HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO BUY SCRATCH CARDS
You need to be at least 18 years old before playing online at sites like Jackpot Joy or Paddy Power.
In recent years, the age for purchasing scratch cards from providers such as the National Lottery was raised from 16 to 18.
HOW LONG HAVE SCRATCH CARDS BEEN AROUND?
Scratch Cards haven’t been with us that long! The first mass-produced Scratch-off game was launched by U.S. company ‘Scientific Games’ in 1973. The card was called ‘The Instant Game’; it contained five panels that customers could remove with a coin.
The card offered a jackpot prize worth $10,000 and claimed: “1 out of 5 tickets wins”. Visually the card is strikingly like the cards you can buy today. During the 1980s and 1990s, Scientific Games applied for many patents relating to their Scratch Cards, Instant Winner and Lottery style games.
The company is still active in creating and marketing instant win games worldwide, but particularly in the U.S.
FIRST U.K. SCRATCH CARDS
In the United Kingdom’ Scratch Cards’ gained popularity around the mid-1980s. At first, these cards were regional and offered modest jackpots. However, creating a state franchise ‘National Lottery‘ in 1994 propelled scratch cards to another level. For the first time, cards could be purchased Nationwide, and the jackpots on offer were more significant than anything seen before.
In the U.K., it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of different types of cards at grocery stores, newsagents, and petrol stations. Scratchcards are the U.K.’s second most popular form of gambling, with 12% of Brits buying at least one card every month.
JACKPOT JOY INTRODUCES ONLINE CASH GAMING
In 2002 website called Jackpot Joy was established in the U.K. It offered eight instant win scratch-off-style games. Within three years, the portal had attracted more than 100,000 people joined.
Players enjoyed online scratch card games like ‘Smugglers Loot’ and ‘Treasure Hunt’. These early games were basic, but as the technology advanced, they became more interactive.
Today, the games served up by online casinos contain movie style animation, sound effects and big cash prizes. Many online cards will be tied-in with big movie releases or well-known T.V. shows. For example, Jackpot Joy features the official ‘Deal Or No Deal’ scratch card and ‘The Crystal Maze. Jackpot prizes can range from a few pounds up to £1 million + with specific providers.
The average Brit spends over £400 a year on lottery tickets and scratch cards! Most of these purchases are made through government-licensed provider – The National Lottery.
A part of the money spent on games goes to good causes. Since 1994 £39 billion has been raised for Charities across the U.K. from sales. In total, over 500,000 projects have received funding via the Lottery.
NATIONAL LOTTERY SCRATCH CARDS
As the popularity of the traditional Lottery has waned, the company has been focusing more on scratchcards. Various theme cards are available with different prices and prizes for customers.
Cards with jackpots of up to £2 million cost £5 at the top of the scale. On the other side of the scale, cards costing just £1 have smaller jackpots of between £100 and £100,000.
One of the advantages online card providers maintain over their real-world counterparts is transparency. For example, the National Lottery recently came in for criticism when they continued to sell the “Millionaire 7s” card despite all the top prizes having already been won.
In fairness, National Lottery does publish the remaining jackpot prizes for each scratch card on its website. What are the chances that someone will check before purchasing a card?
Online providers can instantly update jackpots and inform customers when big prizes change. For example, if you’ve ever wondered how many jackpot prizes are available on National Lottery cards, you can check here.
One of the most popular National Lottery scratch cards is Monopoly Gold. The card costs £5 and is often purchased as a substitute gift for friends and family. There is a 1 in 3:5 chance of winning a prize on each card (not the jackpot!).
However, with 4 top prizes of £2 million up for grabs, the card continues to be popular with punters. However, an initial print run of over 24 million cards means the chances of scooping the big one are small.
HOW DO THEY MAKE SCRATCH CARDS?
The production of scratch-off cards is quite a feat of engineering. The first process is printing the game card, which is often based on a popular movie or T.V. show. For instance, ‘Deal Or No Deal’ is a favourite amongst U.K. players. After that, card printing is relatively simple.
However, fraud prevention measures require more effort. Full-colour cards are printed with serial numbers. Algorithms generate these numbers, and operators use these to identify genuine winners.
Another important security feature is the ‘confusion pattern’. The pattern is printed in layers over the symbols of the game. These patterns prevent people from revealing winning symbols by holding a card over a bright light. Many cards have several layers of confusion panels.
A final step is the application of the silver/grey panel, which the customer then removes to reveal the prize. The biggest challenge is getting the panel to adhere to the card and withstand transportation. At the same time, it must be easily removed by the customer. Silver coatings are made of acrylic resin mixed with aluminium paste and solvents.
AMERICAN SCRATCH & LOTTO GAMES
They say that everything in America is bigger and better. But, unfortunately, when it comes to lotto jackpots, that statement is true.
The U.S. is home to the biggest cash prizes available anywhere globally. Lotteries have a long history in the United States. The first “The Great Virginia Lottery” was introduced to raise funds for the struggling Jamestown colony back in 1612.
Before the introduction of government-backed lotteries, many illegal lotteries prospered. Nevertheless, these games were mired in scandal and controversy.
In Puerto Rico, the first modern government-run Lottery was established in 1934. New Hampshire introduced its Lottery in 1964. In 1985, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont formed the first multi-state lottery game.
These multi-state games were designed to provide bigger jackpots for the participants.
The Mega Millions is another popular joint Lotto venture between six State providers. The game started in 2002 and offered a MINIMUM jackpot of $40 million. However, the jackpot is regularly over $200 million.
A lucky player recently scooped the biggest ever win, and the $1.5 billion jackpot was won by one ‘Mega Millions’ ticket holder in South Carolina.
Although Lotto jackpots in America dwarf those in the U.K., the scratch card prizes are very similar.
The top prize in the Arizona Lottery scratch-off game ‘Royal Millions’ is $3.5 million. Slightly less than the U.K.’s ‘Million Blue’ £4 million top prize.
Although ‘Royal Millions’ cost $30 per card, the U.K.’s ‘Million Blue’ only costs £10. So it seems that U.K. players get a better deal from scratchcards than their American cousins.
CHANCES OF WINNING
So you want to know the chances of winning a scratch card or lottery jackpot? Well, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string!
It all depends on many factors. For example, which game are you playing, and how many cards or tickets are you planning to buy? And what are the odds of finding a winning ticket or picking the winning numbers?
AGAINST ALL ODDS
We can look at the odds of winning the U.K. lottery. At one time, the odds of winning stood at 14 million to 1. However, in 2015 the range of numbers punters could choose from increased from 49 to 59. Those ten extra numbers lengthened to odds from 14 to 45 million to 1. So the chances of winning are pretty slim. Like the advert says ‘It could be you’, but statically it’s unlike to be you!
Scratch cards, on the other hand, are slightly different. Let’s look at the odds of winning on the National Lottery’s £2 MILLION MONOPOLY GOLD scratch card.
The card costs £5 and offers four top prizes of £2 million. When considering the number of cards printed, the odds are 6,217,500 to 1. Better than the Lottery, but it’s worth noting the cost is higher than a standard Lottery ticket (£2).
Nevertheless, the odds of scooping the jackpot are still very much against you. However, the odds of winning a much smaller amount on a MONOPOLY GOLD card are excellent.
You have a 1 in 14 chance of winning at least £10. Credit to the National Lottery, as they provide odds for all their scratch cards online at national-lottery.co.uk. It’s well worth checking out, as odds vary from card to card.
What about your chances of winning with online scratch cards? Again, this depends on which online service you play with and the type of game card you play.
Let’s take a deeper look at the U.K.’s most popular online scratchcard site… Jackpot Joy. It was launched in 2002 and is one of the oldest online providers of instant win, slot and bingo games.
Their popular selection of scratch cards includes Pillars Of Fortune, Gold Fever, Crystal Maze, Deal Or No Deal and Midnight Feast.
If you decide to play Deal Or No Deal ‘Scratch & Match’, you can choose how much to wager. Pick between £1, £2 and £5 cards; as the stake increases, so does the jackpot on offer.
RETURN TO PLAYER (RTP)
The maximum £5 card comes with a £10,000 prize. Jackpot Joy reported the game pay-out as 93.32% of the money staked. Another great scratch card at JPJ is the innovative ‘Pillars Of Fortune’, a fully animated and interactive scratch-off game. The jackpot on offer depends on the amount risked. For example, a £2 stake will open up the £20,000 pot, play for £10, and you could win £100,000!
The ‘return to player’ percentage of this game is 96.24%. The RTP or return to player percentage does not represent how much an individual could win playing the game. As one player could win the jackpot whilst the rest of the players win nothing.
SCRATCHCARD PRIZES UP FOR GRABS
The cash prizes available from scratch cards can vary greatly, with some games offering jackpot prizes worth millions of pounds. Generally, the prize pool is much smaller, with most scratch cards offering prizes of a few thousand pounds or less.
The Jackpot King network currently offers the biggest prizes online, with scratch cards such as ‘TED’ offering a jackpot worth over £4 million.
When playing scratch cards online, you can usually find out the maximum prize that can be won from the game’s paytable. The amount you can win will depend on how much you have staked – the more you risk, the higher the potential prize.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ONLINE SCRATCHCARDS?
Online scratch cards have a few extra benefits over their paper counterparts. You don’t have to worry about losing your scratch card or having it stolen.
You also have more choice when it comes to online scratch cards – there are many different themes and prizes to choose from. Finally, you can usually play online scratch cards cheaper for less money than paper ones.
So if you’re thinking about trying your luck with scratch cards, playing online is the way to go.
You can check out our reviews of popular cards like Goonies and King Kong Cash scratch cards and find out where to play them safely.
HOW DO YOU PLAY ONLINE SCRATCH CARDS?
When you play online scratch cards, the object of the game is simple: to scratch off all of the panels on your card and reveal the symbols underneath. If you match three symbols, you win! It’s that easy.
Scratchcards that are available for online play are simple to learn and play, but the way they work depends on whether you buy them from a desktop or a mobile device. If you’re playing on a desktop, you may scratch off different panels by wiggling your mouse over various sections.
You may also show your numbers or symbols on mobile devices by using your finger. Most games also have a ‘reveal’ button that shows all the symbols at once, providing you with an immediate answer. For a more in-depth explanation, see our tutorial on how to play scratchcards.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’VE WON?
If you’ve ever played scratch cards, you know the excitement of waiting to see if you’ve won. The anticipation builds as your fingernail hovers over the scratch-off surface, heart racing as you reveal the hidden symbols beneath. And then, whether it’s a jubilant “You’ve won!” message or a crushing “Try again,” you instantly find out if you’re a winner.
But what happens if you miss the notification? Well, don’t worry – your winnings will still be displayed in-game. So even if you scratch off that winning ticket and step away for a few minutes, you’ll still be able to see your increased balance when you come back.
Scratch cards online are based on a 3×3 matrix, in which players must find a specific quantity of matching symbols or a single instant-win symbol. Over the years, though, contemporary online scratch card games have experimented with this format, and there are now several distinct shapes and elements that make the game more interesting.
All scratch cards will follow the same basic approach: matching symbols win rewards, but some have variables such as bonus reels (such as in Fishin Frenzy Scratch) or multiple rounds with varied criteria (such as King Kong Cash Scratch). Some games may even include additional rounds to increase the excitement.
ARE ONLINE SCRATCH CARDS AVAILABLE ON MOBILE?
Yes! Jackpot Joy and Betfred is well-known and regarded for its outstanding mobile software, letting you keep playing no matter where you go. In addition, mobile scratch cards are available in precisely the same format as desktop scratch cards, with all of the same features and gameplay.
The only difference is that mobile scratch cards are played on smaller screens, so the graphics might not be quite as sharp as they are on desktop. But don’t worry – you’ll still be able to see everything you need to play the game and scratch off your card.
So if you’re looking for a bit of fun on the go, be sure to check out our mobile scratch cards. You can even play for free on many sites before deciding whether you want to wager real money.