ONLINE SCRATCH CARD REVIEWS
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ONLINE SCRATCH CARDS
It’s amazing how quickly we forget that some of the things we take for granted today haven’t actually been with us all that long. Take for example scratch cards. It seems like they have been around forever but the reality is that the first mass-produced scratch card only hit the market in 1973.
They were created by a company called Scientific Games and their first game was called ‘The Instant Game’. It was very basic in its appearance and had five panels that could be scratched off with a coin.
The card was a huge hit and the company is still active today, creating instant win games across the world. So it was no surprise when scratch cards made their way to the UK in the mid-1980s. The jackpots started off quite small and were nowhere near as big as the ones we see today.
That changed with the creation of a state franchise the ‘National Lottery’ in 1994. For the first time, scratch cards were nationally distributed and the jackpots were the highest on offer anywhere in the country.
Today scatch cards are the UK’s second most popular form of gambling, with 12% of Brits buying at least one card every month.
ONLINE SCRATCH CARDS IN THE UK
It has been 25 years since the first online casino was launched in 1996. At the time it was home to just 18 games. A few years later, in 2002 Jackpot Joy launched in the UK. The online gaming portal was one of the first to offer scratch-off style games.
These early games were basic. Your mouse operated as a virtual coin and you motioned it back and forth to remove the grey panel. Simple but effective.
Technology has advanced a lot since those early days and now online scratch cards are incredibly interactive and as close to the real thing as you can get. They come at all price points and offer some staggering jackpots.
But even better than the graphics and glitz is the fact that if you win, you get the money instantly. No heading back to the shop to get the cash. Bonus!
HOW DO ONLINE SCRATCH CARDS WORK
The process is very similar to the real world. You go onto your bookmaker or casino account and head to the ‘instant win’ or games section. Like a store, you have a range of online scratch cards to choose from.
They all have different features, themes, and prices. You pick the one you want and buy it. Then you use your mouse to virtually scratch it off. You can also click the ‘reveal all’ button and the card will instantly reveal itself.
Depending on the style of the card there can be multiple ways to win. If you do win it will be announced on the screen. If you don’t you will get a message saying something like ‘better luck next time’.
Like a regular scratchcard, the online version will also have a win rate. To find it you have to click on the ‘i’ on the front of the card. This is where all the game information is. It is also where you can try the card in demo mode.
HOW TO PLAY SCRATCH CARDS ONLINE
Like all gaming and gambling, you first have to have an online account with a bookmaker or casino to buy an online scratch card.
Once you have your account, and money in it, you can browse through the selection of cards and pick the one you want to play.
The card will appear almost the same as shop-bought version. There will be multiple games on it and you use your mouse to scratch it off.
What makes the virtual cards different is the fact that can often offer bonus rounds. So for example on The Goonies scratch card on Paddy Power, there is a bonus round if you find three keys.
Price-wise, online is also better with cards offering a huge range of prices. So the same card can be purchased for as little as 10p all the way to £10. The more you play for the bigger prizes.
WHAT AGE CAN YOU BUY SCRATCH CARDS?
Like all forms of gambling, to buy a scratch card online you must be 18 years or older in the UK. It goes without saying that if you have to be 18+ to open an online casino account, you have to be at least that age to play the games on it.
In terms or real world scratch cards that you can buy in a shop, the regulations have changed since 22 April 2021.
Prior to this date you could purchase a scratch card as long as you were at least 16 years old. However, players must now be 18 or over to play National Lottery games online, in store and on the app.
That decision was taken by the government to bring the National Lottery into line alongside all other forms of gambling. So to do that they decided to raise the legal minimum age to play scratch cards.