Scratch cards have always been one of the most basic forms of gambling available. You buy a card, you scratch the silver foil away to reveal the numbers (or symbols) and you immediately know if you won or lost. There’s really not much more to it than that. It’s like a lottery ticket, if the lottery draw happened the minute you scratched the card and it’s like slots but played one line at a time.
Since making the jump to the online realm, though, there was a need to give the humble scratch card a makeover to make it stand out from all the very, very, very many online casino games out there that offered the same ease-of-access and immediate wins (or losses) of traditional scratch cards.
Obviously, the gameplay of scratch cards is so fundamental and simple that there’s not much to be done with this aspect of them, but online scratch cards do have some extra details thrown in to give them some variety.
Of the scratch cards available in your average online casino, they fall into four main types, even if there is plenty of variety in terms of themes (everything from Iron Man to blackjack) and are developed by most of the big names in casino games – names like PlayTech, Microgaming and NetAnt.
Bingo Scratch Cards
Bingo scratch cards very much live up to their name by being based around a bingo theme. Usually Flash-based, meaning that you can play them in instant-play mode, bingo scratch cards are made to look exactly like your average bingo game. Along with the boards themselves, they also include extra details like simulations of bingo ball dispensers.
The main difference between bingo scratch cards and actual bingo games is that instead of playing with an entire bingo card you get a line of 3 numbers that need to match the “balls” being drawn.
Some of the most popular bingo scratch card games are Bubble Bingo(twelve cards at a time with 3 prizes per card), Bingo Mania (6 cards with three numbers, includes a large jackpot) and Bingo Bonanza.
Casino scratch cards
These scratch cards are based on the more popular casino games out there like slots, blackjack/, video poker, craps and roulette. The gameplay is still closer to traditional scratch cards, but they come with extra bells and whistles that stretch beyond just their usually top notch graphics.
- Blackjack-themed scratch cards, for example, feature scratch cards dealt like a blackjack hand and you win by “scratching” your card to reveal your hand.
- Roulette scratch cards, on the other hand, play just like a game of roulette where you spin the roulette wheel to generate numbers, and scratch the cards to see if you have matching numbers.
- Video poker scratch card games work similarly to blackjack but with poker hands being dealt instead, with poker rules for whether you win or not.
- Arguably the most popular of these are slot-based poker scratch cards that come with instant wins and progressive jackpots.
Still the most famous type of online scratch cards, if not necessarily the most popular. These are very much like the classic physical scratch cards that you can buy from worldwide national lotteries. They work the same as their physical counterparts as, in effect, instant lottery tickets, where you scratch to reveal the winning or losing numbers.
To keep things interesting, though, there are some basic aesthetic changes available with different games. Jungle Joy, for example, involves matching the same kind of animal. The jackpots on these games can be huge with Super 3 Wow offering a massive £1 million jackpot.
Jackpot scratch cards
Now, obviously, most scratch cards include jackpots, so this type of online scratch card can include the above three categories. What sets them apart is the emphasis on huge jackpots over anything else. They usually don’t offer as many smaller prizes as other cards, especially the casino variants, but they offer gigantic, life-changing jackpots of up to $1,000,000 (or pounds or euros).
The most popular of these are:
- Beat the Bank
- Arabian Delights
- Wintry Wonderland
- Beachside Bonanza
So, there you have it. Online scratch cards may be among the simplest of online gambling games, but they offer far more variety than you might first think.