Players around the UK have been enjoying scratchcards for decades. But despite how long this iconic game has been a part of our culture, fans sometimes wonder what they are supposed to do when they don’t have anything to scratch with. We take a look at the history of the game, and 9 everyday objects you can use.
A brief introduction to the game’s history in the UK
The first gambling scratchcard game was launched in Britain in March 1995, and marked the beginning of people’s love affair with this exciting card game. This is unsurprising considering the traditional version, run by the country’s national lottery operators, has paid out millions of pounds in winnings to people across the country.
Despite the changes to legislation, over the years, and the advancement of technology offering players new ways to play – such as augmented reality cards – the traditional game still continues to be a popular pastime for many players, thanks to its simple concept and exciting payoff.
But what is one supposed to do when you don’t have a coin to scratch with? We share some tools you can use to find out if you’ve struck it big, or if you’ll end up wishing for better luck next time. We’ll also look at another option that doesn’t require any real scratching!
9 Everyday alternatives to coins
Bank or store cards
Purchased a ticket and can’t wait to find out if you’ve won or not? Most of us have wallets that are about to burst with bank and store loyalty cards. The hard, curved, plastic edge is well suited to the task, just make sure to clean the card before you put it back in your wallet.
If you’re someone who is musically inclined and haven’t grown your nails so you can pluck guitar strings, it’s possible that you carry a guitar pick around (just in case the opportunity to show off your guitar skills arises). If you buy a scratch card and don’t have anything else with you, use your pick in the exact same way as a coin to reveal your winnings.
In much the same way that your wallet is bulging at the seams with cards, your keyring is likely home to dozens of keys (some of which you might not even need). Find a key with a suitably hard but blunt edge, and scratch away!
All-purpose utility tool
Engineers and handymen rarely leave home without an all-purpose utility tool, or multi-tool, strapped to their belts or tucked in their back pockets. These useful devices are home to pliers, bottle openers, knives, files, picks and all sorts of other useful attachments, many of which can be used for scratching your scratchcard.
For those of us who need a few basic tools but don’t need an all-purpose utility tool, a penknife can also be useful for scratchcards. A very simple penknife will literally only have a sharp blade, but others can include a few additional tools such as a nail file, bottle opener or even scissors. Any blunt hard tool in a penknife will be suitable for revealing your winning numbers.
A nail file
This is something many people are unlikely to have outside their homes, but ladies who are extra conscious about taking care of their nails will likely have a nail file tucked away in their handbags. While one might be curious and try to file away the layer to reveal their numbers, rather use the hard, rounded edge to scratch away and avoid damaging the card!
Some people like to make use of a toothpick to keep their teeth free of any scraps of food. If you happen to have one on you, you can use it to find out your winning numbers.
A butter knife
If you don’t have anything on you and you can wait till you get home, an ordinary butter knife can also be used to scratch off the protective layer. The hard but rounded blade of the knife is perfectly suited to this task.
A scratch off tool
For dedicated fans, you can purchase a scratch-off tool to play your favourite game. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Some are simple plastic devices that attach to your keyring, while others are made from plastic and look like a pen. Others are even simpler in design and look like ordinary nail files, and are even constructed from metal. If you prefer a more organic solution, you can choose a scratch-off tool with a shaft made from wood and a small metal head for scraping. There are many options available through online stores, no matter what your taste.
What to avoid
In our rush to find out if we’ve become the UK’s next millionaire, people might take steps that they later regret. To avoid damaging your card keep this in mind:
- Avoid using a sharp edge – While we refer to items that have blades or sharp edges above, it’s important to remember that you don’t use the tip of the knife or the sharp edge of the blade. This could damage the numbers on the card or the barcode and may impact your ability to collect your winnings. Instead, use the blunt edge of the blade, and be very careful to avoid any risk of cutting yourself.
- Do not use liquids to remove the protective coating – While your friend may have the best of intentions when telling you about how he used rubbing alcohol or even a wet rag to remove the protective layer and reveal his numbers, liquids can permanently damage the card.
Can’t buy a card in person?
For those of you who enjoy playing but don’t want to or can’t go to the store to buy an actual card, there is another way to take part in the excitement thanks to the internet: online cards.
What is an online scratchcard?
Much like their traditional counterparts, these virtual cards are instant win games that you can play online. They can be direct recreations of their offline counterparts, or include enhanced features such as bonus numbers or rounds, much like online slots do when compared to their physical counterparts.
How do I get or use an online scratchcard?
Some online gaming services offer access to their online games directly in a browser. Others require you to download an app first before you can play. Once you have access to the virtual card, players can click to reveal numbers or use a mouse to scratch away and reveal them, much like a real card.
What are the winnings like for online cards?
As with the traditional game, the amount you could win depends on the type of card you buy. The more expensive the game, the higher the overall jackpot, but the smaller your chances of winning. However, many online gaming sites offer players a few free cards when they get started.
Play online Scratchcards
Mecca Bingo offers players a wide range of online scratchcard games to enjoy. A few of these exciting games include The Price Is Right: Come On Down, Wheel of Fortune On the Road, and The Voice. Be sure to visit our site to learn what other exciting scratchcard games we have on offer, and become one of our many scratchcard winners.
Be sure to visit our site today to learn all about the various exciting gaming options we have lined up for you today!