Scratchcard comes in at number two in the UK’s gambling popularity stakes after the National Lottery draws. Whether you’re a veteran scratcher or thinking of taking up the hobby, let’s get down to the brass tacks of how to play off- and online, and what you can do to try to increase your odds of winning.
Where did scratchcards originate?
It all started in, yes you guessed it, the US of A. Interestingly, in the 1970s, scratch-off cards were invented for a company called Scientific Games Corporation by American computer scientists. In a decade famous for bell-bottoms, disco, cultural change, and tech innovation, The Instant Game (one of the first scratch-off lottery tickets) was first launched by the Massachusetts State Lottery. It caught on almost instantly and other national and state lotteries began to offer them too.
It wasn’t until 1987 when the American company AstroMed Inc. patented a scratchcard and their popularity exploded on the international scene. These days instant win cards are used for more than gambling. They’re a source of fundraising for charities and are even used as a means of advertising products or services. The history of scratchcards sure is interesting.
What are online scratchcards?
Online scratchcards are a digital form of scratchcards with a few fundamental differences. Like the offline version, they’re easy to play and you don’t have to spend a pretty penny to take part. Random Number Generators determine the outcome of a game by randomly selecting a winning numbers combination, then returning an instant win, or no win at all, to a player in exchange for a bet that usually ranges from £1 to £10.
A virtual recreation of the physical card has three lines of three squares, and each of these is hidden at first. A player simply presses the squares to reveal their content, and if you’re lucky enough to find three of the same symbol or numbers, you win a prize.
This is where the comparison ends. The advanced online game offers players many features they would never get with the physical game. This can include game themes that are firm favourites as well as a variety of themes that are constantly changing. Bonus rounds, similar to those found on video slots, may also be on offer, which is why we find that many Mecca Bingo fans of online slots also enjoy the online version of scratchcard.
How to play online
You’ll find many different types and themes of scratchcards at Mecca Bingo. Once you’ve registered an account on our site, you can deposit some money, choose your cards, pay for them, and get started.
Some games offer one chance to win and others offer up to five games on a card. If you’re playing on a desk- or laptop, you can click on the different sections and wiggle your mouse to ‘scratch’ off the panels and match symbols to win prizes.
If playing on a mobile device, you can use your finger in the same way you would on a paper scratchcard. Most of our games also have a “reveal” button, when selected it shows all the symbols at once, giving you a truly instant result when you’re in a hurry.
Online scratchcard prizes are most often in the form of cash, and there are plenty of themes to choose from to keep things fresh and exciting no matter how often you play. We also offer a number of instant win versions of slot games that feature similar graphics and characters as online slot games. The cash prizes for instant win games vary across scratchcards, but you can play for as little as 20p. If you have your eye on the larger cash prizes, there are many games that offer a chance at quick jackpot wins.
All card numbers are chosen using a Random Number Generator. This is a computer program that uses a series of complex calculations in order to arrive at a winning combination that is completely random and fair.
Can you improve your chances of winning?
Scratchcard is a game of chance. There is absolutely nothing you can do to guarantee a win, but there are a few things that can improve your chances of a win over time and help you stay in control of this popular gambling game.
First off, you may think that buying a heap of cheaper cards will increase your winnings over time. This is not the case. The cheaper cards typically have a lower prize pool which means that even when you do win, the prizes will typically be smaller amounts.
Online scratchcard is a game of chance, which means you might buy just one card and win in the first game you’ve ever played online, or you could buy five cards per game and play for many months without winning at all. There is a different theory for physical cards. Some believe that card manufacturers place a winning combination at intervals throughout their cards.
If like most of us, you tend to avoid the small print, take the time to read what the odds are of winning on a specific card. You’ll want to go for the shorter odds of longer odds, any day of the year.
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times winners throw out or misplace a winning card. If you’ve scratched and won, and can’t claim your prize immediately, put it in a safe place until you can claim your winnings!
Managing your budget
Never allow a losing streak to frustrate or anger you, and then prompt you to spend more than you can afford. Gambling responsibly is about keeping track of your playing patterns and control of how much you spend. If you don’t know exactly how much you spend on your favourite games each month, or you’re just getting started on the gambling scene – now’s the time to set your budget. The amount you settle on should always be an absolute limit and not a guideline and must be money you can absolutely afford to lose.
Choose the right site
Is the site you’ll be gambling on licensed? If the scratchcard site is a Gambling Commission licensed business, you will be protected by the gambling and consumer protection rules of Great Britain. A licensed gambling business always displays that they’re licensed on their website so it’s easy to tell. This includes a link to the licence register that has information about the types of activities that site is allowed to offer, and any regulatory action that may have been taken against the business for slow payments or welcome bonus offers that have never been fulfilled.
Online scratch-off sites can be a particular concern. Stay safe by never agreeing to pay a monthly fee in exchange for a digital scratchcard or earning additional cards for getting others to sign up. In the UK, a company that offers online scratchcards must either have a Gambling Commissions licence or be registered with their local licensing authority.
Looking for the best online scratchcard action in town?
Looking for instant wins? Mecca Bingo’s online and local land casinos, offer loads of exciting scratchcard action, the most fun, and the biggest wins! We’re also your one-stop-shop for the best online bingo games in town and with so many new casino games on offer, whether you choose to play scratchcard, slots, or bingo – the experience is always fresh and exciting. So why wait? Join us now.