You are likely already familiar with the scratch card, a common sight in newsagents and corner shops all over the UK. Various lottery providers often use scratch cards as a fast, simple way to join in with their betting games. Scratch and win ‘games’ are even mailed out as promotions in newspapers and magazines, though you might want to check the small print before trying to claim your ‘prize’..!
Scratch cards have long been seen as a physical game - a card you hold in your hands, with a coating you scratch off yourself with a coin or fingernail. In recent years these simple instant win games have been making the jump to the world of online betting. This shift has gone relatively unnoticed by many players, who prefer tables and slots. However, scratch card games are starting to gain traction as a fast and easy way to play online - read on to discover the best scratchcard games on the market, and where you can find them!
What are scratch cards and how do they work?
Scratch card games are typically played on a 2D card with a central playing grid. This grid is covered with a special coating, hiding the printed game underneath. To play the game, you scratch away at this coating and underneath will be symbols or numbers that indicate whether you have won. Many scratchcards are ‘scratch-and-match’ games, where players match a set of symbols or cash amounts to win a prize. Others involve scratching spaces on a grid to reveal lines of symbols, or matching a set of ‘lucky numbers’ to those on the board.
Scratch cards have a fixed price. The amount paid to purchase is essentially the ‘wager’. Most scratch cards cost just a couple pounds or Euros, though some can cost a good deal more. Expensive cards often have multiple games built in, higher jackpots, and a greater overall chance of winning a prize.
A set number of scratchcards are printed for each game, and when all have been purchased or all prizes won, the game is over. There are a fixed number of prizes available: usually a single large jackpot, a small number of other large prizes, and a large quantity of smaller sums. Online scratchcards follow the same principle, with a finite number of prizes to be won before that game is retired. Sometimes a scratchcard game is re-released with a fresh prize pool, if it has proven popular with players.
What about online scratch cards?
Online scratchcards are much the same as their physical counterparts, but they appear as virtual cards instead. Players sign into an online casino or lottery provider’s website, and purchase a card with their deposited funds. The card can then be scratched to reveal the symbols or cash sums underneath, and if the card is a winner, the balance will be credited with the relevant amount.
Online scratchcards usually have a feature where the player can scratch the playing surface, either with their finger on a touch screen phone or using their mouse pad on a PC. They can also be scratched at the click of a button; most cards have a ‘Reveal All’ option. Cards might resemble the games found on physical scratchcards, though the online nature of the game means they can be more complex and have interactive features. Prize pools are set in the same way, with a limited number of prizes to be won across a fixed number of cards.
Where to find online scratch cards
In the UK, most physical scratch cards seen in shops are created by the National Lottery, operated by Camelot Group. As a result, UK players tend to head to the lottery company’s website in order to find virtual scratchcards. The operator was one of the first to take their physical scratchcards into the online realm and find a popular market for them. They have a mix of games available including digital versions of their existing cards, and more complex interactive games with instant win prizes.
In recent years, however, the online casinos have seen a surge in popularity for scratchcard style games, and more operators are offering the games then ever before. Indeed, some game studios are entirely dedicated to the production of scratchcard games for online casino players - and even the big names in tables and slots are branching out into instant win games. Below are some of the key names in scratchcard production, and their games.
Better known in the casino world for its fun, quirky slot titles, NextGen Gaming also has a great selection of online scratchcards. The group began instant win production in 2015, creating scratch versions of their most popular virtual slots. Some of the games given the instant win treatment include Scratch Foxin’ Wins, Scratch Genie Wild, Scratch Mad Mad Monkey, and Scratch Merlin’s Millions.
One of the biggest names in online gaming, Microgaming is better known for its poker, roulette and above all, its video slots. It is easy therefore to overlook its scratchcard offerings. However, the studio has a whole bunch of high quality scratch cards available for casino operator integration, giving players a fresh new way to bet with the studio. Some of their standout instant win games include Lucky Leprechaun Scratch, Cashapillar, Dawn Of The Bread, and the Super Expanding Splashcard.
Unlike many of the studios on our list, Hacksaw Gaming started life as a developer exclusively of scratchcard games before it broke into the slot game market. The group creates games that are designed for mobile screens, and they have some great cards with impressive top prizes. Scratch’Em, Double Salary For 1 Year, the Scratch! Series and Shave The Beard are just a few of their titles that are well worth a look.
Though not a name familiar to most online casino players, Netoplay is one of the key names in online scratchcard development, specialising in interactive instant win games that combine traditional scratch-and-match games with exciting new features. Games by this brand include Scratch Roulette, Octopops, Battle War Game, and Noah’s Ark. The group also develops custom scratchcards for operators, based on their own branding.
Like other big studios with a number of slot game hits, Pragmatic Play has used some of its most popular slot games as themes for instant win scratchcards. The studio has a modest selection of scratchcard games, bosting some impressive prizes - including the Wolf Gold €/£1,000,000 game! Other scratch games to watch out for include Panda Gold, 7 Piggies, Hot Safari and the €/£250k Gold Rush card.
Scratch Card Casinos
Some online casinos are entirely dedicated to scratch and win games - Scratchmania, for example, is an instant-win led brand. Others have scratchcards alongside their casino tables and video slots, giving players the choice of fast bets or slow and steady gaming. Slot Strike Casino, for example, has scratch games from top providers like NextGen Gaming.
Playing scratchcards at an online casino is simple. Sign up to a casino or log into your account, and make a deposit to top up your playing balance. Find a scratchcard you like, and purchase one to start playing! You can even play scratchcard games with the free demo mode, in order to find out which you like best. TheCasinoDB has a number of free play links for scratchcard games - visit the pages of the developers listed above to try out their games, and to discover which casino lobbies they are in.
At TheCasinoDB, we aim to test and review every online casino available to UK players, so we can bring you up to date listings on the best sites with the biggest bonuses and the widest selection of games. Our list of top rated new casino sites offering scratchcard games will help you weigh up the options, and choose the best place for you to play.