Scratch cards is very widespread special type of gambling entertainments. In reality they mean instant lotteries. Relatively high value and possibility to find out the result immediately attract players a lot.

There are some versions how they appeared. According to the old, romantic legend first lotteries were created in Ancient Greece. Legends say that warriors, who were dreaming to have a fight with Zeus, should have got the special stone out golden helmet. The lucky one, who found it got and award: to try himself in the battle with the strongest God.
Public lotteries were made in Rome. Money from the participants were used for municipal needs. Similar events were made in China, France and India.

Clockmaker Yakov Hassenus became the founder of first lottery in Russia, during the ruling of Peter I. He made it in such way: tickets were put in boxes and some of them could bring prizes. Those, who wanted to take part in lottery payed money and child pulled out the ticket from the box, Yakov read what was written there. If it was lucky ticket winner got his prize immediately. Official governmental lotteries were conducted in 1764 according to the order of Catherine II. The most famous one was, of course, “Sportlotto” in USSR.

Scratch card – basic notion, history of development

Casino scratch cards and lotteries are considered to come from Scientific Games Corporations in 1974, which created first cards in cooperation with John Koza. They got its name from English word Scratch. In 1974 the series of instant lotteries was created. In 1987 in Rhode Island the first patent for the "scratched" lottery tickets was got.

Visually, printed scratch cards in casino are represented in little card made of thin paper, which contains some information hidden under opaque coverage. Player can erase the best scratch cards to buy scratch and open the needed number of segments: three or more, depending on the rules of specific game, which hide symbols, numbers, graphic images. When the winning combination drops out ticket is considered to be winning one. The amount of payment is also indicated on the card. All in all, the main task of the player is to choose the lucky ticket. You can use coin or other hard object to erase the coverage.

Then scratch cards began to be used in other spheres: PIN codes to bank cards, payment for mobile communication, other services. Scratch cards can serve as a carrier of any confidential information.

As for the printing of lottery tickets, the biggest producers of playing scratch cards today are American company Scientific Games Corporations, which has all necessary production powers in USA, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Chile, Great Britain and Australia, and Pollard Banknote company, which is engaged in production in Canada and the USA. As for Europe, Asia, North America, there is a number of other, smaller producers.

Modern global manufacturers of scratch cards and lottery operators

The inexpensive, exciting instant lotteries quickly got lots of fans all over the world. In the USSR instant lotteries appeared in the middle of 80s and they remain being popular even today. You can buy scratch cards in any country of former CIS. They belong to the category of lottery games, they are legal and available to the biggest part of people. The most massive operator in Russian Federation is “Interlot” company. It covers about 30 regions, its collection consists of draw and instant lotteries. “Stoloto” company became the developed producer of instant lotteries and playing scratch cards. Sales points of tickets are located in most of the cities. It is also possible to take part in online games.

The biggest Ukrainian operators are "MSL" company, which has over 30 lotteries on market and "Ukrainian National Lottery".

Emergence and distribution of online scratch cards

By year 2005 scratch cards online began to appear online. The first developer of online lottery was “Scratch2Cash” company. Internet gamblers highly estimated the advantages of this entertainment. As a result, developers of this software began to pay more attention to creation of online instant game. In 2010-year instant scratch cards became the integral part of most of online casinos.

In general, basic versions of online scratch cards don't differ from printed ones. Player needs to choose a card nominal, "get" or "choose" ticket and "erase" the covering to find out the results. Help of special technologies from Macromedia Flash and Java is used to imitate the process of "erasing". In some best scratch cards, the picture of coin is used. Player can "scratch" the covering from specific places by moving the mouse cursor on the needed segment. Gambler can also use more operational method – Scratch All or Show Card buttons, which allows to open the card completely.

Development of online scratch cards – change of rules

The first versions of instant national lottery scratch cards online differed in the maximum simplicity. Traditional six fields, a prize for combination of three identical symbols are the basic rules of this type of entertainment. In course of time developers began to offer wider choice of scratch cards of various types. Modern specialists use lots of strategies, which make game more attractive:

  1. increase in the number of cells and fields – from nine and more;
  2. change of the principles of a game. It is necessary to find not just three symbols, but three identical symbols in a row. Or, on the contrary, there is set one "playing" pictogram, which can bring a prize when it appears on the field.
  3. change of graphics. Traditional fields may be replaced by some boxes, reels of slot machines, etc.
  4. the availability of second chance;
  5. others.

Rules of the game in modern online scratch cards can be viewed in the description of casino lottery.

Classical rules of scratch cards game

Classical scratch cards rules both of printed and online versions are very simple. Player buys scratch cards in bulk of a certain nominal. On the front side of the ticket there is a field with nine "hidden" cells with certain images and opaque coverage on them. Player scratches the coverage and opens sectors. Scratch card with three identical pictograms is a winning one. The prize size is indicated in separate cell.

Detailed rules of modern scratch cards games

It should be noted, that modern versions of lotteries have additional options, which help to increase the popularity of the game. Developers of online and printed versions use several techniques and rules for scratch cards, that help to make this type of entertainment more diverse. Among the most widespread techniques we can allocate these ones:

  • Expanding of the field size and usage of "lines" in winning combination. There may be over nine lines with various payout coefficients in the new games. At the same time scratch cards, where identical pictures are located horizontally, vertically and diagonally on the line, are considered to be winning ones.
  • Non-standard forms of fields. In one of the best scratch cards to buy the status of "winning" symbol gets one of them in separate cell. You can also see its value right away. According to the lotto scratch card rules if the same image appears in general field of scratch card gives money prize.
  • usage of unusual graphics. Developers of online scratch cards offer lottery tickets, where traditional fields are replaced by pictures of slots, card or roulette table. The principles of the game remain the same. When three identical symbols fall out on one of the reels, player gets the prize, which is indicated lower, in the special window. In "roulette" scratch cards it is necessary to guess number on which the ball landed. The bright examples of similar scratch cards games are Classic Slots Scratch Card, Seven-gold-scratch, Roulette scratch card.
  • Usage of video images and rules of scratch cards. One of the most popular types of games of this type is Rocky scratch cards. There are only three cells with portraits of major Rocky's competitors on the card. The aim of the player is to choose the winning one. When player chooses sector short video starts, it is fight during competition. If Rocky wins, card will present you with money prize. The amount of payment is determined in a random way.

"Second Chance" option

"Second Chance" function is a special option in modern national lottery scratch cards online. Even those who lost can get money award in certain cases. Complying with instant lotto scratch cards rules you should collect the word from "hidden" symbols under the coverage of a second chance ticket. Lucky players can get great prizes. If you plan to buy scratch cards of any type, you should get acquainted with rules of the game, indicated on the website and with payouts coefficients. It will help you to choose the most interesting and generous lotteries.

Famous developers of scratch cards for online casinos

We can outline the biggest and most popular developers of online scratch cards:

  1. Microgaming – one of the biggest developers who create game software and platforms for online casinos;
  2. Playtech – is developer, which is famous for variety of products for casinos, bingo, poker-rooms;
  3. Scratch2Cash – the first developer of online scratch cards, its collection consists of dozens of instant lotteries, including cards with jackpots. Scratch 3 WOW card costs 2 pounds, and it can present you with one million. What is scratch cards advantage? The lucky person, who hits this jackpot can receive the payout in two ways: monthly payments of 5500 pounds during fifteen years or to get single payment of 250 000, the rest of the amount will be divided into monthly payments.

Modern scratch cards of the famous developers differ in various thematic designs. Legends, films, books can serve as the basis of the games theme. Marvell comics characters are of a great popularity here: Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, and other. Some of the cards are devoted to board games: roulette, blackjack, poker.

Scratch cards in poker-rooms

The interesting fact: in the online gambling industry scratch cards have additional functions. Modern game platforms offer them not only as a ticket for instant lottery. Today, scratch cards are often used as marketing tool – bonuses allowing to attract new visitors and to increase activity of regular players. A lot of foreign online games offer from 10 to 20 scratch it cards as a present to new players for registration or first deposit.

Interesting possibilities are offered by poker clubs, which can estimate the advantages of instant lotteries. In particular, in the famous online poker-room PokerStars "cards of luck" get most active registered users. Depending on the number of collected VPP points, players can get from 7 to 14 scratch cards during the week. The prize here is money. Scratch card with three identical pictograms can bring you special prizes:

  • tickets for School Pass. You can take part in exclusive tournaments in School of poker;
  • the invitation to Monthly Freeroll – monthly tournaments with fixed prize fund;
  • tournament tickets with various buy-ins;
  • the FPP points, which you can exchange for real money or to spend on participation in tournament or shopping in special store on the website of poker-room.

Strategy of a game in scratch-cards

As the instant lotteries began to quickly develop, the strategies to increase the chances for victory began to appear. Taking into consideration the fact that no one can use any mathematical calculations or analytical researches as in roulette, the only variant left is to study the criterions of lottery tickets. Regular players recommend to use several criterions for estimation of printed scratch cards:

price category. Modern land-based operators offer cards no deposit of various types and styles. The most effective method of comparison is the assessment of coefficient of value to payouts. The average cost of printed scratch card is $1-20. Cheap scratch cards have smaller number of winners, small payouts, less difference in the cost of major and additional prizes. The analysis of effectiveness of 5$ and more tickets showed better results, higher coefficient of payouts, equal distribution, more frequent jackpots. In other words, one dollar tickets may be won more frequently, but they won't bring you more than few hundreds of dollars. More expensive scratch cards may give you few thousands.
Ratio between cost of the ticket and size of maximal prize.

In any lottery there is a chance to win. Even if you take into the consideration abovementioned price policy, it is important to remember about indicators of payouts for main and additional prizes. Experienced players should buy lots of cheap ones, scratch cards and win with maximally high coefficients. This approach will help to increase your chances for big prizes. When you buy just one ticket, you should choose expensive scratch card with high jackpot. In any case, you should take into consideration your budget.
Coefficients of probability to get prizes. On a reverse side of printed scratch cards there is detailed information. This information, written in small print is very important, it lets you to make reasonable decision. Coefficients are in format of 1:5, 1:10, 1:20. It means that each of five, ten, twenty of tickets in series give a prize. You shouldn't think that in series of five-twenty scratch cards you will definitely find winning one. Though, the main coefficient of victories between all tickets is as indicated.

"Sequence" of prizes. Sometimes, players manage to choose several prize scratch cards in one pack. Generally, there is specific number of cards with certain number of winning and not winning tickets. If you buy several prize scratch cards, that means that your chances for the further victories decreases. As a result, you should take a break and buy tickets somewhere else. Player can also watch other players. If someone bought ten-fifteen "empty" scratch cards, your chances to buy winning one increase.

Availability of the major prize. The interesting fact: even if all available prizes are won, tickets may be still legally sold. Some sales points show information about left prizes. But it doesn't happen frequently. If you plan to buy ticket for a certain lottery it is worth to make sure that the main prize is still available. You should just read information about victories on the pages of website.

Finally, you should take into consideration additional possibilities of game scratch cards from lottery operators. Often, in modern games there is function of so-called "second chance". There are some variations of this option realization:

  1. additional draw games. Even if you lose, there are often repeated lotteries for such tickets. If you save old scratch cards for some months, you'll have the opportunity to get small money prize and become one of scratch cards winners.
  2. accomplishment of a certain task. On some scratch cards the information about conditions of "second chance" program is placed. For example, in the certain fields there may be hidden letters, symbols and signs. Your task may be to collect a certain word from them. Some of the "lost" tickets where player can collect the needed combination will be winning ones.

Such additional rules of the game and scratch cards tips in scratch cards have advantages, both for operators of lotteries, and for players. For the first ones, function of "the second chance" is often effective marketing tool allowing to stimulate sales of scratch to win cards. For the second ones, it allows to get additional chances to win, without leaving the favourite entertainment and without losing a possibility to win other prizes.

The latest news about development of an industry of instant lotteries in various countries

Considering popularity of scratch cards with players, it is possible to surely predict the further development of instant lotteries industry. Moreover, this fact is confirmed by constant news about plans of expanding of this industry, new agreements between massive representatives of gambling business. In last few years there were presented some big strategic projects directed to expansion of industry in various countries:

In Sweden there was presented the license to non-commercial sports alliance for development of a new digital platform of Klubblo lotteries. The new software, capable to work both on PCs and on mobile gadgets, will be available for each sports federations of the Alliance. In the new lottery there will be several types of scratching scratch cards, which you can buy online. Moreover, sports operators will have a possibility to create lottery tickets. The increase of income and improvement of Swedish sport serve as major tasks in the project.

In Portugal operator of land-based Solverde casino is planning to expand its Internet operations with the help of Open System Platform platform from digital supplier NYX Gaming Group. New software will allow to offer a wide choice of online scratch cards on various themes, created by NetGen Gaming company – NYX affiliated company. According to the statement of the management of Solverde the choice of the supplier of software was made taking into account service quality and the shown models of games. According to preliminary data, the line will include scratch cards of various nominal, including games with big jackpots.

In Ireland there was also signed an agreement about a cooperation of the NYX Gaming Group company and the local operator of the lottery games Paddy Power. New products, scratch cards from NYX will be placed in casino by means of open game system. Besides, Paddy Power signed the long-term contract with authoritative gambling operator Mybet from Germany.

In Georgia the contract of the lottery operator TSM with the Scientific Games Corporation company was prolonged. The new agreement on cooperation is signed for seven years, in the other words, the company will continue production of scratch cards for lottery corporations of the country. According to representatives of the American company, projects with the Georgian operator are one of the most successful.

Such situation evidences further development on market of instant lotteries, both in land-based sales points, and online ones where player scratches scratch cards. At the same time modern users have an access to buy scratch cards. They can also use the offer of modern online casino and play for free in demo mode just to entertain themselves.