History of Scratch Cards
While lotteries have remained a prominent form of entertainment worldwide since ancient times, the scratch card as we know it today was not invented until the 1970s. One of the very first scratch-off tickets, known as The Instant Game, was launched in the mid-1970s by the Massachusetts State Lottery. By 1987, AstroMed Inc. had patented a scratch card, making these instant gratification games even more popular.
While scratch cards had been around for several decades, they did not go digital until after the 21st century. In late 2009 and 2010, scratch cards began appearing at online casinos. The earliest scratch cards used Macromedia Flash and Java technology to simulate the gameplay of scratch cards on a computer screen. This allowed people to play scratch card games online and use their mouse to actually “scratch” the card's surface to reveal their potential prize.
Types of Online Scratch Cards
Online scratch cards can be separated into two main categories: web-based scratch cards and downloadable scratch cards.
- Web-Based Scratch Cards: This is the most common type of online scratch card. Web-based scratch cards allow consumers to play directly on their web browser without having to download any software to their computer. These games typically require the plugin Flash to run.
- Downloadable Scratch Cards: To play this type of scratch card, a consumer must download special software to their computer. Once the software has been installed, it automatically connects to an online service provider that delivers the games without browser support.
How to Play Online Scratch Cards
There are few online casino games simpler than scratch cards. The concept is fairly easy to understand. You receive a card, scratch away the surface to reveal the symbols underneath and see if you have a winning combination of symbols.
The game begins when you place your wager. Next, use your mouse to scratch away the scratch card's surface so you can see the symbols underneath. When using the scratching method, one symbol appears at a time which helps build anticipation. If you prefer to play more quickly, you can click on the Show Card button, which instantly scratches the entire card.
Depending on the game, there may be different types of symbols. Sometimes there are images like fruit you must get in a row or diagonally to win. A winning combination will be highlighted on the screen.
You may also see symbols like 1X, 10X, or 50X. This refers to how much you could possibly win. For example, if you get three 1X, you will win your full bet; if you get three 2X symbols, you will win twice your bet, and so on. Depending on the casino, you could win up to 50X your bet or more.
Winning at Online Scratch Cards
Despite their popularity, there is a small chance of winning big on a scratch card. However, just like slots, you can determine whether or not you are playing a decent scratch card game by reviewing the return-to-player (RTP).
While this is only a percentage and not a guarantee that you will actually win, it can guide you in the right direction of better-paying scratch card games. The higher the RTP, the higher your chances of winning. Some scratch cards with the highest RTP include Merlin’s Millions, Genie Jackpots, Wish Upon a Jackpot, Pig Wizard, and Gorilla Go Wild.
If you are simply playing for entertainment purposes and want to extend your gameplay, choose a scratch card that has a high number of wins and bet the lowest wager possible. If your objective is to win money, then choose a scratch card with a high number of wins and make larger bets.
Also, be sure to manage your budget properly. While online scratch cards can be a lot of fun, you want to know when to walk away. Like any online casino game, your funds can quickly diminish if you’re not paying adequate attention. Set a win and loss limit before you start playing, and stop when you hit one.
Choosing an Online Scratch Card
Today you can find thousands of attractive online scratch card games from some of the biggest software providers in the business, including NeoGames, PariPlay, and WinTingo. Like slots, scratch cards can be found in many fun themes, such as sports, fantasy, and comic books. While you shouldn’t expect to get rich playing online scratch cards, you can have a lot of fun and possibly walk away with some winnings.