Scratch cards, as their name suggests, were cards with this strange silver material (made of latex or special kinds of ink, apparently) that you had to scratch away to get to the numbers or symbols beneath. Those numbers of symbols would work the same way that your average slot machine or lottery ticket works – if you have the correct sequence, you win a cash prize.
Why Scratch Cards Were Popular Originally
They still exist today, of course, but scratch cards really belong to a simpler, earlier time when they were among the few forms of legalized gambling around and they didn’t have countless online alternatives to compete with, as they do now. They were cheap, fun, and scrappy little things you would buy on your way out of the supermarket that offered a very low chance of actually paying out anything like serious money, but would often double or triple the nickels and dimes you paid for them.
Also, while it was always illegal to buy a scratch card if you were under 18, parents would often buy them for their kids to try their luck on – a practice that is certainly illegal now in most states, but is no doubt still pretty commonplace. This probably wasn’t the most responsible thing in the world for parents to do as it could foster unrealistic expectations of gambling in their impressionable young kids, but it was mostly harmless as it was always really in the complete control of the parents.
Scratch Cards in the Digital Age
There’s something about scratch cards that will always evoke a forgotten age of penny arcades and corner markets, but they certainly do still exist and are normally sold by lottery ticket vendors. Needless to say, they’re nowhere near as popular as they once were, but they still draw some people in to try their hand at what is really a very rudimentary form of gambling. No doubt, the fact that they are so delightfully analogue still is a big part of their enduring appeal.
What’s rather less clear, though, is why on earth anyone would buy online scratch cards? There’s a wealth of better and more advanced gambling games available at your fingertips thanks to smart devices and the world wide web, so why waste your time on virtual scratch cards that don’t even have the cheap but undeniable thrill of scratching off that weird plastic coating to get to the numbers beneath?
Why Online Scratch Cards
Despite everything that would seem to go against them (including very high levels of fraud if you play them on less trustworthy sites), online scratch cards are still popular and there are a few basic reasons for that.
Here are 5 of the most important:
- Nostalgia. Adults who remember their parents or grandparents buying them a scratch card or two to try their luck on when they were young kids, will no doubt enjoy the walk down memory lane.
- Simplicity. They’re super easy to play. All you do is click on the virtual ticket and the numbers of symbols reveal themselves.
- Respectability. Unlike online casino games that carry a certain stigma, scratch cards and lottery cards are seen as perfectly respectable games of chance. They’re even endorsed by the national lottery.
- “Harmlessness”. Unlike online slots, for example, where players are at a risk of pumping thousands of pounds into them almost without noticing, it’s theoretically much easier to control your spending by buying one or a batch of online scratch cards at a time.
- Price. Scratch cards are still one of the cheapest forms of gambling available.
So, no, online scratch cards certainly don’t have the charm of the real thing, but it’s also not too surprising that online scratch cards remain popular even today.