Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Does 'When You Play' Have Anything to do with 'How Often You Win Prizes'?

Does time of day matter?

If you're trying to win prizes online, chances are that you're on the lookout for any way to improve your odds of winning.

If you're already using Premium, then you have a big head start, since you are playing games with better odds to begin with.

But that doesn't mean you still shouldn't look for further ways to improve your odds.  Every little bit counts.

One thing to consider is time of day.  Does playing a game at noon provide less chances than playing at midnight?  Does playing when your first get to work make it harder to win than playing at 3:00 am?

Sweepstakes and Contests

Let's examine what's involved.  First, let's consider sweepstakes and contests.  The general structure of games in this group is that you enter (either once or daily or such) and then at the end, either by random drawing or by judging, a winner is selected.

Since every valid entry is taken into account at the end of the promotion (or the period) it seems obvious that time of day of when you entered would not play a factor.

But how about Instant Win Games?

Instant Win Games

Virtually all instant win games these days are of a type that is called "time seeded".  This means that prior to the promotional period, all the prizes are assigned a random time during the play period.  The first person to play on or after that time is awarded the prize.

One of the key ideas that drives is that if you're playing a game that fewer other people are playing, you have a better chance of winning.  This is universally true for Sweepstakes, Contests and Instant Win Games.

But Instant Win Games have a further twist -- since the prizes are awarded instantly, you also can consider how many people are playing just at that moment.

Less competition equals better odds of winning

So even if you're playing an instant win game that has a high volume of players overall, as long as you play at a time when they are not playing you could improve your odds.

Take for example a game with a prize seeded around noon and one in the middle of the night.  If there were tens of thousands of people playing during the day you would have very little chance of winning the daytime prize.  But then everyone goes to bed and there are only a dozen people playing at the time of the night time prize, so your chance of being the winner are quite good.

Night time is the right time

There is data to show that for most games, fewer people play at night (which is understandable, since people do tend to go to bed and sleep).  So to win prizes online playing Instant Win Games, you're generally better off playing at night than you are during the day.

The actual times vary from game to game but generally speaking, following that pattern will improve your odds to win prizes.

Time Zones and Coasts

Something to keep in mind with this is where you live.  If you're on the East Coast, even though it may be 1:00 am for you it is still 10:00 pm for folks on the West Coast.  You may consider getting up early to play instead of staying up late.

And on the contrary, for West Coasters you'll avoid more East Coast competition by staying up late rather than trying to rise and shine and beat the rush. 

Wrap it all together for more prizes

So we know that time of day does matter and you're better off playing at night (if you can).

Keep in mind that all these strategies to improve your odds work in combination.  So, the more you employ the better your overall odds. 

And likewise, if you can't stay up late don't sweat it.  Try and compensate with some other tactics. Time of day helps, but remember that the strongest tactics are:
  • Playing the games with the best odds to start with (from Premium)
  • Playing as often as you can.  (Playing every day for a month gives you 30 times better chance of winning than playing once).

Be sure to use's "Last played" tracking and "Like" lists to easily make sure you play the games you are targeting every day.

The better your odds, the more you win.  But a little luck always helps too.  Good luck!