Although they aren’t the most popular form of online gambling game, online scratch cards are still found all across the internet, in casinos, bingo sites and beyond. Why? Because online scratch cards – which are sometimes known as instant win games – offer one style of gameplay that few other games can match. Scratch cards are excellent for quick, rapid gaming. So what are these games and how do they compare to our well-known and much loved land-based scratch cards?
Online scratch cards come in a whole host of themes. There are Christmas scratch cards for the seasonal gamers, tropical beach themed cards for summer lovers, gangster themes, money themes and even franchised themes. The latter tends to be the most important, as nothing will attract players more than a good movie themed scratch card. Online scratch cards can also be tied in with slots. Players can – for example – play both The Mummy video slot, and The Mummy scratch card, if they wish. Generally speaking, the theme is quite important in a scratch card, as it not only dictates what the card looks like, but also, what icons the player is going to need to find in order to win.
How to play online scratch cards
Online scratch cards are played in the same manner as their land-based cousins. Initially, you will place a bet on the scratch card. Then you will be greeted with a window (which is usually 3×3 in size), behind which are nine icons (or money values). The player must either match three money values to win that amount, or match three identical symbols. The identical symbols that they have matched will tell you what you have won, by comparing them to the pay-table that is often on the screen.
If there is a win, it will be added to your balance. If not, you won’t pick up anything. Instead of clicking on the icons one by one, most online scratch cards will also allow you to click on a “reveal all” button, to instantly see if you have won. This helps as it offers quick and rapid gameplay.
Prices and stakes
What can you expect to pay for a crack at an online scratch card? Well, the good news is that they can be considerably cheaper than land-based scratchies. Online scratch cards can cost as little as 5p per card, up to more extravagant prices of £20 or even £50 per card. Sometimes – though it is rare, online scratch cards have special features too, and these may or may not be included in the standard wager.
With some features, you just know that you are never going to be charged for them. These aren’t special featured as such, rather they are just options that you can tinker with. Such options include the ability to change the object that your scratch your cards with (such as coins, magic wands, swords, etc), and others are as simple as changing backgrounds. Players can even select one of ten scratch cards at times. Don’t be drawn into the illusion that the scratch card that you pick will make things any better, there are all just distractions, and serve no real purpose to the outcome of your game. Not all scratch cards have these distractions.
Some online scratch cards however, have far more beneficial features. It is possible to find online scratch cards that contain bonuses, such as multipliers. These are usually triggered after a win, and can substantially change what you can walk away with. Other bonus features include two scratch cards for the price of one, or even second chance consolation prizes in some games. You may or may not have to pay extra for these features, depending on the scratch card in question.
Like every other online gambling game, the pay-outs that you can pocket with online scratch cards varies from game to game. It also varies depending on your stake. Generally speaking, the more you wager, the more you can win. Some online scratch cards prefer to offer prizes that are multipliers of your wagers, and others offer specific cash prizes. Examples of these would be top prizes of 100x your stake, or £100, if you wagered £1 per card. As you will notice, they amount to the same prize. Online scratch cards can have prizes that are worth as little as your money back, or as much as £10,000. It is also possible for some online scratch cards to have progressive jackpots, though this is rare.
Comparison with land-based scratch cards
Most people find online scratch cards far better than land-based ones. There are a number of reasons for this, including the simplicity of them. Why walk down to your local newsagents, when you just log into your account? Online scratch cards can also come with additional perks and privileges, such as multipliers and other special features that land-based scratchies simply don’t have. Throw in the fact that most online casinos offer you bonuses that you may be able to use to pay for these games, and it should come as no surprise that they are far more popular than their land-based cousins.
However, on the whole, whilst land-based scratch cards are a popular form of gambling, online scratch cards are not. This is primarily due to the sheer number of other online gambling games that exist online, whereas in the land-based gaming world, you will have to go to a casino to play an equally as large selection of games.