The Top Online Scratch Card Games and Casinos for 2023
Online scratch cards provide a digital equivalent to their ultra-satisfying physical counterparts, with the use of digital features to improve on them! Read on to check out some of the best online scratch cards available and where to play them!
- The Finest Online Scratch Cards Casinos To Try in 2023
- What Are Online Scratch Cards?
- How Do Online Scratch Cards Work?
- Online Scratch Cards – Basic Rules
- Who Can Play Online Scratch Cards?
- Classic Scratch Cards vs Online Scratch Cards – Differences & Similarities
- How To Choose an Online Scratch Cards Casino
- Most Popular Scratch Card Games & Variations
- Top 5 Online Scratch Card Games To Try in 2023
- Online Scratch Cards Themes
- Alternatives to Online Scratch Cards
- Online Scratch Cards – Summary
- Online Scratch Cards FAQs
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What Are Online Scratch Cards?
Online scratch cards are games of luck that you can play for free or for real money on licensed gambling platforms. They can be considered the digital version of the classic scratch cards found at grocery stores or magazine shops, and in physical lotteries.
Also known as scratchies or instant games, they are particularly popular in the United Kingdom, where they are organised and managed by the National Lottery.
Instead of scratching the surface of a physical card to reveal a cash prize, with online scratch card games, you uncover prizes (or blank spots, depending on your luck) or trigger additional games!
You can find a wide range of scratch cards to play at most online casinos today – some software developers, such as Hacksaw Gaming, have even made them a central part of their portfolio!
How Do Online Scratch Cards Work?
Online scratch cards work much like traditional scratch cards, with a few very small tweaks.
Depending on the structure of the card, you may need to scratch off 3 or more areas that hide various numbers or symbols. If you get matching groups of symbols, you win an instant cash prize!
Online scratch cards are extremely popular, much like other pure games of luck such as lottery, bingo or keno. They are accessible to virtually anyone, and don’t require any special abilities or strategies. Best of all, you’ll know if you’ve won or lost in just a few seconds!
Online Scratch Cards – Basic Rules
To play online scratch cards, in most cases, all you need to do is find an online casino that hosts them, register an account and choose the right game for you.
Don’t forget that you can’t access these games for real money in most jurisdictions, including the UK, unless you’re of legal gambling age (18+).
Some gambling platforms, such as Mr Bit, also offer free online scratch cards (in demo mode) that you can try without signing up for an account, straight from your browser.
Essentially, if you go for free scratch cards, no deposit needs to be made. You simply open the game window and you get scratching entirely for fun! While no real money wins or losses can occur, this is a good way of getting used to how such games work.
When you play a scratch card game, in most cases, your goal is to reveal 3 identical symbols.
How to Play an Online Scratch Game
- Find your scratch game of choice.
- Select the ‘buy’ button to purchase a card.
- Click on the spots you think have the winning symbols to be able to scratch them.
- Got the matching symbols? You’ve won!
If you were extra lucky and got those sweet matching symbols, an animation will appear on the screen, followed by the amount you won. The latter will be credited to your real-money balance instantly.
If you’re not keen on scratching each of the three spots one by one, you can also click the “scratch all / reveal all” button, which will quickly do this process for you! Most online scratch games will have this function among their controls.
Some online scratch card games will only allow you to use a particular bet level (e.g. €4). The expensive scratch cards (e.g. €20-€50) offer the best win potential, though, and can award prizes of up to a million dollars or more!
Finally, if you're a budget-conscious player, certain software providers such as Pragmatic Play allow you to buy multiple games at once, saving you some money. The below image shows how this works in practice on their iconic 7 Piggies 5000 scratch card:
Online Scratch Cards Odds
Because online scratch cards are aimed at casual gamblers or even beginners who are looking for a fun and easy game to play, the reward potential is not as high as jackpot slots, for example.
With that said, your odds to hit a winning ticket or number combo will vary, depending on the casino you play at, your game of choice and the size of the grid.
Most popular online scratch games such as Cash Scratch or Frogs Scratch feature 9 numbers total, across a 3×3 grid.
That means, in most cases, your odds to win a prize on the best scratch games will be approximately 1/3. As a general principle, the larger the grid, the better your chances of scoring identical symbols or number combinations.
Scratch Card Games Over the Years
Back in the day, when no complex mathematical algorithms existed to ensure fair and random odds, the first scratch cards used manual randomisation techniques.
In 1974, Scientific Games Corporation introduced the first computer-generated instant lottery game. The company is still a major supplier of tickets today!
Years later, in 2010, slot machine manufacturer, IGT (International Game Technology), made a valuable contribution that led to the thematic scratch games we know today. The company started supplying its popular slot machine themes for online scratch cards.
That same year, virtual scratch cards built with Java/Flash technology appeared on the web for the first time, allowing gamblers to scratch their favourite tickets online and collect their prizes instantly.
Today, the list of providers creating online scratch cards has grown exponentially, with modern studios such as Pragmatic Play or Hacksaw Gaming joining the ranks. Thanks to creative themes, captivating soundtracks and immersive animations, online scratch cards can be even more fun to play than their physical counterparts!
Who Can Play Online Scratch Cards?
Online scratch cards are also called online scratch cards lottery or instant lottery, and for good reason! For the longest time, they have followed similar age restrictions imposed on lottery games.
As such, in most places around the world, you are not allowed to play online scratch cards for real money or keep any winnings unless you’re at least 18 years of age.
The UK was an exception in the past, as 16 and 17-year-olds were allowed to buy scratch cards in retail locations and also participate in lottery games. Following a government crackdown in 2020, the National Lottery raised the legal gambling age for these games to 18.
Classic Scratch Cards vs Online Scratch Cards – Differences & Similarities
The main difference between traditional scratch cards and online scratch cards is the manner of revealing the prize.
Moreover, online scratch cards are more complex in terms of theme (pirates, explorers, mythology), visuals & sound effects. They provide a highly entertaining experience, reminiscent of video slots, and offer players more choice – there are even scratch card games based on poker or blackjack.
Modern online scratch cards have more special features, including a set number of free games and top prizes of €200,000 on average! Their RTP scores make them just as attractive, going up to 95% in some cases.
Lastly, you are no longer dependent on a physical location, such as a store or a lottery, to buy a card. With online scratch cards, you can even play on the go from a smartphone or tablet with Android/iOS software.
Finally, once your wins have been credited to your real-money balance, you can withdraw immediately to an e-wallet or a bank account.
How To Choose an Online Scratch Cards Casino
When it comes to virtual or online scratch cards, there have been many rounds of criticism from the general public.
These games have often been deemed as posing a high-fraud risk, since players could cheat the system by registering multiple accounts using fake names and redeem prizes more than once.
As such, it’s essential for you to choose a reliable online scratch cards site to avoid all of the above.
Because online scratch cards have been particularly well-received in the United Kingdom and Europe, most gambling platforms offering these games will be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) or the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority).
They are known to be the strictest regulatory bodies in terms of player protection and compliance rules they establish on gambling sites. Always check the licensing number, the issuer and the status of said licence before registering on any online scratch cards casino.
When choosing the right online scratch cards sites for our readers, we took care to include gambling platforms that offer at least 20-50 virtual scratch games on average, from reliable software providers such as Pragmatic Play, Hacksaw Gaming or Microgaming.
Of course, if you want to switch things up, the online casinos we recommend also feature other popular games, such as online slots, table games (blackjack, video poker, baccarat), live casino game shows or live dealer games.
Before you go ahead and sign up to an online scratch cards site, it’s always wise to take a look at their existing bonus offers, how attractive they are and what the wagering terms look like.
The best platforms will offer newcomers a no deposit bonus, welcome bonuses or free spin bonuses upon registration.
Some online casinos, such as WinkSlots, offer tailored bonuses for scratch cards players, such as daily free spins on various scratch games (Fluffy Favourites, 99Time etc.).
One final aspect to consider is how you can safely deposit and withdraw on your online scratch cards site of choice.
Ideally, the platform should provide a variety of methods, ranging from e-wallets like Skrill and NETELLER, to credit and debit cards from VISA or Mastercard.
You should also verify the withdrawal times – since your wins at online scratch cards are credited instantly to your balance, you want to make sure you can cash out just as quickly (in 24-48 hours or less).
Most Popular Scratch Card Games & Variations
Same as other casino games, online scratch cards come in many shapes and sizes – differences in gameplay, features and prizes will arise depending on the software provider you choose.
Leading studios often strive to come up with new ideas, themes and designs. Competition is high, and every provider strives to come up with their own unique calling card, whether through 3D symbols, funky soundtracks, a preference for animal-themed scratch cards, and so on.
Here are the most popular types of scratch games you can find online in 2023 and what the main benefits of each are:
- Fixed-Price Scratch Cards
Fixed-price scratch cards are the traditional version you can find on most scratch card sites. They allow the player to keep tabs on what they are spending. While these cards can still produce instant wins, the stake remains the same.
- Variable Price Instant Wins
This is a slightly more elaborate variant of scratch cards. Designed for players who wish to play with increased funds, they provide the opportunity to win bigger prizes
By altering the stakes, you are thereby also altering the level of risk. Risk and reward is the nature of the beast for most casino games, and you can explore this angle even with online scratch cards.
- Lottery Scratch Cards Online
The “Lotto” version of online scratch cards uses the classic lottery system of numbers, along with Powerball/Thunderball. Unlike deliberately selecting your favourite numbers on a physical ticket, the aim is to match the numbers you are randomly given with the numbers that are unveiled on the grid.
Just like the lottery, there are often different prizes for the respective number of balls you manage to match.
- Bingo Lottery Scratch Card
The classic bingo format is adopted here, meaning you need to match randomly drawn numbers with the numbers you are given on your grid to win. Typically, you get prizes for getting consecutive numbers in a row, column, or even filling the four corners of a square.
Top 5 Online Scratch Card Games To Try in 2023
If you’re completely new to the fascinating world of online scratch cards, don’t worry – we’re here to help you out!
Join us as we present the most popular online scratch games to go for in 2023:
#1 Football Scratch
If you’re a sports buff, then you’ll absolutely love Football Scratch, an online scratch game developed by Hacksaw Gaming that was was released in 2021.
Designed on a 3×3 grid structure, there are 9 numbers total. The game has an RTP of 65.27% and offers a top payout of €250,000.
You can use the mouse cursor to scratch all symbols manually or opt for the “Scratch All” option. The stake is set at €2.50 by default.
#2 Merlin’s Millions Scratch
Merlin’s Millions Scratch is an online scratch cards game developed by NextGen Gaming. Based on the famous, titular wizard from the legends of King Arthur, Merlin, it's perfect for players who like their games with a side of magic and spookiness!
Your goal is to find at least 3 matching symbols and, if you’re super lucky, you can even trigger free games! Merlin’s Millions Scratch offers a maximum win of €100,000 with a flexible betting range of €0.01 – €100. The RTP is set at a great 95.17%.
#3 James Dean Scratch
Next on our list we have a celebrity-themed online scratch cards game developed by Scientific Games, featuring James Dean’s face front and centre.
A match-and-win game spread across a 3×3 grid, it requires at least 3 matching symbols for you to be rewarded with a prize. A free games feature is also present – 3 star symbols will give you 5 extra games.
During this round, all of your prizes will be doubled. This rebel’s not without a cause, striving to please with an attractive RTP score of 95% and a maximum win of €200 000.
#4 Medusa Scratch
Is Greek mythology your cup of tea? Do you also like to dabble in scratch card games once in a while? Why not combine them and get the best of both worlds with Medusa Scratch? We promise this one won’t turn you to stone!
Developed by NextGen Gaming, this title is one of the best scratch games around. Once again, we’re greeted by a familiar 3×3 grid structure. All you need to do is manually match 3 symbols to win a prize using your mouse, with each scratch accompanied by a cool animation!
There’s more – if you find 3 Medusa icons, you’ll get free games with guaranteed wins!
#5 Fishin’ Frenzy Scratchcard
Fishin’ Frenzy is a highly interactive online scratch card game released by Blueprint Gaming. Aside from friendly fishermen and a much-loved nautical theme, you can enjoy two special features – Reel of Fortune and Catch of The Day Bonus.
Although this title has an RTP score of 80%, it still gives you good odds overall, allowing you to play 3 scratch games for just 10p. Your goal is to find identical fish and cash value symbols to receive your prizes.
Online Scratch Cards Themes
The first scratch cards ever invented were rudimentary and featured no special theme – they only required players to scratch off 3 or more areas to reveal numbers and symbols.
Online scratch games were able to change things up, however, featuring themes based on sports, Monopoly, animals, mythology, dragons, emperors, and more!
Lastly, there are branded online scratch cards you can try as well, based on popular Marvel heroes or famous detectives, such as Sherluck Scratch and James Dean Scratch, the latter of which we described in detail above.
Alternatives to Online Scratch Cards
If your go-to gambling site does not offer online scratch cards, don’t worry – there are other games of luck that are just as thrilling in 2023, such as:
- Online Lottery – Whilst traditional lotteries are typically run by the state, online lotteries are run by gambling sites or private businesses (e.g. MegaMillions or Euro Jackpot). The concept is simple – you buy a ticket virtually and bet on your numbers of choice and, if they get drawn, you get a prize.
- Blackjack – Online blackjack can be played against the computer or a live dealer, using a standard deck of 52 cards. It has a very low house edge and the objective is simple – the sum of your cards needs to be 21 or as close to it as possible.
- Baccarat – Baccarat is a table game that relies purely on chance and nothing else: your goal is to bet which hand will have the highest score – the banker’s or the player’s. A third outcome is also possible, called a “tie”.
Online Scratch Cards – Summary
Online scratch cards closely resemble the real thing, even though they’re played in a digital format, as most variations follow the classic 3×3 structure.
Their popularity is unparalleled in 2023, with leading software developers racing to create their own versions, with exclusive jackpots and themes (animals, celebrities, mythology). Meanwhile, players love them because they require no special skills and offer instant prizes!
Are you ready to scratch your way to that next jackpot? Check out our recommended online scratch cards sites today!
Online Scratch Cards FAQs
The answer depends on your preferences, the prizes you’re after and the themes you enjoy. Some of the most popular online scratch cards are 50x, Monopoly Jackpot and 7 Piggies 5000.
Top casino sites where you can play scratch cards online can be found both in the UK and EU – e.g. Gala Bingo, WinkSlots, Betamo and Mr. Bit.
Yes. Online scratch cards follow the same gameplay rules as standard paper scratch cards; the only difference is that computer software chooses the numbers/symbols. Once you win, the amount gets credited to your balance immediately.
Elephant Scratchcards, 777 Scratchcards, 100x, Cash Tripler and Lions Share are among the most favoured scratch games by UK players.
Yes. Modern online scratch cards use HTML5 technology, so they are optimised to run smoothly on desktop and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets with Android/iOS).
Yes – many online scratch cards sites (for example, Mr Bit) allow you to play your favourite game in demo mode, without registration. Do keep in mind that you can’t win or lose any real money, however.
If you’re after casual, light-hearted games with fairly good odds (1/3 on average), they’re definitely worth it. They don’t require any special skills, and anyone can try their hand at revealing those lucky numbers!
There is no special strategy to win at online scratch cards, since they are a game of luck or chance, similar to how the lottery works. However, what you can do to improve your chances is choose scratch cards with good odds, extra features, and a larger game grid. In doing so, you'll have better chances of finding identical symbols and landing a great payout.