New Jersey scratch card withdrawn just days after being launched

  • New Jersey Lottery’s new High Card Poker game pulled just days after launch
  • Scratch card poker-themed game dropped due to player confusion over rules

The benefit of playing scratch cards is that they are quick to play and easy to understand. However, according to latest reports it would appear that the New Jersey Lottery’s latest game was anything but.


Just three days after its new High Card Poker scratch card went on sale, the game was subsequently pulled due to players being confused about the rules.

High Card Poker

The New Jersey Lottery started selling its scratch-off game, High Card Poker on August 7. And, with a million lottery tickets put on sale across the state at $5 per ticket the game was expected to be a big success across New Jersey.

The objective of the game was for players to beat the dealer’s hand. The player has eight chances to reveal poker hands, and if any of them are more valuable than the dealer’s hand, they will win the corresponding prize.

‘Player misunderstanding’

In one particular instance, a player named Robert Chalet bought a ticket and thought he had a winning hand to cash in on the $150 000 top prize. His hand of 5-6-9-J-Q beat the dealer’s 4-6-7-10-Q but, when he tried to collect his prize, he was told “you won and you didn’t win”.

“The New Jersey Lottery has discontinued the sale of the High Card Poker instant game due to player misunderstanding of the game’s win scenarios, as stated on the back of the ticket”
lottery spokesperson, Judy Drucker

The confusion came about because the directions on the scratch-off card allegedly failed to consider instances of a tie. In an actual poker game where two players have the same high-card, their second-highest card would break the tie. If Robert were playing a real game of poker, his Jack would have beaten the dealer’s 10 – but the game’s rules did not account for that.

It is situations like this that caused the New Jersey Lottery to pull the game. Robert isn’t the only player to have experienced confusion over the rules, and lottery workers have spent the past few weeks travelling across the state to collect games and take down advertisements.

The lottery website states that 4,368,360 million High Card Poker tickets were printed, so just under 25% of the print run was sent to retailers across New Jersey. Officials have stated that winning tickets will continue to be honoured, which is good news for the over 40,000 players who won prizes totalling over $583 000.

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