From when they first arrived on the scene in the mid-1970's to our modern times, scratch cards have grown massively in popularity. In fact, this type of game is one of the most popular worldwide. The first type of scratchcard games was on an actual card, with a type of paint sprayed over the winning (or losing) symbols.
These type of cards could be purchased in shops, post offices, and supermarkets. They were a super quick and easy way to potentially win a prize. More often than not, players would lose their stake. Over the years, both the stakes and the prizes have grown massively. The odds of winning has also decreased.
With the popularity of the game being so big, the decision to create an electronic style scratchcard was made. As such, the majority of online casinos around the world now host several scratchcard games.
The concept of online scratchcards is believed to be credited to the American company Scientific Games Corporation. Retail promotions specialist Daniel Bower and scientist John Koza worked in tandem to create the very first electronic scratch card game. Then, little over a decade later, another American firm got involved. Astro-Med received a U.S. Patent for 'instant scratch-off' cards.
Online scratchcards are the same in principle as the early card versions. A player will purchase a card and "scratch" the face of the card - which could contain three or more areas - to reveal a number of symbols. If the player matches three or more winning symbols according to the pay table, they win that prize. They can scratch manually, or select the "auto-scratch" option to make the game faster.
The first scratchcard to be released contained letters and numbers. As time went on, other themes such as words, images, and game types like Monopoly, bingo, and Battleship became popular. These days, players will find scratch cards based on a whole host of things such as team sports, movies, bands and more.
In the modern age, there are two big players in the manufacturing of scratchcards, (if we do not take The National Lottery into the equation) although ASGC is the major company producing them. Their games reach as far as the UK, USA, Germany, Brazil, and more. Pollard Banknote generally take care of operations in North America.
When Did Online Scratchcards Become Popular?
In the early 2000's, online scratch cards came to prominence. There were a number of versions which ran on Java and Macromedia Flash technology. These were heavily based on replicating the process of scratching a card manually. By purchasing your card, a player could then "scratch off" using their mouse or finger on a touchscreen.
As mentioned above, it was the original type of scratchcards that could be bought in shops, supermarkets, and post offices which drove the popularity of the game online. Other reasons for their popularity is that scratchcards are cheap and have been around for so long that they are most widely used. There is no doubt that this familiarity and nostalgia contributed to players wanting to play this game online.
For the most part, scratchcards rarely pay huge wins. Playing online scratch cards may will probably not make you rich. However, these days there are many that carry a jackpot. If you are in luck, you could potentially make some pretty massive money or bag some incredible prizes while playing online.
The prizes on offer generally improve with your stake. Therefore, those who want to make big money on scratchcards should play the higher stake games. While this is not achievable for every player, those who can afford to play the higher-stake games have a higher chance of winning big.
That is how most games work, in all fairness.
Rules are very straightforward with scratchcards. Once you know how these games work, you should have no problem understanding the rules. They are undoubtedly the easiest game to play in a casino.
Aside from the symbols you need to match, there should be little variance in how scratchcards work. You simply scratch the surface to reveal a prize. The benefit of playing scratch cards online is that the prize will automatically be added to your account without you having to figure out that you have won.
How to Play
You buy a card and then click on the coin selector to choose how much you want to spend. By wagering more, you can win bigger. You then scratch the area where the symbols will be revealed, and these will show up easily. Once this happens, you will know if you are a winner or a loser.
Once the game concludes, you can play again. The scratch card will reset. From here you can simply repeat the process to see if you have won or not. This process can be repeated as long as you wish until you run out of money to stake. You can then potentially look at other games you would like to play if you get bored with this card.
According to the game, for three or more matching symbols, you will bag a prize. Winnings will be added to your account automatically. You should check the paytable before you play to see which symbols carry the most value. Once you have ascertained what these are, you can cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Are There Strategies for Scratchcards?
Scratchcards are a fun and engaging way to potentially bag instant cash if you are lucky enough. This game is 100% based on luck, meaning that there is no element of skill to add to proceedings. Does this mean that you cannot do anything to improve your chance of winning? Not quite.
While strategies are not quite the name for these ways to help you win, they are definitely methods which can prevent you from losing. You want some idea to take with you into a game, regardless of what it is. The goal when playing online casino games is to make money, but at very least, you do not want to lose your cash.
Set your budget - Always set a budget. Without knowing what your maximum bet is or how much you can afford to lose, you could end up getting stuck in a bit of a hole. The allure of instant, fast ways to win cash can end up seeing you lose instant, fast money if you are not careful.
Decide What Stake to Play at - Are you going to play 50p or £10 scratchcards? Don't know? Try and decide before you play. If you can't, try the lower cost cards first and figure out after a few cards if this is suitable.
Don't Get Carried Away - Getting carried away and playing shed loads of scratchcard is a bad idea. It can lead to reckless behaviour and serious problems when it comes to stopping. The best way to play is to remember that it is supposed to be fun. If it becomes anything but entertainment, you probably aren't doing it right!
Quick Recap - When playing there are no real rules or laws and as simple as it gets. You pick a card, choose your stake and scratch away to your heart's content. Simple!
How do I buy a Card? Once you load up the game with enough funds in your account, you select the scratchcard value and fire away.
How do I Scratch? You move your mouse or pointer finger over the area that is concealed. You then pull the mouse or your finger to reveal the spots which contain the symbol. Alternatively, you can choose auto-scratch and all shall be revealed.
How do I know What I Have Won? The paytable has all the info relating to prizes. Generally speaking, the game will automatically award a prize to you if you are a winner, however.
Why Play Scratchcards Online?
Gone are the old days where you would have had to go to your nearest shop or post office to play scratch cards. Then, if you didn't have a coin, you would have to find another blunt object to scratch the thing off. If this was unachievable, you would use your fingernails and end up looking as though you've been coal mining for 20 years without a wash.
Who wants that hassle? The good news is that you can play some pretty cool and engaging scratchcards online these days, without even having to leave the comfort of your sofa. We would not advise staying on your sofa too long, however, as that is certainly bad for your health, but you get the picture.
Online scratch cards are basically electronic versions of the real thing. In order to play, all you need to do is buy your card. After this, just take your mouse, or finger if you have a touchscreen, and scratch across the card which will reveal the prizes you may have won. You will know pretty much instantly after the last symbol has been revealed if you are a winner. You can check out the paytable to see what you could win!
One of the biggest benefits of playing online is that there are generally higher prizes awarded to players. For example, there are jackpot prizes which could be awarded on a single ticket which probably come with a larger likelihood of happening.
Are Scratchcards Good Value?
There are a number of reasons to suggest that many players don't weigh up the value of scratchcards when playing. If they are played every now and again, the most players will spend on them is a couple of pounds here and there. The problem comes when some players get hooked and continue to buy the cards every day.
As with most games that involve staking money, scratch cards have odds and an edge which works against the player. This edge allows companies such as online casinos to make their billions each and every year, despite the payouts to winning players. When we look at odds on roulette, poker, or baccarat, the payouts on scratchcards are not as good. For this reason, many seasoned gamblers will pretty much avoid them.
Typically, a scratchcard's odds are somewhere around 3.5 to 1 and 7.5 to 1. These are the odds of a win. The amount of win isn't specified. Therefore, a player could buy 9 scratchcards at £10 per pop and only win once. The win could be as low as £5. The amount they spend would come in at £90 to win £5.
Online Scratchcards Conclusion
It may seem funny to suggest that one of the benefits of playing scratch cards online is that you can play on the go. Of course, you can do this with the old regular manual cards. However, some prefer not to constantly have to go to a shop or post office to play their favourite game, so this level of discretion is pretty advantageous to many players who would prefer to keep their gaming to themselves.
They are very easy to use, which underpins the appeal for many. Simply select a card, scratch away, and you could be on the way to winning various prizes. That makes other games which involve more skill a little tricky for those who don't really want to commit too much brain power to an activity from where they derive so much fun. Each to their own.
Perhaps one of the most understated points of playing scratch cards, or the appeal of them at least, is the nostalgia factor. Back in the day, scratchcards could be bought in shops, post offices, and supermarkets across Britain. Well, they still can. However, many remember playing them with fondness.
They were an easy way to chance your luck and hopefully win a few quid. More often than not, players would lose their stake. Over the years, both the stakes and the prizes have grown massively, but online scratchcards over more variety and this is simply an attractive feature.
As such, we can expect scratchcards to stick around for at least another few years.