Online Scratch Cards – Tips, Rules & Strategies

What Is Scratch Cards

Scratch cards are a type of instant lottery in which the cards made of plastic or hard paper are used. Each card has numbers concealed under a thin coating of latex which has to be scratched to reveal a secret code, and find out if you have won a prize or not. Scratch cards were invented by John Koza and Daniel Bower in 1974 under the banner of Scientific Games Corporation; these discovered instant lottery to people who formerly had to buy tickets and wait for several days before finding out whether they have won or not.

Owing to the players’ quick gratification and instant rewards, the concept of scratch cards became an instant hit. According to the UK National Lottery data, there are up to 694,301 scratchcard winners every day with the top prizes as high as £4 million. As to playing scratch cards in the USA, approximately 50% of Americans buy at least 1 scratch ticket at some point.

Such a great popularity of scratch cards can be explained by a number of considerable benefits they ensure:

  • Low cost of a scratch ticket (the average value is $ 1-2)
  • Ease to play
  • Available for free play
  • Opportunity to win instantly
  • Possibility to win big prizes in millions of dollars/ any other currency (for expensive scratch cards of $ 20-30)

If you decide to try your hand at scratch cards, there is some useful information for you here. Check out our comprehensive guide to understand the game well and build up the winning strategy.

How To Play Scratch Card Games

Depending on players’ preferences, scratch card games can be played both online and in the stores (offline). Regardless of the playing mode, the scratch card game has the same rules.

Scratch Cards Playing in Stores
A player just has to buy the scratch ticket through the retailer and scratch off the latex covering to reveal the numbers that are present underneath it. If the numbers match with the code printed at a different location on the card, a player wins a prize. However, different scratch cards have different ways of awarding prizes. In some of them, the numbers are replaced with symbols or pictures and the user has to match the specific combination to win the prize.

Scratch Cards Playing Online
Online scratch cards (introduced by around 2010) can be purchased using credit cards or through any other banking methods supported by a certain lottery agent, and have their coverings cleared off to reveal the secret numbers. Online scratch cards are available in a number of different themes (fantasy, sport, casino scratch card games), however, these feature the same rules that involve uncovering the specific areas and comparing a hidden code with the winning combination.


The odds here depend on the scratch cards price and the size of the award. A $1 scratch ticket wins more often, but the top prize may be just a few hundred dollars, and the average prize is much lower compared to the expensive tickets. On the other hand, a $10 ticket may bring a several thousand dollars, but with less probability. What is more, each scratch card offers an array of prizes, including low-value ones are highly lucrative awards (jackpot prize). The odds of winning a smaller prize are much higher than those of winning the top prize.

Scratch Card Secret Strategies

Despite the fact that the scratch cards are considered to be the games of chance, using a well-thought strategy here may influence the winning odds considerably. Below you can find the most effective strategies from seasoned scratch cards players.

  • Follow the theory of probability – choose those scratch card games where you can get more cards to scratch (buy a scratch cards in a strip of several tickets). According to this theory, a player has one possible chance out of three to get the right scratch.
  • Save your losing tickets – many places may run the second-chance lottos (these are usually announced by the lottery provider), in which you can use your old tickets and win the prizes.
  • Play scratch card games with a long-term payout- they let a winner set a certain amount per week and increase his long-term odds.


  • Buy tickets smart. Remember that cheaper tickets have lower payouts, lower percentage of winners, a smaller spread between a top prize and interval prizes.
  • When choosing a particular game of scratch cards, find out whether the top prize has been claimed or not. Most of the retailers do not advertize this information, so you must ask them directly.
  • Never play scratch cards when you are under the influence of intoxicants, sedatives or other prescription medication.
  • Avoid playing scratch cards with your winnings and never chase the losses.

Scratch Cards Terms To Know

  • Autoplay – the option when the computer is running through a series of scratch card games while a player waits for the results.
  • Line Price – the amount that a player has decided to spend on each scratch card line.
  • Paytable – the table which provides information about the winning combinations and the payouts associated with each combination.
  • Scratch Ticket – (also known as a scratch card) a lottery ticket with a small area covered by an opaque coating, which a player must scrape away to reveal hidden information used in determining the card’s prize value.
  • Total Wins – the area which shows a player how much he has won so far.
  • Total Bets – the area that shows how much a player has spent so far on bets.
  • Wager – the price of the scratch card.


Scratch cards are among the most popular types of lotteries in which the player has the chance to know the result of the game and claim a prize instantly. Though it may seem impossible to predict the winning odds with a game of scratch cards, following a few tips and implementation of a well-thought strategy will definitely help you increase your winning chances.


Are online scratch cards legal?

All online scratch cards providers (companies) are generally located in Malta and are licensed under the Maltese jurisdiction. This country gives out a gaming license if the scratch cards provider complies with the strict requirements regarding its game quality, fairness, and a payout ratio granted. So you can trust online scratch cards to be honest and reliable. An example of a gambling regulator is the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA).

Who are the most famous scratch card manufacturers?

The most famous manufacturers of scratch cards today are Scientific Games Corporation and Pollard Banknote.

What is the age limit to play scratch cards?

Depending on the country (and a state in the USA), the legal minimum age to play scratch cards varies from 16+ (for the UK) to 18+ (for the USA).