Guide to Scratchcards: History, Rules, Winning Tips

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Scretchcards on the table History

Scratchcards are known to be one of the most popular types of gambling games in the world. How did this come about? Well, there are many features that make them so exciting – scratchcards are normally pretty cheap, they feature instant wins, many cards also feature a second-chance field, scratchcards don’t require any special skills, and they can be found in any local shop or gas station. In other words – it has never been so easy to compete for a jackpot!

History of Scratchcards

Hand Holding PennyThe earliest scratch cards were produced in the early 20th century. However, there was an important technical issue that meant it wasn’t possible to make them reliable and cheap enough – the numbers covered by layering had to be picked manually! Only in 1974 did an American gaming corporation develop a reliable computer-based random number generator that made it possible to print cards with random numbers, which helped to make the process more secure, as well as a lot cheaper.

One of the most recognizable elements of any scratch card is the layering. Today, 99% of cases use latex for this purpose, because this material is safe, easy to scratch, and has water-resistant qualities. However, this method was invented only in the late 1980s; and before the invention of latex coverings, the manufacturers had to use a toxic chemical covering that was not completely safe. Then in 1987, the first-ever instant lottery scratch card was patented in the US. From this moment, this particular type of gambling started to become more and more popular in America and all across the world.

Scratchcards Today

Nowadays, scratchcards are known as one of America’s favorite gambling games. There is no standard name for instant lottery cards, and you can frequently hear people calling them scratchies, scratch-and-win, scratchum, scratch-off or just an instant game. Scratchcards can be found in any kind of local store, where you’ll be able to choose between ten or thirty Penny Lincolndifferent types and brands. Some varieties will be oriented towards smaller prizes, while some are designed for ruthless jackpot hunters. The most common cards cost from $1 to $5 US dollars. However, from the early 21st century, more expensive scratch cards started to become increasingly popular. These days, many instant lottery fans are ready to pay $20 or even $50 for a single scratchcard, if the prize is really that good!

Also, you can find many scratchcard varieties in online casinos. In most cases, games like instant lottery will be featured in a specialty section together with such games as bingo, lotto and racing games. An online instant lottery mostly looks exactly the same as regular scratchcards made of cardboard – you only have to point your cursor on the field covered with latex, and pretend that you’re scratching it with your cursor. Just like regular lottery cards, there is a great choice of online scratchcards to choose from too – ones with additional bonus fields, ones with huge jackpots, the ones featuring a guaranteed win, cheap and expensive, etc.

Tips for Scratchcard Players

Penny LincolnJust like any other type of game that you may find in casinos, scratchcards have their pros and cons. So we’ve tried to figure out what are they are.


  • Great choice of cards, with different rules and prizes
  • Instant result
  • Relatively low prices
  • Do not require any skills to play
  • Can be purchased in many places
  • Most cards feature several fields
  • Can be played either online or in real life


  • May be too fast for players who love to enjoy the momentum
  • Hard to find in some countries
  • And now let’s look at some useful tips for people who are only about to discover the entertaining world of instant lotteries.

Penny LincolnAct Smart When You Choose a Card

If you’re new to instant lotteries, it may be confusing to find yourself in front of a desk where 20 or even 30 types of scratchcards are displayed. You may recognize several cards featuring your favorite characters; because instant lottery brands like to collaborate with other companies, in order to make their instant lottery tickets look more attractive. However, don’t just chase after the first symbol that seems recognizable to you. Just look at the stacks of cards and figure out which are thinner to find out what cards are in demand. Still, don’t concentrate on the chipset cards either. Want it or not – the more you invest, the more you can get out of it!

Try Purchasing Stacks of Cards at a Time

Penny LincolnThe best way to understand how frequent the wins are, is to just do some research of your own. Pick the scratchcard brand you find more appealing and purchase a stack of those. With a set of 20-50 cards, you’ll be able to figure out what your chances are. There’s also a great chance you may benefit from this test purchase – so if the cards feature regular small and middle-size prizes, there’s a great chance that the wins will cover the expenses, and that you’ll even get some spare bucks for a lunch or a pleasant gift for yourself!

Always Be Patient with the Numbers

You would probably be surprised how many people who managed to win playing scratchcards don’t even come to collect their prize. Actually, some of those people lose their cards, while others don’t find the prize sufficient enough to come and get it; and believe it or not, there is still a large group of players who just don’t know that they have managed to hit the prize! Of course, cases when the player just didn’t uncover all the numbers properly or when a player just messed up with the combination are pretty frequent too. So always be patient with your cards and don’t throw them all away at once – your instant lottery ticket may deserve a second inspection!

Scratchcard Penny WinSet a Personal Limit

Well, this rule is good for any type of human activity, and playing scratchcards is no exception exclusion. Just be sure to keep your brain away from bad-luck raids that sometimes tempt players to go all in! As a game of chance, an instant lottery can be very beneficial on one day; while on other days, you might end up winning nothing at all. But if you manage to keep a cool head – you will manage to get your win in the end!

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