Online Scratch Cards Guide

Last Updated on January 17, 2023 by Jennifer Wright

Scratch cards are the most familiar gambling games around today, both in shops and online. On an estimate, 90% of casino players have played scratch card games at least once in their lifetime. It started to appear in the 1970s, sold as complimentary games by the US state lotteries.

But, the idea became popular in Europe by the launch of the UK National Lottery in 1994, which offered scratch cards alongside regular lottery products. Soon it grew massively popular with the British general public due to its simplicity, affordability, and jackpots. Its jackpot continues to have the potential to change the life of a player.

Online Scratch Cards Guide

What Are Online Scratch Cards?

It is difficult to pinpoint precisely when online scratch cards first appeared, but their emergence coincides with the development of web technologies like Macromedia Flash and Java in 2010. These are simple cards with scratch-off boxes that reveal set prizes to players.

There is no wagering requirement for online scratch cards, and you can buy them for as low as £1 (either offline or online) to play. Although the rules are the same for online scratch cards, online casinos have developed variations of the game, similar to mobile casino games and slots, to add more fun. Before we talk about the variations of online scratch card game –

Here are some basics terms of scratch card game

  • Break-even Cards – It gives just the cost of the scratch card.
  • Payout Cards – It pays more than the cost of the cards.
  • Payback or Payout – It’s the amount or £ a scratch can give back to a player for every spent £.
  • Payback or Payout rate – It’s the – total amount you can most likely win/total cost of the card.
  • Jackpot Odds – It is the probability of winning a jackpot against a scratch card.

Variations of Online Scratch Cards

  • Instant win scratch cards online

These are scratch cards that don’t make you wait for the result. Just click the panel, and instantly you know the outcome whether you have won or not. But remember, you get only one chance to do it!

  • Multiple chance scratch cards online

These scratch cards offer multiple chances of winning to players. You get a winning symbol, and you have to match that by scratching your scratch cards. In it, you can scratch more than one scratch card.

  • Line scratch cards

In this form, you have to match a line or pattern with a specific symbol or number. It is like the slot game, in which you have to get matching symbols or patterns in reel and rows to win. Line scratch cards are similar to it. You win when you match the winning pattern.

  • Casino game scratch cards

It is like any other casino table game like blackjack, roulette, or poker, in which you win when you beat the dealer. You play against a dealer scratching off a card. If you get a higher number than the dealer, you win, or else you lose.

Online Vs. Traditional Scratch Cards

Traditional scratch cards offer more simplicity and appeal to novice players more. They are readily accessible compared to other forms of gambling that sometimes require a degree of skill to play. Additionally, all forms of offline scratch cards have similar gameplay and follow a familiar format, including the National Lottery-sanctioned ‘Instant’s‘.

Online scratch cards, on the other hand, have a more diverse range to pick. They are also readily accessible, but it has more generous prizes with extra features such as bonus rounds. Further, many casino websites also reward wins with instant payouts to players irrespective of the amount.


What To Look For When Choosing Scratch Cards to Buy and Play in the UK?

Go with those scratch cards that have a high payback rate. Also, consider the odds of making a profit. In the UK, you can find many break-even scratch cards. These cards cover only the cost and do not make any profit. So, while buying, check whether you are getting a payout scratch card or a break-even scratch card.

The odds of winning jackpots in any scratch card game in the UK are slim, but a scratch card with a good jackpot prize is any day better. Therefore, while choosing a scratch card to buy and play, count the variance factor in the game.

Low Variance Scratch Card Game Payout Often but Amount Less

High Variance Scratch Card Game Payout Less but Amount More

Rules of Playing Scratch Cards

Like any other gambling game, online scratch cards also have rules.

The Age Rule

As of April 2021, the National Lottery participation has moved the minimum age from 16 to 18. Now, it is illegal to sell scratch cards to someone under the age of 16. So you must be at least 18 years of age to play any UK scratch card game. The age rule also applies to all variants of scratch card games online.

Card Purchase Rules

  • You must register with the casino site and verify your identity before buying any online scratch card.
  • The casino site also strongly advises you to check the terms and conditions of the game before purchasing. If you miss it, any winnings deriving from that card may become void should it be damaged.

Winnings Claiming Rule

You cannot claim your prize without presenting your winning scratch card. Therefore save it, to place a redemption request with the casino site.

While selecting a casino site for playing scratch cards, don’t forget to check its review first. We at New Casino Sites provide all the relevant information about the best new casino sites in the UK.


How to Play Online Scratch Cards?

The basics of playing scratch cards are the same online. The only difference is the game interface. Most of them have options –

  • Register yourself with the casino site to buy scratch cards.
  • Start the game.
  • Click a coin selector to decide the size of your stake. You have options to alter your stake if you need to decrease or increase its value.
  • Click on the scratch card panel to reveal the hidden symbol or number.
  • You win if the revealed symbols/numbers on the panel match with the pre-selected digits or symbols.

Quick TIP: Always set limits for yourself when playing online scratch cards, both in terms of time and money.


How to Win Online Scratch Cards?

How to Win Online Scratch Cards?

Note: Scratch card is a game of chance. The odds of the game mostly support the scratch card operator. 

Much like a lottery, winning in scratch cards depends purely on luck. But you can follow these small tips. You can increase your chances of winning.

1. Avoid playing cheap scratch card games.

Cheaper games have a smaller prize pool. Plus, some of their instant games have the risk of being rigged. Therefore, instead of getting lured to unknown games, stick to the popular ones.

Don’t always go with the highest value scratch cards. You can easily get the probability of winning – 1 out of 4 cards in £2 scratch cards by the national lottery program like Gold Edition scratch cards (payout rate 69.5%). 


We recommend you buy fewer tickets for higher prize scratch cards in the £5 category. It has many break-even cards, which makes it difficult to make profits. However, Festive £500/ fruity 500s (payout rate 71%) – in £5 scratch card edition in the UK is the best national lottery scratch card to win on by all measures.


2. Read the terms and conditions carefully.

Every casino site has its distinct set of terms and conditions for the game. Understanding it provides vital information on your chances of winning, claiming conditions, and your odds against the game.

3. Buy more scratch cards to increases your chances of winning.

If you set budget permits, play in bulk. Just like the lotto, purchasing more tickets improves your odds of winning. We recommend checking the information published on the national lottery website about scratch cards left with more prizes to win. Then buy scratch cards in bulk (5-10 online scratch card games) and play the scratchies in one go. You certainly will have a better chance of winning than playing one online scratchy over a while.

4. Respect the budget.

Before you begin playing, establish the amount of money you are comfortable spending on scratch cards. Stick to the budget to avoid spending more. Gamble responsibly and avoid chasing losses with more money.

Quick TIP: Always know your limits! 

If you manage to win some bucks, relish the joy and use the money for building your bankroll.

Don’t try playing every scratch card game on the casino site.

We recommend trying out different instant games but eventually select a few that are rewarding. Once you find the one, stick to it. When you keep your gambling session constant, you will have a better company and higher chances of winning.

Quick TIP: Read casino site online reviews and check the payout rate of the game before playing. 



If you have got luck on your side, gambling can be the most exciting experience.

In scratch cards, there are no winning strategies per se like poker, roulette, or blackjack. All you can do is select the game with the highest payout rate and buy scratch cards in bulk to increase your odds of winning. But remember, it is a highly addictive game. So respect your budget and gamble responsibly.