How Do Scratch Cards Work?

Scratch cards were first introduced into the UK in the mid-1990’s. Since then, they have boomed in popularity with a vast array of unique, colourful themes and different jackpots to attract that ‘feeling lucky’ scratch card customer.

Obviously, since the creation of the internet, online scratch cards have become hugely popular as the digital version of traditional scratch cards.

How Do Scratch Cards Work?

We’ve all seen those shiny colourful scratch cards in the clear plastic dispensers on the till counters of newsagents and supermarkets across the UK, but do you know how they actually work?

The basic idea is to scratch off a thin layer of foil usually with numbers on, to reveal 3 matching numbers/symbols or another special symbol to potentially win a cash prize. Introduced as an instant-win alternative to the traditional lottery-style game, scratch cards have really developed in terms of creativity and imagination when it comes to different themes and games that can be played with a simple scratch-off element.

How To Win At Scratch Cards

Scratch cards started out in the USA replicating a slot machine, with 3 columns so you would try and match 3 symbols to win. This was hugely popular in the 1980’s when scratch cards made the switch to the high-street.

These days the scratch cards have become much more inventive, with colourful designs and intricate games to make the scratch card experience even more enjoyable and thrilling.

If you’ve ever read the play instructions on the back of a scratch card, you’ll know how complex the games are these days. It is always a good idea to understand the scratch card game that you are playing, so you don’t accidentally scratch off too many areas, which may make the scratch card invalid. However, usually the instructions on the front of the scratch cards are relatively easy to follow. Some scratch cards have special bonus symbols and games, that you will want to be aware of just in case you accidentally throw away a winning ticket!

One strategy that some scratch card players use, is to buy several scratch cards in one go from the same roll. In theory they will have a better chance of winning, assuming that the manufacturer spaces the winning scratch cards out evenly. Although, your chances of winning are still very slim so please remember to gamble responsibly.

If you do manage to find a winning scratch card, you can normally claim small prizes of up to £500 from the retailer. Claiming between £500-£50,000 requires you to complete a ‘Prize Claim Form’ & provide proof of identity/age to claim by post or in the Post Office. Over £50,000 you have to claim in person from the scratch card manufacturer.  

How Do Online Scratch Cards Work?

Playing scratch cards online is a similar experience to the ‘real-world’, just minus the trip to the local newsagent/supermarket and without the messy scratch shavings! Some online scratch cards even have realistic scratch sounds that you can make with your mouse cursor, or have a ‘scratch-all’ option to save you time.

Another advantage of online scratch cards is that you can’t lose them down the back of the sofa or leave them in your jeans pocket. They can be accessed anytime on your laptop or smartphone, with any winnings being collected straight-away or even added to straight into your account.

It’s important to always play online scratch cards with reputable gambling websites that you trust like The Health Lottery. Also, remember to only spend what you can afford to lose - playing online scratch cards should be for fun, not for profit.

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