Being Prepared by doing your homework
Your opponent is quite skilled at restricting your chances of a successful booking, so it’s better that you walk in fully prepared.
1. Research in advance – Begin your homework 2-3 days in advance of your planned travel. Look up the route that you wish to travel. There will be a lot of trains which may be travelling long distances and hence tatkal window for them may open 2 days in advance and not 1 day in advance. Also, if a train leaves before 8AM on Day 3, you will have to book a tatkal ticket for it on Day 1 itself.
2. Choose the right train – Don’t just look at a train with suitable timing. Increase your chances by considering trains which have much higher tatkal seats availability. You can check the same by selecting tatkal availability for a train. Upon query, the site will display a number along with a #. This denotes the total availability of tatkal tickets in that train. Experiment with the different classes (2AC, 3AC, CC etc) as well. The higher the available seats, the higher your chances.
3. Select more than one train – You need to have a backup plan if your favorite train gets booked before you could grab a seat.
4. Pre-fill information – Use the options of Travel List, Master List and Favorite Journey list on IRCTC website to pre-feed the information that would have eaten up time during those crucial minutes. There are alternate ways to do this (easytatkal.com) (magicfill). But i will suggest that you stick the method described here, as IRCTC keeps making subtle changes to their website which may not be addressed in the plugins/hacks available elsewhere.
5. Cross-check the finalised train, class, and the information pre-entered by you
Great going! Next, Improve your chances further by knowing the next three insights.
Thought we missed an important point? Mention that in the comments below