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How to Get Some Gambling Excitement Without Too Much Effort – Easy Ways to Gamble

By Randy Ray in Online Gambling
| October 10, 2020 1:49 am PDT
7 Easy Ways Gamble

There’s a thrill in gambling, unlike other games or sports. The chance to win something based on luck and a little skill is an inherently human past time.

But not everyone can visit a casino or spend a day at the track.

Luckily in many states, there are convenient gambling games at corner stores, through the mail, as well as many online casinos.

If played with discretion some of these games can pay off, others have less than favorable odds of paying out. Chances are you’ve played at least one of these games in your life.

1. Lotteries

Lotteries are the drawing and matching of numbers or other symbols to win a prize. Players usually pick a series of numbers ahead of a random drawing. Lotteries can take many different forms but they are most often regulated by a state or national government.

One interesting aspect of lottery drawings is that most proceeds go to state-infrastructure and services. In this way, lotteries are a type of tax that provides revenue for governments.

Most US states have a lottery system that will hold drawings where players attempt to match numbers. Many state lotteries also offer scratch-off tickets that are part of the state lottery system.

Lotteries are an ancient and common form of generating state revenue.

Keno was played in ancient China and the Roman Emperor Augustus held a national lottery to fund repairs of the empire’s infrastructure.

Lotteries offering money as prizes were held in Medieval Germany and Italy. Then, like now, lotteries were seen as a less overt and invasive form of taxation.

2. Scratch-offs

Scratch-offs are a type of lottery ticket containing a special ink that players scratch away revealing a prize amount.

In the US they are sold by many state lottery boards. Scratch-offs can also contain non-monetary prizes or be used as game pieces.

There are several US states where you cannot find scratch-offs. These are also states that do not have a lottery system.

However, cards with scratch-off ink can be found in many non-gambling games such as mail-in sweepstakes and direct mailers.

You can also play scratch-offs online for real money, while several countries around the world have scratch-offs sponsored by national lotteries

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Many different lottery scratch-off games are variants of matching or ‘hi-lo’ games. In matching games, players must collect like amounts or symbols.

In ‘hi-lo’ games players must beat a score or reveal enough points to win a prize. Some scratch-offs are based on other games such as tick-tack-toe or poker.

In the US, all of the scratch-off lottery tickets you can find at a convenience store are products of a state lottery system.

3. Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes can have slightly different meanings depending on their country of origin.

Generally, lotteries require a purchase to play and sweepstakes do not. This is why you’ll often see sweepstakes advertised as “no purchase necessary”.

In the US, paying to participate in a sweepstakes is considered gambling.

Sweepstakes in the US are often associated with consumer promotions or company contests.

Two of the most popular are the Publisher’s Clearing House and Reader’s Digest sweepstakes. Some supermarkets and retail stores will offer contests with products and cash prizes.

These contests may enter customers into a drawing or require consumers to collect game tickets.

These consumer sweepstakes are free and players can send off for a free entry or game piece. Players are not required to pay a fee to claim their prize.

Some states lotteries have secondary sweepstakes that players can enter by submitting losing scratch-off tickets. In this sense, players can enter by literally picking up garbage.

In the early 2000s, the US saw a proliferation of venues called sweepstakes parlors that blurred the line between a gambling lottery and consumer sweepstakes.

These venues allowed the chance to win prizes based on the purchase of an item and many states have since banned the parlors.

4. Online Gambling

Online gambling encompasses numerous different games and types of betting. Its legality varies from state to state and country to country.

The first online casinos appeared in 1994 based in Antigua and Barbuda. Today, the online gambling market is estimated to generate over 60 billion dollars a year worldwide. With the proliferation of online gambling websites, a player can be overwhelmed by the choices.

When gambling online players need to research the laws regarding gambling in their jurisdiction and where the site being used originates.

Most gambling games have an online counterpart. Some sites are modeled after virtual casinos and feature electronic versions of table games and slot machines.

Online poker is extremely popular, as is online sports betting.

Many sites offer different forms of payment including money transfers and cryptocurrency.

Be sure to check with your financial provider before using your credit card to stock your virtual coffers as many companies will reject online gambling transactions.

Here the top gambling sites that we recommend.

5. Pull-Tab Games

Pull-tab games are an alternative to scratch-offs. Instead of scratching away a special ink, players remove perforated layers on a play card revealing symbols or prizes.

Most pull-tab games are printed on layers of paper and sold at convenience stores or mechanical dispensers.

One unique feature of pull-tab games is players can often view a tally of winning tickets. The total number of winning tickets are printed on each game piece, players can then compare the number of prizes claimed with the number of tickets still available.

These figures are found at the store or on the dispenser where the tickets are purchased. Once all the winning tickets have been claimed the game will be pulled.

With the advent of online gambling, players can buy virtual pull-tab games. Like paper pull-tabs, these games offer players the chance to view statistics of how many winning games are still available.

Some jurisdictions require electronic pull-tabs to be linked to a central computer and played on tablet devices provided to the player. There are currently 20 states in the US that allow for paper and electronic pull-tab games.

6. Merchandise & Coin Boards

Coin boards are an old holiday classic. Many people might remember coin boards at Christmas time and other holidays.

The game piece consists of a paper board with perforated windows players open each day leading up to the holiday revealing candy and trinkets.    

Coin and merchandise boards are also a common type of fundraising game. Pre-made boards stocked with cash or merchandise are available to purchase.

Providers also sell empty boards players can stock with their own prizes.

Boards can be stocked with any type of merchandise.

One popular version of the game players can buy pre-fabricated is a ‘knife board’.

Because items should be small enough to fit into the board’s slots, pocket knives became a favorite prize. The items were compact but had enough value to be appealing.

Merchandise boards containing actual coins have become less common over the years as winning coin values are low and less appealing to gamers.

These boards should not be confused with coin boards used my collectors to display coins.

7. Sports Pool

A betting pool is a form of pari-mutuel betting where players pool their wagers and predict a specific outcome.

Sports betting is the most common subject of a betting pool, however, pools can be taken on everything from entertainment to political events.

  • If a pool is made with co-workers it is often called an office pool.
  • Pools based on sporting events are called sports pools.
  • When players wager on the longevity of a celebrity this is called a dead pool.
  • When players bet on who will have children first this is called a birth pool.

Modern betting pools have their origins in early 1900s English football.

‘Footy tipping’ is the term used to refer to the Australian practice of betting on football games at the office.

In the US, NCAA March Madness is a popular time for sports pools around the workplace. Studies have shown an increase in the number of sick days and postponed meetings around this time of year.

Many sports broadcasting networks host tournaments for fans. Viewers are encouraged to follow all the games in their brackets leading to higher ratings and increased ad revenue for the networks.

In the US, the college bowl game season is a particular favorite of sport poolers.  


You may live in a part of the world where gambling is not permitted or in a culture where gambling is not a common past time.

Casinos and racetracks may not be accessible to some, but games of chance played for prizes is something everyone can enjoy.

Many countries have national lotteries and many states in the US have some form of state lottery. These games act as an alternate form of taxation providing funding for things like education and infrastructure.

In the workplace, a sports pool is a fun and easy way to gamble with others informally. There are games available to most people everywhere to try their luck.

With the dawning of the internet age, players can gamble from almost anywhere in the world.

Sometimes you may not be able to gamble with actual money but many games are available for free online.

Most people can enjoy the thrill of gambling without traveling or taking a vacation. Research the rules of your area and find a game that fits your personality. You might also like to read our beginners guide to online gambling.



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