A Guide to Online Scratch Cards and Scratchies

by Noah Adams
Published: 17/03/2023
Reading: 6 minutes

Physical scratchies and online scratch cards have been around for quite a while now, with generations of young and old alike receiving scratch card games as gifts from loved ones, or trying their luck at the local newsagent every now and then.

Scratch games have firmly established themself as a fun way to win prizes, with scratch cards online increasing in popularity as well.

But how exactly did this gambling phenomenon emerge? How did we get to a point where there are scratchcard terminals dotting the landscape of countries across the globe?

Let's start with the very beginning.

History of Scratch Card Games

The invention of the scratch game can be credited to a man by the name of John Koza, an American computer scientist working alongside his colleague Dan Bower.

Winding the clock back to the United States in the swinging '60s, it was quite popular across the nation to hand out prize cards to customers at the grocer when they were doing their shopping.

If you were lucky enough to snag yourself a winning card, it would have a tiny sum of money hidden inside them, protected by a waxy strip.

To expose their prize, you'd need to scratch it away or simply peel it off in some cases.

As you can imagine, getting a chance to win a nice little prize was wildly popular with American shoppers and helped create the scratch card as we know it today.

Demo Mode

Now, here's where things start to get interesting.

As it turns out, Bawer and Koza were employees of a company (J&H International) that supplied these neat little prizes to the grocers of America and had a bright idea to turn the whole operation on its head and improve it immensely.

They decided to develop a more efficient scratch card game system that was computer generated and randomized, making the results interesting and the prizes spontaneous, as many people entering the lottery at the time frequently had to endure wait periods of a week.

With Koza's computer science virtuosity and Bawer's knack for effective marketing, they formed Scientific Games Corporation.

The Release

When they released these exciting new scratch card games combining matching symbols, excitement and the chance to win a big prize, they were an instant hit.

In 1974, when they first went on sale in Boston, they were flying off the shelves, with lines around the block and packed-out vendors a common sight.

Seeing this whirlwind success with the scratch card games, the other states quickly adopted them, and not to be left behind, they blew up across the nation.

Naturally, scratch card games eventually made their way overseas into the international market and became a worldwide sensation, with it now being easy as walking down to the local newsagent or logging into your computer and looking at online scratch cards.

Physical Lottery Scratch Cards

However, in 1985 Cal Tigner, an inventor in the gaming industry, completely altered the business strategy and took scratch cards to the next level.

It was an ingenious spin, basically a plastic dispenser that came out of the till, similar to those found in every high-end grocery store, resulting in a straightforward, easy design.

Cards had previously been hidden away and required a particular request from the customer.

The very first dispenser was put in place in the fall of 1985, and the first large order—1,000 units—was placed on Valentine's Day in 1986.

Scratch Cards Today

Today, scratch card games can be found virtually everywhere, with chances to win a game with exciting prizes and bonuses lying within scratch tickets in every country, mobile, desktop and corner shop.

An interesting period lies ahead for scratch cards online and physical, as the ease of access with a few clicks on a mobile now puts into question the position of physical scratch cards in the future.

One thing is for certain, the consistent expansion of the iGaming industry, and the number of users online, it looks like the odds are very much in favour that scratch cards online are here to stay, as punters continue to look for that next bonus, prizes and fun game to play.

The Best Online Scratch Cards

You might be wondering where you can find the best scratchcards online, however don't stress, we've got a comprehensive list of the best scratchie games out there.

No matter, we've still got an example or two to share with you here.

The Lost Pyramid

Offers payouts of 92% and prizes of up to $10,000.

Queen Treasure

The payout percentage for this game is only about 56%, which is quite low. The most you may win is $20,000 however.

Lucky 8s

This scratch card has a 95% payout rate and a top prize of up to 4,000 times your wager. What a bonus!

Space Evader Gold

This fun title takes you to the galaxy, and offers a 10,000x jackpot and a 97% payout rate, that's a serious chance to win some cash.

Why play scratch cards? Pros and Cons

There are quite a lot of benefits to playing scratch cards, whether they come in the form of online scratchcards or those that you'd find on the high street.

However, it's also good to know what some of the downsides are as well before you get stuck into buying some scratch cards at the newsagent or surfing the web and buying scratch cards online.

Some of the benefits of playing scratch cards include:

They're Easy as 1-2-3

As far as games go, online scratch card games are easy to play and don't require any special skills or knowledge. All you really have to do is grab yourself a coin or anything with a hard surface and start scratching to see if you've hit it big.

Simple to Find

Scratch cards also draw much of their appeal from being widely available and can be purchased at many retail outlets, including convenience stores, servos, and online.

It's really as easy as walking to the local store down the road or logging onto your computer and you're ready to go.

Scratch Cards Can Win Big!

Additionally, they offer the possibility of winning large sums of money in a relatively short amount of time.

Speedy Process

The last benefit of scratch cards is that they are a form of instant gratification.

Unlike traditional lottery games, which sometimes require an excruciating wait to see if you've emerged lucky, scratch cards give players the opportunity to find out if they've won right away.

This is a godsend to players who want to know if they've won or lost quickly.

woman with casino prizes

Cons Of Scratch Cards

With it now being possible to play scratch cards 0f varying odds, graphics and bonuses, consider some of the downsides of this popular gambling method before making your first deposit and looking for the most competitive scratch game bonus.

It Adds Up

While scratch cards vary quite a lot in price, depending on the manner of a scratch card that you are purchasing, there are times when the costs can add up quite quickly.

This is exacerbated by the fact that the result and playtime pass rapidly, meaning that a player can very easily get access to a new scratch card in seconds.

Not Very Green

If you're consistently buying physical scratch cards, often the materials used to make them can be unsustainable or harmful to the environment, especially if they aren't disposed of properly.

Consider trying to find versions of your favourite scratch cards online to keep the planet happy.

How To Play Online Scratch Cards - Basic Mechanics

Using online scratch cards is designed to be a breeze, and doesn't really differ much from using physical scratch cards.

Here's a quick breakdown of how to use online scratch cards to your advantage.

Choose a Platform

There are many online platforms and casinos, such as blueprint gaming, that offer scratchcards. Choose one that you trust and offers the games you like to play.

Register an account

Most online platforms require you to create an account before you can start playing. This usually involves providing basic personal information, such as your name and email address.

Make a deposit

To play online scratch card games, getting things started will begin with a deposit into your account. This can be done using a variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, e-wallets, or bank transfers.

Choose a scratch card game

Once you have funds in your account, you can choose from a variety of scratch games. Each game will have its own rules and instructions (such as a certain amount), so be sure to read them before playing.

Scratch the card

To play the game, you'll generally need to click or tap on the designated area of the card to reveal the hidden symbols or numbers.

Depending on the game, to get a reward you'll need to hit the prerequisites for matching symbols or numbers.

Check your winnings

If you get lucky enough and win some cash, your winnings will be automatically credited to your account. This will give you the option to keep going with your online scratch card games or withdraw your winnings.

It's important to keep in mind that online scratch cards, like all forms of gambling, should be played responsibly and only with funds that you can afford to lose.

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Author Noah Adams

Noah Adams has a Masters in journalism from the university of Canterbury. He has held job positions in various media companies in New Zealand such as Bauer Media Group, The New Zealand Herald and TVNZ. Noah has for the past yea... Read more about the author

Casinocrawlers » Guides » A Guide to Online Scratch Cards and Scratchies
Last updated: March 20, 2023