’s based on assimilation. If you put \$10 in the pokies your expected return is \$9,’ Mr Croucher explained.

‘The longer you play the more likely you’ll lose. The optimal way to play the pokies is if you’re ahead, go home.’

With just over a month before Australia’s most prestigious horse race, Mr Croucher’s advice comes at a time where you can practice your betting in hopes of winning.

‘If you buy tickets in the Melbourne Cup Sweep and there’s 24 horses in the race then 1 ticket has a 4 per cent chance to win, and 2 tickets have an 8 per cent chance to win,’ he explained.

However, to increase your odds on winning in the Cup, Mr Croucher (pictured) has one bit of advice

However, to increase your odds on winning in the Cup, Mr Croucher has one bit of advice.

‘If you pull a horse out of the sweep and say it’s 200 to 1, you’re much better off just going to TAB and getting 200 to 1 instead of 5 to 1.

‘But if you draw the favourite then that’s good for you but you just don’t know.’

Despite all these tips, the best bit of advice Mr Croucher had is the most responsible thing players should keep in mind.

‘You don’t expect to win. These are all games of chance. You can’t do anything to improve your chances of winning.

‘Just enjoy yourself and gamble responsibly.’