Once upon a time, lotteries only offered daily and weekly drawings, in which players competed for a variety of prizes. But over time, governments realized that they could collect much more revenue if they allowed people to play lottery games whenever they wanted to, with instant results. That led to the invention of scratch cards: lottery tickets that could be purchased at retail outlets, then scratched to reveal whether or not the player won a prize, which (with the exception of major jackpots) could be redeemed right at the counter where the ticket was bought.
While online casinos offer a full range of games, it is no surprise that many players still crave the kind of instant results they have always gotten from these scratch ticket games. That’s why many gambling sites now give their players the chance to play these types of games, which emulate the look and feel of the scratch tickets live players have enjoyed for decades.
Online scratch games are designed to be as simple to play as possible, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring them out. Every online software provider has a slightly different way of structuring their scratch-off ticket games, but they’re all fairly similar in their basic structure.
Unlike traditional varieties that must be played for a specific amount of money, online variations will often give you a choice of how much you want to pay for each ticket, usually with a range that starts at $1. Most games will also allow you to buy tickets in bunches, so if you want to play several games at once, it’s easy to make a purchase up front and then quickly play your tickets.
Each one will have its own unique theme and prizes, but in most cases, the goal will be to reveal parts of the card in order to reveal symbols or prize amounts. On most of these games, matching three (or some other number) of the same prize will earn you that amount. In many cases, the prizes are expressed as multiples, so that they automatically scale depending on how much you paid per ticket: a 20x prize, for instance, will pay $20 on a $1 ticket, but $100 on a $5 ticket.
Gameplay is straightforward. You can use your mouse to “scratch” parts of the card, revealing sections one by one and finding out if you won a prize. If you want to play your tickets more quickly, most games will also feature a “reveal” button that can instantly scratch off the entire ticket, ending the game immediately and rewarding any prizes on that ticket.
There’s no real strategy that can be used when playing scratch games as the games are entirely determined by chance and there isn’t anything you can do to influence the outcome. The one thing to watch out for when playing is the opportunity to play for a progressive jackpot. A higher-than-normal jackpot on a game can sometimes tilt the overall odds in your favor—or, at least, make them closer to even than they normally would be.
The biggest advantage to playing these games is the fact that they are fast, simple, and easy to understand. Above, we talked about the fact that like with slot machines, playing doesn’t involve any real strategy, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Because you don’t have to worry about making important decisions while playing, you don’t have to stress out about making mistakes and can instead just enjoy the tickets as a relaxing experience.
Most scratch cards are also relatively inexpensive with fairly regular payouts. In addition, the terms and conditions for most bonus offers don’t restrict these types of games, even if many other games may be restricted or count for only a very small percentage while you are clearing the promotion.
Since video poker is a game of strategy, it definitely pays to get some practice in before you start playing for real. This isn’t possible in a brick-and-mortar casino, but online casinos give you the chance to play for free for as long as you want, learning the games you’re playing without putting any of your money at risk.
Unlike the live games that are sold by lotteries around the world, their online counterparts are available in both free and paid formats. That means that even if you aren’t quite sure you want to try playing for real money yet, you can always play around with the games, just for fun. These free games give you a shot to test out different tickets and see which ones you find fun before you invest money in trying to win real prizes.
If playing online scratch cards sounds like fun to you, we’re happy to help you get started. Sign up for an account at virtually any trustworthy online casino and you can begin playing for free today! There’s no obligation to play for real money: you can try the free versions of scratch tickets for as long as you like before deciding if you want to make a deposit.